I have a few friends who also have a passion for Japanese history. Here is a great article about the emergence of Buddhism into Japan. Buddhism arrived rather late in Japan in the middle of the 6th century, along with Korean and Chinese priests … one thousand years after the religion had originated with Siddhartha… Read More 6th Century Japan and the Emergence of Buddhism.
I’ve been interested in Japanese style architecture for a long time but recently I’ve taken an interest in traditional home architecture. My dream home has gotta be something like one of these pictures. They are beautiful, please enjoy.
HIKONE, Shiga Prefecture–Fascinating tidbits from the daily lives of samurai warriors have been gleaned from a diary found four years ago at the residence of a notable family. The discovery of the “Biwa Nikki” (Biwa Diary), a memoir of a samurai from the late Edo Period (1603-1867), sent the pulses of researchers racing as few… Read More Rare account of feudal warrior’s daily life.
I am aware of the Toyotomi campaign in Korea but I was pleasantly unaware to the extent of the construction of so many castles in the attempt to defend the Japanese held territory in Korea. Lets look a bit more at the Toyotomi Hideyoshi campaign back in the 16th Century. The seven year Imjin War… Read More Japanese Castles in Korea
Wow, so busy teaching at the moment so I haven’t had time to do any more research into my next blog post. In the mean time I found a nice article from the Japan Times. I hope you enjoy it. The sense of antiquity on the Kunisaki Peninsula is immediate. There are those that believe… Read More Kunisaki: Into a World of Moss and Stone
Riding the circular Yamanote Line on a Sunday in Tokyo, it is easy to daydream. Those who have found themselves at times wondering what the city might have been like in the past are likely to enjoy the aptly named “Lust, Commerce, and Corruption: An Account of What I Have Seen and Heard, by an… Read More A firsthand account of vice and profit in Edo – Book review.
Last year my family and I visited the Sapporo Beer Factory. I have been there a few times but the mission was always to eat as much ‘Jingiskan’ and drink as much Sapporo beer as I could. This time we allowed some time to explore the museum and outside gardens as well. The myth of… Read More Sapporo Beer Factory
I never get tired of going to Mt Hiei and taking photos. The three Enryakuji temple complexes are fabulous and are different within themselves. I just wish I could read more Kanji so I can read the information sheets to share with you all. You can buy a day ticket that will allow you entry… Read More Mt Hiei
Great photo of Kiyomizu Temple from the 1880s.
The newly refurbished roof of Himeji Castle is really, really white. No wonder people in Japan are bewildered. This isn’t what people are used to! Himeji Castle is one of Japan’s most famous and most beautiful castles. It is a World Heritage Site, and if you ever visit Japan, you need to visit it. Since… Read More Himeji Castle’s roof unveiled
Teradaya Inn. The simple, old inn with a lot of history. Most people would simple bypass this place without having a second look. But if are a Japanese history nut like me it is an important stop. During the Restoration Period, Ryoma Sakamoto, had an assassination attempt on his life by Tokugawa loyalists inside the… Read More Teradaya Inn – Fushimi
Two of my favourite Japanese travel books were written by Alan Booth. The Roads to Sata (1986) and Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan (1995). I have collect a few articles that truly describe Booth, his personality and style of writing. I wish I could have met him, it seems a little… Read More Travel books
Browsing my photos over the weekend I realised one of the photos I posted last week has a connection with the diorama at the Edo museum I visited last year. I love it when I find these things. Original Meiji Period photo of Ginza The diorama of the same Ginza district from the Edo museum.… Read More Tokyo Ginza revisited.
When I visited Nishi Honganji I bought a series of old hand drawn postcards. I picked out one that I recognised and went back to take a photo. It was a great feeling.
Tokyo – A trove of ancient documents unearthed at the Vatican could shed light on the brutal crackdown on Christianity in isolationist Japan under its samurai rulers, scholars say. The hoard contains about 10 000 pieces of paper, collected by an Italian priest who lived in Japan last century, mostly dating from the “Edo” period… Read More Trove of documents found from the Samurai era
The Tale of Genji SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES This is a must read for those of you interested in Japanese history. Recognized as the world’s first novel, Murasaki Shikibu’s “The Tale of Genji” is a spiraling epic that encompasses a beautifully complex portrayal of 11th-century Japanese Imperial Court life. The Tale of Genji, Murasaki… Read More The Tale of Genji
Just a short post. I found this photo of Osaka Castle from the 50s when it was being rebuilt after the war. Looking at at the surrounding area you can see how much Osaka has changed.
It is sometimes difficult to tell if the resource you find is actually an original (primary) source or not. I have quite a few old Meiji period photos but as I find them on the net it is sometimes risky where I find them. Of course, reputable places such as galleries and museums are the… Read More Primary source or not?
I have visited several museums which have some great Jomon artefacts, most recently in Hokkaido. Last year I went to the Northern Peoples Museum in Abashiri and last month I went to the Otaru Municipal Museum. Here is a bit about the Jomon. We can break the Jomon Period into four groups. Incipient – 12,000… Read More Emergence of the Jomon
I visited Senso-ji earlier this month and it is by far the busiest temple I have been to. On a flyer I picked up it noted that 30 million people visit the temple every year, I reckon there were probably 10,000 people there on that day. Anyway, back on topic. I wonder how many people… Read More Senso-ji, Asakusa