The Miyake clan may not be very famous, but they definitely left their mark on Edo-Tokyo topography. Continue reading What does Miyakezaka mean?
Today let’s look at Kitami, a place name closely related to Edo. Continue reading What does Kitami mean?
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. Continue reading The Kanda River
Went a little long on this on… sorry about that. But I love Tokyo. I wanted to explore the forgotten side… Continue reading What does Edo mean?
Today we’ll learn about a shitamachi place name that has disappeared. We’ll also learn how it’s important to pay attention to what reading of kanji is being used. Continue reading What does Iidabashi mean?
Kichijōji, one of the coolest towns in Tokyo looks like a temple name. But if you go to Kichijōji, you won’t find any temples by that name. Today, we’ll find out why there is not temple in Kichijōji called Kichijō-ji. Are you ready to rock? Continue reading What does Kichijoji mean?
Ota Dokan again?
Yes. Since I talked about Shakujii and Nerima last week, this week I’ve decided to hit the next most closely related topics; Toshima, Kita, and Itabashi. By Wednesday… and with the help of a simple map, you’ll probably see what’s going on here clearly. Continue reading What does Toshima mean?
Kasuga no Tsubone, or Lady Kasuga, was a certified card carrying bad ass of the Muromachi Period and Edo Period. She instituted and managed the shogun’s harem. She had an income equal to that of a feudal lord. She pulled the strings of shogunal succession that guaranteed the ascendancy of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the first peace-time Tokugawa shogun. Tokyo remembers her with a street and train station. lol
Why is Kasuga Street called Kasuga Street? Continue reading What does Kasuga mean?
It’s the last day of GW!
If you’re curious about what happened to real estate in the early Meiji years, I’ve got some pretty amazing pictures for you in this one. Today’s topic is Marunouchi and the so-called Daimyo Alley, the high-walled, moated, garden filled area of upper residences of the most elite daimyo. Today the area is filled with the skyscrapers of some of Japan’s wealthiest and most powerful companies.
Oh and just a heads up, this is good week for JapanThis. We’re finally at 100 members on Facebook. This week’s topics are Marunouchi, Shiodome, Shakujii, Nerima and a quick book review. Continue reading What does Marunouchi mean?
Today’s Tokyo Place Name is a Freakin’ Mystery. Oh, and we’ll hear about a dude I like to call “Captain Japan.” What does Kasumigaseki mean? Continue reading What does Kasumigaseki mean?
Yesterday we talked about Akasaka. Today we’ll talk about Akasaka-mitsuke, a much more “samurai sounding” place name. Enjoy! Continue reading What does Akasaka-Mitsuke mean?
Today’s place name is Kyobashi. It means “bridge to the capital.” Was that Edo or Kyoto? More importantly, this bridge is a testament to Japanese engineering. It’s final incarnation was completed one year before the Great Kanto Earthquake leveled Tokyo in 1923 but the bridge survived. It also survived WWII. But it didn’t survive modern progress in Tokyo…. Let’s learn more! Continue reading Why is Kyōbashi called Kyōbashi?
The area that comprised the grounds of Edo Castle is roughly that of modern 千代田区 Chiyoda Ward. The name of the area pre-dates the Edo Period and has a very lucky meaning. Let’s find out why Chiyoda is called Chiyoda! Continue reading What does Chiyoda mean?
八重洲Yaesu (corruption of the Dutch personal name Jan Joosten, itself a shortening of Jan Joosten van Lodensteijn) A Foreign Samurai There were only a handful of “foreign samurai” and so Jan Joosten has a unique place in the history of foreigners in Japan. In 1600, he arrived in Japan and was eventually made an advisor of foreigner affairs and translator for the new shōgun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and his court at Edo Castle. He was granted permission to marry a Japanese woman and given a mansion with the inner moat of Edo Caste (丸ﾉ内). He was also given samurai rank and … Continue reading What does Yaesu mean?