Ikedaya Incident The Ikedaya Incident, in which members of the Shinsengumi attacked and killed anti-Tokugawa activists thwarting their supposed plans to torch Kyoto, took place 155 years ago on July 8, 1864. The attack is known as the Ikedaya Incident, as the rebel Choshu (modern-day Yamaguchi Prefecture) and Tosa (now Kochi Prefecture) clan samurai had… Read More Shinsengumi Attack Rebels- Ikedaya Incident, 1864
Not far from Minowa station on the Hibiya line is a nondescript temple called 浄閑寺—Jokanji. From the street, it looks like many other Tokyo temples, but behind the new main building is an old cemetery that has one particular point of interest, a crypt and monument to twenty-five thousand prostitutes interred there. Being so close… Read More The Throw Away Temple – Dumping Ground of the Yoshiwara Prostitutes.
Not something I have done before but I found this beautiful Ukiyo-e print with some history attached to it. It’s quite good so I thought I would share it with you. A scene from a famous Noh play. The outlaw priest Kumasaka Chohan (with long sword) fights a leaping Ushiwakamaru (later known as Minamoto no… Read More Ushiwakamaru defeats Kumasaka Chohan – Ukiyo-e print
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.
An acclaimed chronicler of samurai history and folklore once wrote, Under Tokugawa law, it was an inalienable right of the men of the warrior class to inflict capital and swift retribution for an insult perpetrated by a commoner. The samurai held strength and courage as the ultimate forms of male virtue while cowardice and meanness… Read More Tokugawa Samurai
The indigenous people of northern Japan call themselves “Ainu,” meaning “people” or “humans” in their language. Recent DNA evidence suggests that the Ainu are the direct descendants of the ancient Jomon people who inhabited Japan as early as 12,000 years ago. Astonishingly, the Jomon culture existed in Japan for some 10,000 years, and today many… Read More Ainu Tattooing
The Meiji Restoration is a very important period in Japan’s history as it reestablished Imperial rule and was the catalyst for the Japanese economy and society to move into the industrial age. 268 years of rule under the Tokugawa shogunate ended, and was eventually replaced with a national parliamentary system. Most members of this parliament… Read More The Meiji Restoration – A quick rundown