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.
Shukkeien gardens date back to 1620, a year after feudal lord Asano Nagaakira was made lord of Hiroshima. Asano’s principal retainer, Ueda Soko, a master of tea ceremony built and designed the gardens. The gardens were built as an expression of many miniature scenes modeled on Xihu (West Lake) in Hangzhou, China. The centerpiece of… Read More Shukkeien, historical gardens in Hiroshima.
I visited the two Nagashino battlegrounds and museum in January 2016. It was a great experience to visit this place and walk on the old battlefield which was a decisive turning point for the Takeda family and eventually lead to their eventual downfall. The Nagashino campaign was launched by Takeda Katsuyori, son of the great… Read More Nagashino Battlefield and Museum
Kumamoto Castle is still one of the most impressive castles in Japan. It is one of the big three which also includes Osaka castle and Nagoya castle. Feudal lord Kato Kiyomasa (we will learn more about Kato later), renowned for his castle building skills in Japan and in Korea supervised the construction of both Kumamoto… Read More Kumamoto Castle, Kyushu.
University essay case study: 16th & 17th Century Japanese Christianity By Stuart Iles 14th October 2011 In this essay I will discuss the 16th and 17th century global network of Christianity brought with the Spanish and Portuguese during the period of expansion throughout the Pacific and specifically analyse Christianity in Japan during the sixteenth and… Read More 16th & 17th Century Japanese Christianity
The earliest Japanese armour were solid metal cuirasses made up of several sections of plate — often roughly triangular in form — which were tightly laced together and usually lacquered against rust. It is not clear what they were originally called; some suggest the term kawara — which means “tile” — and others suggest it… Read More A brief history of Japanese armour.
On this Day, December 16, 1614, a number of Samurai women were killed by cannon fire in Osaka Castle. 400 years ago today, during the Winter Siege of Osaka, a cannon used by the Tokugawa forces scored a direct hit on the Tenshu (Keep) of Osaka Castle, killing a number of Samurai women sheltering inside.… Read More Cannon use during the winter siege of Osaka.
Goto Matabei’s Armour. Among Kuroda Nagamasa’s captains was a samurai named Goto Matabei, a much-respected professional warrior who often proudly boasted of the 53 scars on various parts of his body, trophies of the many wars in which he had participated. He provided fine service to the Kuroda clan during the Battle of Sekigahara. Although… Read More Goto Matabei’s Armour.
A few notes from a poster presentation I did about the Tokugawa family and the Edo Period. History of the Tokugawa Family Matsudaira Motoyasu (later Tokugawa Ieyasu) was born into a powerful clan which traces its history back to the Minamoto clan during the Heian period (794-1185) and the Ashikaga Shogunate in the 1330s. During… Read More Tokugawa and Edo Period (Poster presentation notes)
I love Kendo and the history of Kendo. I first learned about Kendo while reading Taiko and Musashi in Japan which spurred me to start Kendo training. I did Kendo for a few years and despite suffering a few injuries and being very scared on numerous occasions thoroughly enjoyed it. In this blog I am… Read More History of Kendo
Bix, Herbert P. 2001. Hirohito and the making of modern Japan. New York, NY: Perennial. Booth, Alan. 1995. Looking for the lost: journeys through a vanishing Japan. New York: Kodansha International. Booth, Alan. 1997. The roads to Sata: a 2000-mile walk through Japan. New York: Kodansha International. Bryant, Anthony J., and Angus McBride. 1989. The… Read More Book reference list