Book Review – Japanese Capitals in Historical Perspective

This is a collection of scholarly articles exploring the urban geography, architecture, and projection of power in the landscapes of Kyōto, Edo, and Tōkyō. Fantastic for lovers of spatial anthropology. Continue reading Book Review – Japanese Capitals in Historical Perspective

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! Continue reading Why is Kyōbashi called Kyōbashi?

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