Hara Castle Ruins and the Amakusa/Shimabara Rebellion, Minami Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture.

For about a year I have wanted to visit Hara Castle ruins. I first heard of Hara castle when I visited Amakusa, a short distance across the Ariake Sea. Both regions made famous during the Amakusa Rebellion in 1589-1590 and the larger Amakusa-Shimabara Rebellion in 1637/38. I covered the rebellion in Amakusa a little in… Read More Hara Castle Ruins and the Amakusa/Shimabara Rebellion, Minami Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture.

Escaped convicts first ever Australian ship to Japanese waters.

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.

Shukkeien, historical gardens in Hiroshima.

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.