Browsing Tag

HISTORY

ARTS&CULTURE October 19, 2018

The Great Japanese Empire, 1868-1947

The period after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 is known as the beginning of modernization in Japan; but what occurred during that period went well beyond men adopting Western-style suits and the introduction of streetcars and factories. That’s because many of those factories also quickly went to work building weapons of war, and in the […]

ARTS&CULTURE December 14, 2017

A Brief History of the Tokugawa Shogunate

Public Domain, Link For the country’s entire history, even its prehistory, the official supreme ruler of Japan has been the hereditary head of the Imperial Family, usually the Emperor (or rarely, Empress). But the men wielding actual political and military power in Japan were not royals. The most famous leaders of Japan were the shogun […]

ARTS&CULTURE June 16, 2017

Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan

pe of modern Japan more than the “opening” of the country by American naval commander Matthew Perry in 1853-4. Of those three epochal events, Perry’s mission was the first, and led in large part to the subsequent two. Commodore Perry’s mission, though military in nature, was driven by Western commercial expansion in the Far East, […]

ARTS&CULTURE January 30, 2017

The Heian Period: Japan’s Classic

Japan’s “classical” period, when what we now know as Japanese culture first flowered, came later than classical periods in the West, China and India. But once it began in the late eighth century C.E., the four centuries of the Heian period saw the archipelago transformed. The Heian period – named for the original name for […]

ARTS&CULTURE, KYOTO April 26, 2016

Kyoto and the Template of Japanese Architecture

As of 2016, more contemporary Japanese architects have been honored with the Pritzker Architecture Prize than have architects from any other country, save the United States. But for all the sleek, dazzling designs of contemporary masters Shigeru Ban and Toyo Ito, the buildings that resonate most with visitors and Japanese alike are those built during […]

TRAVEL April 26, 2016

5 Japanese Tourist Sites That Take Visitors Back In Time

Japan is a modern country, moving ever faster, and it is easy when visiting to get caught up in the Japanese enthusiasm for the shiny, flashy and new, whether it is manga or karaoke or the latest food craze. Japan, especially Tokyo, can be as loud and glitzy as any city on earth – perhaps […]