Categories
Japanese History

Samurai Archives Forum Gets Major Update

The first active and longest running online community for Japanese History has just updated its forum. I’m not even joking when I say this is one of the best places to get your geek on.

Categories
Japanese History

What does Tamachi mean?

It’s sounds inaka, but so does your mom.

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Japanese History

What does Hamamatsu-cho mean?

浜松町 Hamamatsu-chō (seaside pine town, more at Hamamatsu town) . There’s not a lot to go on with this place name. A lot of it adds up, but a lot of it doesn’t. As such, we’ll probably have to do a little more filling in the gaps than I like to do. But anyways, let’s […]

Categories
Japanese History

What does Hikifune 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.

Categories
Japan

Questions from Readers

Wanna support the blog? It would mean a lot if you did!
If not, that’s OK, I made you a video today.

Categories
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 Asakusa mean?

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

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Japanese History

10 Ways to Learn Japanese History

Today, I’d like to answer a few readers questions in one post. In short, how can I get an overview of Japanese History? I’m also going to recommend a few online sources that will help you broaden your understanding of Japanese history and culture.

Categories
Japanese History

What does Ushigome Tansu Machi mean?

Middle class and upper middle class samurai? Yes, please!

Categories
Japanese History

What does Ryogoku mean?

I love the shitamachi style of Tokyo. It really helps me connect with history.
If you want to travel to Japan, Ryogoku should be high on your list of places to go. Sumo, samurai, 37 ronin, Japanese food, and Japanese girls in glasses (OK, I made up the last one…)

Categories
Japanese Castles Japanese History Travel in Japan

4 More Bad Ass Books on Japanese History

Just wanted to share 4 more great books about Japanese History that I love! Have an awesome day!

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Japanese Castles Japanese History

Check Out These Japanese Castles!

I’ve talked about Edo Castle quite a bit on Japan This! If you wanna see some great pictures and descriptions of Edo Castle and other Japanese Castles, please check out Jcastle.info. It’s a bad ass site and I know you’ll love the shit out of it! #japanesecastles #japanesehistory #japan #castle #twinglish

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Japanese History

What does Shibuya mean?

If read literally, Shibuya means “bitter valley.” However, there are multiple theories about this famous place name’s etymology.

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Japanese History

Why are Shinagawa and Takanawa called Shinagawa and Takanawa?

Was there a connection between the place names for Shinagawa and Takanawa? Let’s find out today. (btw – today’s place names will require a pretty reasonable familiarity with kanji).

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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!

Categories
Japanese History

Conflag Hag – How Fires Shaped the Face of Edo and Tokyo

Major fires (conflagrations) have changed the organization and look of Tokyo, Japan. Today let’s look at some of the major disasters that made Tokyo what it is today!

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Japanese History

Why is Daikanyama called Daikanyama?

代官山 Daikanyama (Daikan Mountain) First a quick definition. A 代官 daikan was a kind of local magistrate or governor in the Edo Period. There are 2 theories as to why this area is called Daikan Mountain: 1) A daikan‘s residence was located here at some time. 2) The forest mountain here fell under the direct […]

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Japanese History

What does Kagurazaka mean?

This one doesn’t have much of a story, but it’s definitely a cool spot in Tokyo. Kagura is a kind of Shinto ritual dance.

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Uncategorized

The Difference Between Donkeys and Oxen

In yesterday’s blog, Why is Hanzomon called Hanzomon?, I posted this picture: In the picture comments, I said something about “donkey people” as a joke. Someone pointed out that these are actually oxen. I know. It actually cracked me up that I got e-mails about this. Not so much that I wanted people to think […]

Categories
Japanese History

What does Hanzomon mean?

半蔵門Hanzōmon (Hanzō Gate) It’s Hanzō Time! Today’s place name is from a request from a reader who’s working near Hanzōmon Station. Thanks for your request, Nate! Anyone else who interested in making a request about Tokyo place names, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to get to it! This one is […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
Haunted Tokyo Japanese History

Yodobashi – A Haunted Bridge in Nakano?

Ever heard of Yodobashi Camera? Sure, you have. Ever heard of Yodobashi Ward, Tokyo? Probably not. Every heard of the Yodo Bridge in Tokyo? Most likely not. Have you ever been to Shinjuku or Nakano? Probably, yes….