Tokugaa Ieyoshi

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. Continue reading Shintoku-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieyoshi

Joken-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi

Last time, I wrote about the 4th shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna. Today let’s look at the grave of his younger brother, the much more famous Tokugawa Tsunayoshi – the so-called Dog Shogun. If you’ve been to Ueno Park, you may have seen the gate to his tomb. It’s much better preserved that Ietsuna’s and a little more centrally located… kinda. Continue reading Joken-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi

daitoku-in model at zojo-ji

Daitoku-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Hidetada

Are you ready for this article? Maybe not.
Tokugawa Iemitsu is famous for building Tōshōgū in Nikkō, but he built another masterpiece in Edo for his father. Daitokuin was considered the most beautiful funerary complex at Zōjō-ji. Unfortunately, almost none of it is standing today. So, I’ll attempt to resurrect Daitokuin today. Continue reading Daitoku-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Hidetada

Japanese Eras

年号Nengō (This page was originally published in 5/2013,due to the ever-evolving nature of JapanThis!,it was updated in 7/2015) And I quote… “If your Blog is for begginers as it claims to be.Why do you keep using Emperor years instead of Real … Continue reading Japanese Eras

Two Famous Murders in My Neighborhood (part 2)

Today I continue with Part 2 of “Two Famous Murders in my Neighborhood.” Last time we talked about the assassination of interpreter, Henry Heusken. Today, we’ll talk about the douchiest 志士 shishi (men of high purpose) of the Bakumatsu, Kiyokawa Hachiro who was killed in Azabu-Juban. Continue reading Two Famous Murders in My Neighborhood (part 2)

Tour of an Edo Period House in Kyoto

This came to my attention via Japan Probe, and as a lover of Japanese history, it immediately caught my attention. The Japan of the past that we might see in movies and read about in books is quickly disappearing. Here in Tokyo it sometimes seems like only the shrines and temples have survived the earthquakes, fires, carpet bombings and construction booms over the centuries. The Tokyo of today would be utterly unrecognizable to an inhabitant of the Edo Period (we’re talking as late as 1868, folks). Kyoto was luckily spared most of destruction of the American bombings during WWII and … Continue reading Tour of an Edo Period House in Kyoto