History of Japan

This week, it's time for Japan's first party politician: Hara Takashi. Was he a populist hero or a wannabe elite? And in the end, does that even really matter?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_175.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we explore the history of one of Japan's most popular art forms: kabuki theater. Major themes include prostitution, Tokugawa era morality laws, stagecraft, prostitution, and the superiority of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine over The Next Generation. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_174.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

Today, we'll wrap up our look at the Russo-Japanese War with some thoughts on its long term consequences. How much of an impact can a war that lasted for a year and a half really have?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_173.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

Apologies for the technical delay! Today, we'll watch Russia descend into chaos, and take a look at the peace negotiations that result as both sides realize they can't keep this war up. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_172.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:20am PST

It's time for the Imperial Japanese Navy to bail out the Imperial Japanese Army. But first, let's enjoy the Russian Baltic Fleet's Party Cruise to the Pacific!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_171.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:04am PST

In the last major land battle of the Russo-Japanese War, two great powers enter and...two great powers leave? Wait, I'm confused. How are the Japanese winning every battle and still not winning the war?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_170.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

The Russians retreat, the Japanese advance, the losses pile up. Things are starting to get a bit worrisome for the Japanese army; could they potentially win every battle and still lose the war?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_169.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:30am PST

This week: the Port Arthur campaign, from start to finish. Wasn't this supposed to be a cakewalk?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_168.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PST

The war rages on as the Japanese land in Port Arthur and press the attack, and Oyama Iwao advances north. The Russians will attempt to make a stand as divisions open up in their leadership.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_167.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:02pm PST

Today, we're starting a war! The battle for Manchuria begins as Japan and Russia confront each other on land and at sea for the first time. But will the daring Japanese plan to win the war quickly pay off? 

 

Well....kind of. 

Direct download: Episode_166.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:46pm PST

This week -- negotiations between the two sides begin in St. Petersburg, but neither Japan nor Russia is really committed to peacefully working things out. In Imperial Japanese Army HQ, the first steps towards an actual plan for war are formulated: but how to neutralize the many advantages Russia holds?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we're going to cover the incompatible goals that led Japan and Russia towards war. Why did each side see the other as a threat? Why was war even on the table in the first place? Can't we all just get along?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_164.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:30am PST

This week, we're turning our attention to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. In our first episode, we'll introduce our stage -- Manchuria -- and our players -- Russia and Japan.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_163.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we close out this series with a look at the relationship between South Korea and Japan. Also included; Isaac's patented speed run of South Korean history. Enjoy!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_162.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we discuss Japan's relationship with the modern day Hermit Kingdom, and to explain North Korean policy and how those policies effect Japan. It's gonna be a long ride into the web of madness that is the world's only communist monarchy, so grab your Kim Il-sung pins and strap in!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_161.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, it's time to join the resistance. We'll trace the birth of the Korean resistance from protests in 1919 to its bifurcation into two rival movements. The first, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, will be based in Shanghai and dominated by the charismatic American-educated Syngman Rhee. The second will be an armed anti-Japanese insurrection in Manchuria led by a man whose life is more myth than fact: Kim Il-sung.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_160.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week -- what was colonial Korea like? We'll do a quick overview of 35 years of colonial economic, political, and social policy to give you a feel for what Japan's goals in Korea were and how those goals effected the lives of ordinary Koreans.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_159.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, the Korean Kingdom's final years see the desperate bid of King Gojong to salvage Korea's independence. Ultimately, however, Korea's royal family will be unable to save itself, and in 1910 Korea's independence will be snuffed out completely for the first time since the era of Kublai Khan.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_158.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, a three way competition for control of Korea between Japan, China, and Russia heats up! Factional fighting in the Korean court will drag Japan and China into conflict; in the end, the Koreans themselves are sidelined when it comes to controlling their own fate.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_157.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:55am PST

This week, Korea encounters the West. We'll introduce the early Western forays into Korea, explain how Japan came to sign the first unequal treaty with its neighbor, and look into the factionalization of the Korean royal court.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_156.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week: we get up to speed on Korean history, so that we can begin exploring the turbulent Korean-Japanese relationship. Pirates, coups, Mongols, poetry battles -- we've got it all!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_155.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week: what happens when Buddhists go to war? We'll explore the relationship between the Japanese Empire and the Zen Buddhist establishment.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_154.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we conclude our series on the rise of the samurai with murder, intrigue, political reform, and gratuitous Game of Thrones references.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_153.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:00am PST

The Genpei War comes to a close in this action packed episode! Kyoto will fall! The Taira will burn! Oxen will be deployed as tactical weapons!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_152.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we let slip the dogs of war as Japan plunges into a new phase of conflict. Though Prince Mochihito will not make it out of 1180, the rebellion he starts will catch on in eastern Japan. Young Minamoto no Yoritomo, with some prodding from his new father-in-law/captor, will rise up to assume his birthright as leader of the Minamoto (but not without some controversy).

Direct download: History_of_Japan_151.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

We're live, folks! Sorry for the delay. It's time for the career of Taira no Kiyomori, the man whose talent and ambition was matched only by his temper and his ego.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_150.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:28am PST

This week: patricide, rebellions, and royal incest. Oh, also the increasing destabilization of the Heian government as ever more power falls into the hands of Taira no Kiyomori.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_149.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week: the Taira family continue their rise to prominence, the Minamoto get stuck spinning their wheels for a few decades, and warrior violence makes its way to Kyoto.

All that, plus the hottest court gossip of the 1120s, this week.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_148.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, Minamoto no Yoshiie establishes the power of the Seiwa Minamoto family, upsetting a careful balance of power. Also, he drops the hottest rhymes of

Direct download: History_of_Japan_147.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:35am PST

This week, we'll be starting a short series about the advent of the samurai class. First, what came before the samurai, and why did Japan's emperors decide to devolve more and more power to provincial warriors?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_146.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 3:30am PST

What does organized crime look like in modern Japan, and why does anybody put up with it? Also, how many rocket launchers can you buy with 50 pounds of amphetamines?

All that and more, this week.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_145.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this episode as a gift on my podcast's release day. 

Pull off your shirt to reveal your gang tattoos, it's time for the yakuza!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_144.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:58pm PST

This week, we talk about how views of Nanjing have shifted since WWII, and where the modern right-wing revisionists came from.  Why are we still talking about a massacre from 80 years ago?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_143.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we look at the events of the Nanjing Massacre. Just what happened in China's capital city in December, 1937?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_142.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

Today we're going to talk about Japan's relationship with nuclear power and the catastrophic events of March, 2011. Why did Japan become so reliant on nuclear energy? Why did all the safeguards in place fail so badly in 2011? And where on earth do we go from here?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_141.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we'll talk about the birth of the Japanese space program. From its origins as the brainchild of a former weapons designer and a borderline pyromaniac, the programs now incorporated into JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) have accomplished some of the most amazing technical feats of the 20th and 21st century. How did they do it, and why? And what's changing now with the rise of China?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_140.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week: conscription in Japan. What's it like to be conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army? How are conscripts treated, and what are the goals of the conscription system?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_139.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

Aaand we're done. This week, some final thoughts on the period and its key players before we put the Meiji Restoration to bed for good! Be sure to get in touch and tell me what you thought of the series.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_138.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we turn to the final drama of our series -- the samurai rebellions that will break out in final defense of 1000 years of samurai tradition. As the group of leaders who had overthrown the Tokugawa becomes ever smaller, the final course of Japan will be set. From this point on, what the new Japan will look like will be clear.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_137.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, Saigo Takamori is going to sidetrack the whole government by pulling the idea of invading Korea off the shelf, sparking a political crisis. Once the dust from this debate has settled, the political landscape will have changed once again, and the battle lines for a final showdown over the fate of Japan will be drawn.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_136.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we cover the major issues of the new government. Who's in charge? What do they want to do? And what could possibly go wrong if we just take half the leadership off for a two year trip?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_135.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we take a look at the new balance of power now that the Tokugawa are gone. Who's calling the shots? What do they want? And most importantly of all, now that the war is over, will we all be resolving our differences with calm discussion like a bunch of grownups?

 

Spoilers: no.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_134.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week: the "short-lived" part of "the short-lived Ezo Republic" comes to fruition, and what is now Meiji Japan begins dealing with a new issue. Now that the Tokugawa are finally gone, what comes next?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_133.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we'll cover the military campaigns of 1868. Edo will (surprisingly anticlimactically) fall, the north will rebel, and Matsudaira Katamori's domain of Aizu will be overrun after a brutal two month siege. In the end, only the small splinter territory of the Ezo Republic will be left standing.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_132.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

In early 1868, the armies of the loyalists and the Tokugawa bakufu will clash outside Kyoto. We'll discuss the factors that led to the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, and why what was supposed to be a walk in the park for the Tokugawa turned into a complete disaster.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_131.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we cover 1867: the final year of the Tokugawa shogunate (sort of). Caught between a loyalist rock and an imperial hard place, Tokugawa Yoshinobu will consider the unthinkable: resignation, and an end to 260 years of bakufu tradition.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_130.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 11:28pm PST

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