We all love hanami and sakura, but where did it all start? Let’s take a look at the history of hanami.
Almost at the end of our loop around Tōkyō so it’s about time we get to Tōkyō Station.
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.
王子Ōji (imperial prince, but more at “a kami divided from another kami”) Ōji – A Princely Namesake… or Something Like That… To modern eyes, this place name means “prince.” In a very general sense, it could be understood as a son of a king or emperor. In this case, it most likely isn’t a reference […]
Continuing with our 29th installment of exploring Edo-Tōkyō
Continuing with our 14th installment of exploring Edo-Tōkyō via the Ōedo Line.
Wanna read a book about how Edo became Tokyo? This one might be for you!
Thanks to all of you, let’s keep this YOU KNOW YOU’VE BEEN IN EDO TOO LONG thing going!!!
Wanna support the blog? It would mean a lot if you did!
If not, that’s OK, I made you a video today.
Nobody ever thinks about the etymology airport names. Be one of the few chosen ones!
Most of the train lines in Tōkyō have names based on whatever major area they originated/terminated – or at least stopped at. For example, the Marunouchi Line’s most important stations were in the former Marunouchi (Daimyō Alley) and the Yamanote Line connected centers of the “new Yamanote.[ii]” Some of the more ambitious, longer train lines have names that describe their start/stop points in general terms. This type of name usually reflects the tendency of the Japanese language to make new matches out of existing kanji.
Most of these names are self-evident to the Japanese, especially people who live and/or work in and around Tōkyō. But many of these names may be slightly mysterious to foreigners.
I’m not even joking when I say I think this name was chosen just because it sounded cool.
Asakusa – one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Japan.
Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward and Saitama’s Kita-Katsushika and Minami Katsushika Districts derive their names from the pre-modern Katsushika District of Shimōsa Province, but where did the ancient name come from?
Formerly part of the outer enclosure of Edo Castle and now a shopping district next to Ginza, Yurakucho is strange name with an elusive past.
Kondo Isami’s dōjō? The birthplace of the Shinsengumi? Lead poisoning? Shinjuku? WTF???
A rich guy, a castle and a nature preserve walk into a bar…
Before the Scientific Method arrived, scholars and common folk grouped animals in according to a traditional Sino-Japanese methodology. Today’s place name bears evidence to that grouping methodology.
10 Quick Questions From Readers!
(Still took 2 days to write… lol)
Summer in Japan means matsuri (festivals), hanabi (fireworks), and fuzoku (prostitution). Today we’ll look at the first two!
Many countries have states or provinces or regions. But only Japan and France have prefectures. So what’s up with dat?
Musashi was an old Japanese province, however the name is still with us today.
Yesterday we learned about Iidabashi (and its precursor, Iidamachi). Today we’ll look at Kudanshita, a location whose recent controversial history has somewhat obscured its samurai origins.
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.
The history of today’s place name is going to take us on a long journey across the country to Kyoto and back in time to the Ashikaga Shogunate (and in reality back to the Kamakura and Heian Periods). Plot twists abound. Strap yourselves in and get ready to feel the G’s, baby.
Between Ueno and Akihabara there is Okachimachi. Awwwwwww yeah.
The shogunate is finished… that’s not sad to me. The sad thing is closing out this chapter on a subject that is so personal to me. I also love Yoshinobu because after a hundred years of 微妙 shoguns, we got a guy who represented his era and his pedigree exceptionally. Until the bitter end, Yoshinobu was an aristocrat, but in a time of crisis he took the challenge and helped to save the shogun family line persist until the present day.
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.
Teleportation technology wasn’t yet available for the Shogun in Tokugawa Japan, so instead they used an extensive system of roads. The 5 most important roads led to Edo. They were called the Go-kaido. Awwwwwwwww yeah.
Nihonbashi! Once the most famous bridge in Japan, now most people are surprised to hear there’s actually a bridge here at all.