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Japanese History

What does Miyakezaka mean?

The Miyake clan may not be very famous, but they definitely left their mark on Edo-Tokyo topography.

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Japanese History

What does Kitami mean?

Today let’s look at Kitami, a place name closely related to Edo.

Categories
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 Castles Japanese History

What does Edo mean?

Went a little long on this on… sorry about that. But I love Tokyo. I wanted to explore the forgotten side…

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Japanese History

What does Iidabashi 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.

Categories
Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples

What does Kichijoji 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?

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Japanese History

What does Toshima 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.

Categories
Japanese Castles Japanese History Travel in Japan

What does Kasuga 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?

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Japanese History

What does Marunouchi 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.

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Japanese History

What does Kasumigaseki 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?

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Japanese History

What does Akasaka-Mitsuke mean?

Yesterday we talked about Akasaka. Today we’ll talk about Akasaka-mitsuke, a much more “samurai sounding” place name. Enjoy!

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Japanese History

Why is Kyōbashi called Kyōbashi?

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!

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Japanese History

What does Chiyoda mean?

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!

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Japanese History

What does Yaesu 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 […]