Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward and Saitama’s Kita-Katsushika and Minami Katsushika Districts derive their names from the pre-modern Katsushika District of Shimōsa Province, but where did the ancient name come from? Continue reading What does Katsushika mean?
This beautiful book let’s the art speak for itself but provides print-by-print commentary. It’s a coffee table book that I find irresistible. Of course, I’m biased. Hiroshige is my favorite Japanese artist. Continue reading Book Review – Hiroshige: 100 Famous Views of Edo
めでてー！めでてー！ Medetē! Medetē! (“Happy happy! Joy joy!” In the Edo Dialect) Happy New Year, everyone! As has become a tradition here at JapanThis!, my first post of the year is a heartfelt ありがとうございます arigatō gozaimasu thank you very much! and a very humble 今年もよろしくお願い申し上げます kotoshi mo yoroshiku o-negai mōshiagemasu I’m hoping for your support this year, too! Waaaaaaaaay back in the day, I started writing this blog because I thought it would be fun, but the real fun has been seeing that people actually read it and enjoy it. I’m honored and humbled by you, dear reader. This is my little … Continue reading The Year in Review – 2015
I thought today’s place name would be boring, but it actually turns out to be an area with quite a rich history… possibly. Continue reading What does Yotsugi mean?
Today we’ll look at the biographies of a few people who called Tōkyō’s Honjo area home. Continue reading 10 Famous People From Honjo
Happy Holidays! Here is a table of contents to every article I wrote 2014, plus a questionnaire for feedback. Please read and share. Continue reading The Year in Review
Soy sauce, sweet rice vinegar, Disneyland, oh my! The Edo River has it all! Plus fireworks! Continue reading The Edo River
Rivers, dead prostitutes, executions, class discrimination, drainage ditches, and naming conventions. This article’s got it all! Continue reading The Arakawa River
隅田川Sumidagawa (literally, “corner river,” but actually no known meaning) First a quick note.WordPress isn’t handling footnotes correctly anymore.Not sure why.You’ll have to manually scroll to the end of the article to read them. Sorry about that. I’ve been told by Japanese people that “Japan is a country of water.” The idea being that there’s literally water everywhere and given the abundance of 温泉 onsen hot springs and rivers and… well, it’s a freaking island surrounded by water, I can’t argue with them. But herein lays the problem with this series[i]. When you have lots of water and people are living … Continue reading The Sumida River
Today we’re talking about Kameari in Katsushika Ward. It’s an interesting place name that’’s easy to speculate about because of the kanji. Continue reading What does Kameari mean?
Recently, we’ve looked at a few places in Sumida and Katsushika. Today let’s learn about the river that linked these two places together and what happened to that river. Continue reading What does Hikifune mean?
Today, the area called Ohanajaya refers to three blocks in Katsushika Ward, but in the Edo Period, this was the countryside and was used for falconry by the Tokugawaw shōguns. Continue reading What does Ohanajaya mean?
The history of this place name is actually a mystery but it is usually explained by a legend. The interesting thing is that this place name may be based on the ultimate oyaji gag. Continue reading What does Takaramachi mean?
Kasai seems like a place name, and the term is used, but in Tokyo, there actually isn’t any real area named Kasai. Yet, the name is very ancient. So, say hello to my little friend, Kasai. Continue reading What does Kasai mean?
Musashi was an old Japanese province, however the name is still with us today. Continue reading What does Musashi mean?