My friend William Baerg is a contributor for the Kumamoto International Facebook page and has nicely agreed for me to post an article on my blog. Tani Tateki (谷干城) was a military leader during the Meiji Restoration who was for a crucial period in charge of the defense of Kumamoto. Even under mustache standards of… Read More Tani Tateki – Kumamoto Castle defender during the Seinan War.
I haven’t done a post for a while about one of my favourite Ukiyo-e print series. So lets have a look. It is print #35, Narai Station, currently Narai town in Nagano Prefecture. It is a beautiful little town in the Japanese Alps and it still has the old Edo period feel to it. It… Read More Keisai Eisen – Kisokaido Narai Station, Print #35.
I visited Shiga back in 2016 in January. I was expecting it to be cold but I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up in the morning. A fresh layer of snow had fallen in the early hours of the morning which was great. Walking around on the fresh snow is great but unfortunately it… Read More Himure Hachimangu, Omihachiman, Shiga.
I had a day off today and it wasn’t raining so I decided to visit Lafcadio Hearn’s residence just down the road from where I live. The address is 2-6 Anseimachi, Kumamoto. It is right behind Tsuruya shopping center. I had come across Hearn’s name before while researching some other Japanese history but never knew… Read More Patrick Lafcadio Hearn’s (aka Koizumi Yakumo) residence in Kumamoto
This article was originally going to be included in the ‘History of Aki (Hiroshima) Prefecture’ but as this article has now become too long I decided to make one for Miyajima on its own. I was surprised by the fantastic history of this temple complex and I hope you think so too. Located in the… Read More The History of Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima Island.
An amateur historian has unearthed compelling evidence that the first Australian maritime foray into Japanese waters was by convict pirates on an audacious escape from Tasmania almost two centuries ago. Fresh translations of samurai accounts of a “barbarian” ship in 1830 give startling corroboration to a story modern scholars had long dismissed as convict fantasy:… Read More Escaped convicts first ever Australian ship to Japanese waters.
The rain misted down and I had two choices: the road up the hill, or the one alongside the river. I stood next to some kind of cement plant, most of it hidden behind a corrugated metal fence dripping with moisture. My pack pulled down on my shoulders. The river, engorged by two days of… Read More Looking for Hiroshige’s Japan