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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Kura – All About Kura – Japan’s Traditional Storehouses

A common sight in both the city and country, earthen storehouses called “kura” are a quintessential part of the Japanese architectural landscape.

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Japanese History Japanese Subculture Travel in Japan

What does Kanda mean? (part two)

Follow up to the last article on Kanda & Kanda Shrine.

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#rivered Japanese History Travel in Japan

What does Kanda mean?

People have been asking for this one since 2013. I finally did it in 2 parts.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan Uncategorized

300th Article Anniversary!

I remember when I 0 readers. Thanks for all your support! We’ve made it to 300 articles on #etymology and #JapanHistory. Unbelievable.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Yamanote Line: Meguro and Ebisu

The term “yamanote” is synonymous with “upscale” and both Meguro and Ebisu fit that description.

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Japan Travel in Japan

Yamanote Line Extravaganza (intro)

My long overdue exploration of Tōkyō via the Yamanote Line begins here. I hope you’ll stick around for the whole series!

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Travel in Japan

What does Harajuku mean?

#Harajuku means a lot of things to many people, but the area was insignificant until the 1920’s and finally prospered in the post-war years.

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Japan Japanese Castles Japanese History Japanese Manners Japanese Shrines & Temples Japanese Subculture Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

I Have a Huge Announcement!

There’s a new service specializing in tourism for Japanese History. It may include beer! Help me spread the word, guys!

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Ōedo Line: Kachidoki

Continuing with our 15th installment of exploring Edo-Tōkyō via the Ōedo Line.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Ōedo Line: Tsukishima

Continuing with our 14th installment of exploring Edo-Tōkyō via the Ōedo Line.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Ōedo Line Extravaganza (intro)

First installment on my series exploring Edo-Tōkyō via the Ōedo Line.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Travel in Japan

What is the Tsukishima Area?

Tsukisha and Tsukiji are famous Tokyo neighborhoods. But do you know Tsukuda?

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Shinagawa Station – Then and Now

Shinagawa Station in History I haven’t updated in a while, so please accept my apologies. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment but there is an article in the works. That said, an idea came to me while on the shitter thinking about Edo Bay vs. Tōkyō Bay (as one does). So […]

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Japanese History Tokyo Rivers Travel in Japan

The Kanda River

The story of the Kanda River is a story as old as Edo itself. It is part and parcel of the evolution of the city.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

A Visit to the Omori Kaizuka

大森貝塚Ōmori Kaizuka  (Omori Shell Mound) The other day I wrote about Ōmori and I mentioned that there was a paleolithic trash dump there that was the first archaeological dig in Japan. I had a little free time so I decided to check it out and take some pictures for the site. Actually, it was a lot […]

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Japanese Castles Japanese History Travel in Japan

What does Dokanyama mean?

Ota Dokan did it! Well, in this case, he probably did. Let’s get it on.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

What does Sendagi mean?

Sendagi is one of the areas where the spirit of old Japan still lingers. It’s history lovers wet dream!

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Why is Roppongi called Roppongi

Today, Roppongi is a party town. For years it’s been popular with foreigners due to its proximity to so many foreign embassies. Because of this proximity, the area is relatively English-friendly which makes it a destination for foreigners visiting Japan and the seedy businesses that often cater to (or try to take advantage of) foreigners. But in the Edo Period, this was home to sprawling mansions of the elite ruling class. Many of the street blocks still correspond to the locations of these residences.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

What does Haneda mean?

Nobody ever thinks about the etymology airport names. Be one of the few chosen ones!

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

Tokyo Train Line Names

Most of the train lines in Tōkyō have names based on whatever major area they originated/terminated – or at least stopped at. For example, the Marunouchi Line’s most important stations were in the former Marunouchi (Daimyō Alley) and the Yamanote Line connected centers of the “new Yamanote.[ii]” Some of the more ambitious, longer train lines have names that describe their start/stop points in general terms. This type of name usually reflects the tendency of the Japanese language to make new matches out of existing kanji.

Most of these names are self-evident to the Japanese, especially people who live and/or work in and around Tōkyō. But many of these names may be slightly mysterious to foreigners.

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Japanese History Travel in Japan

What does Asakusa mean?

Asakusa – one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Japan.

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Japan Japanese Castles Travel in Japan

What does Ushigome mean?

牛込 Ushigome (Crowd of Cows) 。 。 牛 ushi cow 込 komi[i] swarming, huddling, amassed, crowded, “in bulk” 。 According to Japanese Wikipedia[ii], in 701, in accordance to the Taihō Code, a livestock ranch was established in this area. In fact, two were established which were sometimes referred to as 牛牧 gyūmaki a cow ranch […]

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Japan Japanese Holidays Travel in Japan

Edo River Fireworks

Summer in Japan means matsuri (festivals), hanabi (fireworks), and fuzoku (prostitution). Today we’ll look at the first two!

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

The Grave of Tokugawa Yoshinobu

The shogunate is finished… that’s not sad to me. The sad thing is closing out this chapter on a subject that is so personal to me. I also love Yoshinobu because after a hundred years of 微妙 shoguns, we got a guy who represented his era and his pedigree exceptionally. Until the bitter end, Yoshinobu was an aristocrat, but in a time of crisis he took the challenge and helped to save the shogun family line persist until the present day.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Shomyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Iemochi

We’re at the twilight of Tokugawa power in Japan – the 14th shogun, Tokugawa Iemochi.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Onkyo-in

Onkyo-in is the grave of the 14th shogun Tokugawa Iesada and his wife Atsu-hime. He was incapable when foreigners knocked on Japan’s door.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Shintoku-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieyoshi

Tokugawa Ieyoshi was a pretty much a brown paper bag shogun. There is nothing notable about his rule… until the last year. In the last year, Commodore Perry arrived in Japan with his “Black Ships” and demanded that Japan end its isolationist policy. That’s when the shit hit the proverbial fan.

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Japanese History Japanese Sex Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Bunkyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ienari

Tokugawa Ienari is my favorite shogun. Dude as a straight up player. Watch and learn, children.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Shunmei-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieharu

Tokugawa Ieharu, the lovable but forgettable 10th shogun.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Junshin-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieshige

Today we’ll look at the grave of the 9th shogun, Tokugawa Ieshige — which is basically the grave of the 7th shogun, Ietsugu.