Tokugawa Yoshinobu

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 Tokugawa Yoshinobu


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 Eikyuin

Why is Uguisuidani called Uguisudani?

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?