It has been a bit of a drought on my blog page sorry to say. Even though my junior high schools were shut down at the beginning of March due to the coronavirus, we have been very busy getting the business ready. Also, those of you who have children know how hard it is to… Read More History of Kirin Beer.
I recently visited Yamaguchi Prefecture and found out that the first Christmas ever celebrated in Japan was right there. During the Christmas holidays I watched the movie ‘Silence’ so I decided to dig a little deeper. Searching for more information I came across this article. It’s well written, thus I would like to share it… Read More First Christmas in Japan, 1552
I finally got around to editing the photos from my trip to Oita earlier this year. Here is Nakatsu castle. It’s not a bad castle to visit. Lots of history here too. It’s small enough to walk around in about an hour and the museum inside is alright. Not enough English unfortunately. For me, the… Read More Nakatsu Castle, Oita, Kyushu
Despite Fukuoka castle being one of the all time great castles of Japan (I’m a bit biased as I live in Fukuoka) there is not a whole lot of research material in English about it. Wikipedia has quite a nice write-up, but as we don’t know who the author is, it is not usually used… Read More History of Fukuoka Castle
If you’re a fan of Japanese history as I am I strongly suggest you visit the National Museum in Sakura City, Chiba. You should also allow yourself the whole day to explore this great museum. There is a restaurant for you to re-fill and gift shop with many nice souvenirs. There are 6 different galleries. … Read More National Museum of Japanese History.
Yoshinogari is a a large moated town from the Yayoi Period (300BC-300AD). The Yoshinogari Yayoi ruins were found in 1986 while surveying for a new industrial site. Luckily this was put on hold and a 3 year excavation began. The site uncovered the largest Yayoi village ever found in Japan. The village is thought to… Read More Yoshinogari – Historical Yayoi Park, Saga, Kyushu
I have been to the Sapporo Beer factory a few times but the mission was always to eat as much ‘Jingiskan’ and drink as much Sapporo beer as I could. This time I allowed some time to explore the museum and outside gardens as well. Sapporo Beer was the first brewery in Japan. The beautiful… Read More The home of Japanese beer. Sapporo Beer Factory, Hokkaido
Scanning photos today I found another early map of Fukuoka. I think I took this in the archaeology center in Fukuoka. I labelled some of the main points we know today. I think it was made after 1603 as Fukuoka castle is clearly visible. According to my earlier post, the population of Fukuoka at that… Read More Early map of Fukuoka city c.1600
A few years ago I wrote about the history of Kendo. I recently updated the post and submitted it as a Taiken article which they approved. Thankyou Taiken Japan for your continued support of my articles. Please find the article here: https://taiken.co/single/a-history-of-kendo-and-why-i-love-it/
During the ‘isolation period’ of Japan also known as the Edo Period a few nations were still allowed to trade in Japan. The Dutch, Koreans and Chinese were the only nations granted trade rights. The Dutch company ‘VOC’ were famous around the world and they set up a trade port in Nagasaki. Dejima was established… Read More Dutch trade port of Dejima, Nagasaki.
While I was living in Kumamoto one of things I really wanted to do is visit the cave Musashi Miyamoto retired to after his last duel with Kojiro. Musashi spent the last 5 years of his life at Reigando, a cave located on the western side of Mt Kinpo just outside of Kumamoto city. Unganzenji… Read More Reigando (Musashi’s last resting spot) – Pictorial
Happy Thursday! I’m going to start posting some new blogs which only focus on my photography. Articles are great but time consuming and I have so many photos just sitting on my hard drive. Anyway I’m going to try and start posting a little more regularly between writing in depth articles with some great photos.… Read More Nanzoin Temple, Fukuoka, Kyushu
I’m delighted to let you know that I am now writing articles for http://www.taiken.co. This is a link for my first article with them featuring the great Fujisaki Hachimangu horse festival held in Kumamoto, Kyushu in mid September. Enjoy https://taiken.co/single/fujisaki-hachimangu-horse-festival-in-kumamoto/ Stu
A couple of weeks ago I visited Raizan Sennyoji in Itoshima. Itoshima is a nice little country suburb a little to the west of where I live in Fukuoka. It is famous for beautiful beaches, mountains and the countryside. Many people also farm and produce a lot of great produce. It’s a nice place to… Read More Raizan Sennyoji and early Buddhism in Japan. Itoshima, Fukuoka
Miyamoto Musashi Died On June 13, 1645. Considered one of the greatest samurai of all time, Miyamoto Musashi’s reputation has grown to mythic proportions over the years, despite much of his life remaining a mystery. The undefeated swordsman, master of strategy, calligrapher, painter, writer and martial arts icon, Miyamoto Musashi was born towards the end… Read More Reigando Cave and the life of Miyamoto Musashi
The first Kamakura Shogun, Minamoto no Yoritomo, was born on this day, May 9, 1147 Yoritomo’s paternal grandfather, Minamoto no Tameyoshi was head of the noble Minamoto clan, while his maternal grandfather, a member of the illustrious Fujiwara clan, was the chief priest at Atsuta Shrine, Japan’s second most venerated Shinto Shrine after the Great… Read More Minamoto no Yoritomo
Miyajidake sits in the northern region of Fukutsu city about 1 hour from central Fukuoka. It is famous for the ‘road of faith’ and stairs leading up to the main temple which look out directly to the sea about a kilometre away. More on this later. Sunsets around October are supposed to be really beautiful.… Read More Miyajidake Shrine, Fukutsu City, Kyushu.
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 The life of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (aka Koizumi Yakumo).