What do foxes and subways have in common? Continue reading What does Inaricho mean?
Taitō Ward and Minato Ward are the hubs of Edo-Tōkyō History, but how did Taitō get its name? Continue reading What does Taitō mean?
Take a tour with me of this area, words don’t do it justice. Continue reading Yamanote Line: Ueno and Okachimachi
Continuing with our 8th installment of exploring Edo-Tōkyō via the Ōedo Line. Continue reading Ōedo Line: Ueno-Okachimachi and Shin-Okachimachi
田端Tabata (on the edge of the field) First Let’s Start with the Kanji, Shall We? 田ta rice paddy 端hata edge, boundary, beside, close to This is a place name found all over Japan, with reading variations. It’s also a family name found all over Japan… yes, also with reading variations[i]. And despite sounding really backwatery to our modern ears, many people with this family name can apparently claim descent from the 源氏 Minamoto-shi/Genji Minamoto clan. So, stuff that in your pipe and smoke it. In the Edo Period, 田端村 Tabata Mura Tabata Village was located on a section of the … Continue reading What does Tabata mean?
Sendagi is one of the areas where the spirit of old Japan still lingers. It’s history lovers wet dream! Continue reading What does Sendagi mean?
10 Quick Questions From Readers!
(Still took 2 days to write… lol) Continue reading 10 Random Quickies – Japan This Lite
Between Ueno and Akihabara there is Okachimachi. Awwwwwww yeah. Continue reading What does Okachimachi mean?
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. Continue reading The Grave of Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Tokugawa Ienari is my favorite shogun. Dude as a straight up player. Watch and learn, children. Continue reading Bunkyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ienari
Tokugawa Ieharu, the lovable but forgettable 10th shogun. Continue reading Shunmei-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieharu
Last time, I wrote about the 4th shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna. Today let’s look at the grave of his younger brother, the much more famous Tokugawa Tsunayoshi – the so-called Dog Shogun. If you’ve been to Ueno Park, you may have seen the gate to his tomb. It’s much better preserved that Ietsuna’s and a little more centrally located… kinda. Continue reading Joken-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
Most people think that all that remains of Tokugawa Ietsuna’s grave is a small gate in Ueno Park.
They are wrong.
And I’ve got the pictures to prove it. Continue reading Gen’yu-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ietsuna
Today I’m starting a 16 part series describing the graves of all 15 Tokugawa shoguns. If you’re planning to travel to Japan, and Tokyo in particular, you might want to consider visiting these spots. Unfortunately, there isn’t much left to see in Tokyo, but what is remaining is intriguing! Continue reading Tokugawa Funerary Temples
Why is Yoshiwara called Yoshiwara?
It’s considered one of the most beautiful times and places in Japanese history. But so-called “Western sensibilities” shut it down. But the legend still persists as the a place to go for fun. Western cultures slut shaming Asia again…
Continue reading What does Yoshiwara mean?
上野Ueno (Upper Field) Many place names in Japan are named after the location of old fields. Ueno (upper field), Shimono (lower field), and Nakano (middle field) are some common ones. Of course, the most famous Ueno is in Tokyo. It’s sometimes called 上野の山 (Ueno Mountain/Hill) and I suspect this elevation (20 meters above sea level) is the source of the name. Continue reading What does Ueno mean?
鶯谷 Uguisudani (Nightingale Valley) The area was famous for bird watching in the Edo Period – no TV, so, ya know. It’s a small valley behind Ueno Park. I don’t think there are any nightingales here anymore, but speakers on the train platform play recordings of nightingale calls all day long. It’s also famous for love hotels. And if you want a Taiwanese obasan hooker, just wink at the old ladies on any corner. lol Continue reading Why is Uguisuidani called Uguisudani?