history

Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi : Pure Land Buddhism and Tohoku Pride

“夏草や 兵どもが 夢の跡”(`Natsukusa ya tsuhamonodomo ga yume no ato`) – “Grasses in summer, the warriors’ dreams… all that is left”. This poem, written by Master haikuist Matsuo Bashō after he visited the ancient temple complex of Hiraizumi, is one of the most famous writings in Japan. Located in Iwate on the banks of the Kitakami-gawa, these simple…

The Reenactment of the Battle of Sekigahara

Before the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate(江戸幕府), a six-hour battle took place on October 21, 1600. This was called the ‘Battle of Sekigahara'(関ヶ原の戦い), a savage conflict which changed the course of Japanese history forever. A simulation of this war can be seen in the quiet farming village of Sekigahara. The momentous event is recreated in…

Explore These 3 Beautiful Viewpoints in Japan’s Kochi Prefecture

Kochi Prefecture (高知県) is located on the small island of Shikoku (四国). It is formerly known as Tosa (土佐), and is popular for Kochi Castle (高知城), which is one of the 12 remaining castles in Japan. Kochi’s major food item is katsuo no tataki (鰹のたたき), a slightly broiled sliced bonito over a straw fire. Other…

Sample Real Japanese Rice Wine in This Sake Museum in Kobe!

Sake (酒) is one of Japan’s most well-known products, and it is famous throughout the world. Understandably, many visitors to Japan are eager to try Japanese rice wine for themselves. However, sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin; I came to Japan knowing nothing about how sake is made or which brands…

Rakugo: Japan’s Centuries-old Comedic Solo Storytelling

If there is one Asian country that pays very high regards to cultural heritage and traditional practices, Japan would have to be one of the obvious picks. It is very much apparent, even when you take a random stroll on any city street. From old castles to gorgeous, old-style ryokan (inns; 旅館), you’ll see how…

Travel Back in Time and Savor the Japanese Taisho Period in These 3 Historical Spots!

When modernity ruled Japan, it was called the Taisho Period. It was a combination between the militarist and the modern side. The era greatly transfigured the Japanese character from art, fashion, culture and music. It was a time for evolving and shaping the society into something new. Reliving this period’s atmosphere can be felt and…

Shuri Castle and Its Retaining Beauty Unique to Okinawa

Shuri Castle is one of the beautiful castles that you can find in Japan. It played a major role in the Japanese history and served as a focal point of foreign trade, economics, politics, and cultural heart of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The castle grounds and the area surrounding it has been designated as one of…

Shizue Kato: Japan’s First Great Feminist

Japan is not world famous for being the most progressive country in terms of women’s rights. Just last year a female member of The Diet (the Japanese legislative body), was shouted at as she gave a speech about women’s rights. One of the other members of the Diet yelled, “Go get married!” But Japan has…

How Much Do You Know About the History of Christianity in Japan?

Christianity is just one of the minor religions in Japan. Less than 1% of the total population is considered Christian. Despite that fact, the country is regarded as one of the secular nations around the world where religious principles are followed on certain occasions. Let’s have a quick view of how Christianity flourished in Japan…