Japan’s culture and history

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20 APRIL 2019

African samurai: The enduring legacy of a black warrior in feudal Japan

29 APRIL 2019

The life and reign of Emperor Akihito – in pictures

28 APRIL 2019

Centuries ago, women ruled Japan. What changed?

30 MARCH 2019

The Spies of Pearl Harbor: How Japan Struck the U.S. Navy by Surprise

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, benefited from the firsthand observation of spies on Oahu
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/spies-pearl-harbor-how-japan-struck-us-navy-surprise-49787

25 JANUARY 2019

Rare film footage with sound of-Kyoto from-1929

A popular YouTube channel has uploaded restored newsreel footage of Kyoto from 1929. What makes this film notable is that it features actual sound footage of Japanese city life at that time. Usually, newsreels from that era are silent
https://globalvoices.org/2019/01/14/sound-footage-of-kyoto-japan-from-1929/

20 SEPTEMBER 2018

Museum claims discovery of oldest Nativity scene in Japan

Scholars are debating whether a set of small statues and objects passed down through generations of a Japanese hidden Christian family is the oldest example of a Nativity scene in Japan
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201809200004.html

23 AUGUST 2018

Japan’s Emperor Hirohito was so overcome with remorse he wanted to die, diary reveals

Hirohito, Japan’s wartime emperor, had given up the will to live towards the end of his life, desperate to avoid the anguish of being blamed for his role in World War II, his aide’s diary has revealed
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/23/japans-emperor-hirohito-overcome-remorse-wanted-die-diary-reveals/
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2161015/no-point-living-diary-reveals-japanese-emperor-hirohitos-anguish

19 MAY 2018

Japanese Director Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Shoplifters” wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival

It was Koreeda’s 5th time to be in competition for the Palme d’Or and his first in 3 years. In 2013, his “Like Father, Like Son” won the jury prize
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180520/p2g/00m/0et/006000c
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180520_06/

7 APRIL 2018

Japan’s 114-year-old battleship Mikasa: A relic of another time

The Japanese battleship Mikasa is the only surviving pre-dreadnought battleship in the world. It’s 114 years old and a fascinating look into history. Here’s a full tour
https://www.cnet.com/news/japans-114-year-old-battleship-mikasa-a-relic-of-another-time/

3 JANUARY 2018

Japan’s Endless Search for Modernity

Since the morning of January 3, 1868, Japan has struggled to answer one question: What does it mean to be modern and Japanese?
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/01/japan-abe-meiji-restoration-china/549536/?utm_source=twb

7 DECEMBER 2017

Celebrity Japanese plastic surgeon who praised Hitler buys pencil-written memoir of Emperor Hirohito for US$275,000

The 173-page document offers the emperor’s recollections of the second world war and was dictated to several of his aides soon after the war ended
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2123255/plastic-surgeon-buys-pencil-written-memoir-japanese-emperor
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/12/07/national/history/cosmetic-surgeon-katsuya-takasu-pays-275000-emperor-hirohito-memoir-ny-auction/#.WimCr0riY2x

5 OCTOBER 2017

Japanese-born Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize in Literature

A Japan-born British author has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Kazuo Ishiguro has received wide acclaim for “The Remains of the Day” and other novels
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20171005_30/
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/oct/05/kazuo-ishiguro-wins-the-nobel-prize-in-literature

5 SEPTEMBER 2017

The wedding that broke centuries of tradition

In 1959, Japan’s Crown Prince Akihito married a non-royal bride

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-41085238/the-wedding-that-broke-centuries-of-tradition

2 SEPTEMBER 2017

Five Reasons Why Japan Never Attacked the Soviet Union During WWII

Military journalist Alexander Evdokimov explains why Imperial Japan never did end up invading the Soviet Far East during the Great Patriotic War
https://sputniknews.com/world/201709021057027287-japan-soviet-union-world-war-2/

25 AUGUST 2017

The Man Behind the Burma Independence Army

Keiji Suzuki came to Yangon as a correspondent for the Yomiuri Shimbun, but his real mission was to lay the groundwork for the Imperial Japanese forces’ invasion of Myanmar. A Japanese intelligence officer at the rank of colonel, Keiji Suzuki was known as a dynamic officer passionate about his covert operation
https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/commentary/man-behind-burma-independence-army.html

15 JANUARY 2017

The Mongol invasions of Japan 1274 and 1281

by Stephen Turnbull (Author), Richard Hook (Illustrator)

The two attempts by Khubilai Khan, the Mongol Emperor of China, to invade Japan in 1274 and 1281 represent unique events in the history of both countries. It pitted the samurai of Japan against the fierce warriors of the steppes who had conquered half the known world
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1846034566/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1846034566&linkCode=as2&tag=jalemosbl-20&linkId=972144441d9d5b7b3e3e6913d6629139#reader_B01BY34IP4

 

12 JANUARY 2017

China supported Japanese defense building in 1980s – Declassified files

According to the file, documenting a meeting between Japan’s prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and general secretary of China’s Communist Party, Hu Yaobang, in November 1983, Japan planned to build up defense capabilities in line with the country’s constitution, the NHK broadcaster reported
 https://sputniknews.com/asia/201701121049518728-china-japan-1980s-defense-building/
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170112_27/

26 DECEMBER 2016

Former Japanese prime minister Shigeru Yoshida’s forgotten Pearl Harbour trip

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will visit Pearl Harbour with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, wasn’t even born when Japan’s former leader Shigeru Yoshida went there just six years after the country’s second world war surrender, by himself and feeling awkward
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2057248/former-japanese-prime-minister-shigeru-yoshidas-forgotten-pearl

15 NOVEMBER 2016

The Last Samurai: The True history behind the film

The Last Samurai is a pretty solid, although underrated film. The action is well done, and the fusion of old and new, as well as the many ideologies throughout the movie are delivered in an interesting and enjoyable fashion
http://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/true-history-behind-film-last-samurai.html

8 NOVEMBER 2016

Early Japanese animations : The origine of animes (1917-1931)

Anime has a far longer history than you might think; in fact, it was at the vanguard of Japan’s furious attempts to modernize in the early 20th century. The oldest surviving example of Japanese animation, Namakura Gatana (Blunt Sword), dates back to 1917, though much of the earliest animated movies were lost following a massive earthquake in Tokyo in 1923
http://www.openculture.com/2014/06/early-japanese-animations-the-origins-of-anime-1917-1931.html

2 NOVEMBER 2016

Famed Japanese artist Hokusai may be the artist of six paintings hanging in a Dutch museum

A Dutch art historian says he has discovered evidence that six unattributed paintings held in storage in a museum in the Netherlands were actually painted by the famed Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-02/hokusai-paintings-discovered-in-the-netherlands/7989172?section=world

12 MAY 2016

Renowned stage director Yukio Ninagawa dies at 80

Yukio Ninagawa, a world-renowned Japanese stage director known for his adaptations of Shakespeare, died Thursday at a Tokyo hospital, his theater and a family member announced. He was 80.
http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/may/12/yukio-ninagawa-shakespeare-dies-aged-80
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160512_27/
http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/renowned-stage-director-ninagawa-dies-at-80

29 MARCH 2016

 Japonisme: The Japanese Influence on Victorian Fashion

During the mid-19th century, Japan opened trade with the West for the first time in more than 200 years.  The influx of Japanese imports that followed inspired an intense fascination with Japanese art and culture.  This fascination manifested itself in the paintings of Victorian era artists like Alfred Stevens, Vincent van Gogh, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet.  It also had a profound influence on Victorian fashion
https://mimimatthews.com/2016/03/29/japonisme-the-japanese-influence-on-victorian-fashion/



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