History of Japan

This week, we'll cover the end of USCAR and the legacies of 27 years of foreign rule over Okinawa Prefecture. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_305.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we start off some coverage of the period of American rule over the Ryukyus, and the entwined histories of USCAR - the US Civil Administration for the Ryukyu Islands -- and the GRI, the Government of the Ryukyu Islands. How did this arrangement work? What were the issues between them? And why did so many Okinawans come to despise American rule? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_304.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Finally, a long overdue look at one of the most romanticized and exocitized parts of traditional Japanese culture. What are geisha? Where do they come from? Aren't they basically fancy prostitutes? And haven't I learned everything I need to know about them from reading Memoirs of a Geisha?

 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_303.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we take a look at the peasant uprisings in Aizu domain in 1868 to continue our exploration of the question: where were all the peasants in the Meiji Restoration?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_302.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

What's this? Another cross-posted Criminal Records episode?

That's right! Check it out, and if you like it go to criminalrecordspodcast.com for more. 

Direct download: Episode_24_-_Sakakibara_Seito_AKA_Boy_A.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15am PDT

While the Meiji Restoration was going on, where was everybody else? We'll start trying to answer that question today with a look at an uprising in 1866 in the region of Shindatsu.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_301.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

It's a shame you can't embed gifs in the episode descriptions, because otherwise this would just be the Ron Paul It's Happening! gif.

Thank you all for enjoying the show; it would not be what it is without you.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_300.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

It's a shame you can't embed gifs in the episode descriptions, because otherwise this would just be the Ron Paul It's Happening! gif.

Thank you all for enjoying the show; it would not be what it is without you.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_300.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we cover an obscure bit of samurai history: the Keian Incident, a planned coup against the Tokugawa Shoguns that was foiled by a lucky bit of happenstance. What can we learn from something that, in a certain sense, didn't actually happen?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_299.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we profile one of the great Western interpreters of Japan: Lafcadio Hearn. How did some Anglo-Greek kid end up in Japan by way of New Orleans, and why do we still care about him today?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_298.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we round out our look at the celebrated women of Heian Japan with two very different careers: that of the celebrated poet Akazome Emon and the recluse known either as Takasue's daughter or Lady Sarashina. Plus some final thoughts on women in the Heian era. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_297.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week: the start of a two-part series on women in Heian Japan. What makes the social position of women in the Heian Era so distinct from later points of Japanese history, and from the East Asian cultural sphere more generally? How do we know what we know about the lives of women? And what can we learn from the story of one particularly badass woman: the poet and "femme fatale" Izumi Shikibu?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_296.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we cover the true story of North Korea's abduction of Japanese civilians. Who was taken, and why? What do we know about their lives in the north? And how does their disappearance still affect the relationship between Japan and North Korea today?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_295.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, the effects of the collapsing asset bubble spread as the extent of the damage caused is revealed; Japan's financial and political leaders scramble to respond, while refusing to admit the scale of the crisis. Plus, the legacies of the bubble era for Japan today. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_294.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, it all starts to come crumbling down. Japan is plagued by scandals that destroy public confidence at the system right as some begin to look around and say, "hey, does this all seem a bit unsustainable or is it just me?"

It's not just them. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_293.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

The Plaza Accord was supposed to fix the US-Japan relationship. How did that work out? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_292.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're going to talk about life in the bubble era by looking at three snapshots of that experience: a movie, a book, and a poem. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_291.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we turn our attention to the 1980s. Japan and the United States find their relationship wracked by increasing tensions over political and economic relations, and turn to the solution of an agreement designed to ease the pressure of Japan's economic growth. The result? Japan's infamous Bubble Era!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_290.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we're going to talk about the impact that the gun had on Sengoku Era Japan, and the ways that it both reinforced and undermined the political trends of the time. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_289.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we discuss the history of one of the most important technologies in Japan: the gun. How did it get to Japan and spread around the country so quickly?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_288.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we're taking a look at a specific oni tale, and probably the most famous one; the story of the Demon King of Mt. Oe, Shuten Doji. What's his story? How did he get punked by five of Japan's most famous warriors? And why are we still talking about him so many years later?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_287.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week we talk oni, the demons of Japanese folklore and legend. What makes oni different from Western style demons? What are some of the most famous oni stories? And how has the image of the oni changed over time?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_286.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week: how did the Hojo go from the zenith of their power to utter destruction in a single generation? The answer: a difficult neighborhood, dangerous neighbors, and bad decisions. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_285.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

It's time for a b-b-b-b-bonus, from my other show at criminalrecordspodcast.com. I think you all will enjoy it; if you do, check the show out!

Direct download: Bonus_-_Narutaki_Mansuke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we will talk about the innovations the Latter Hojo used to secure their dominance, and about their long war against one of the great clans of the Kanto, the Ogigayatsu Uesugi. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_284.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we start a series on one of the also-rans of the Sengoku period: the Latter Hojo clan. Who were they, and where did they come from, and why is their first leader sometimes considered the first of a new breed of samurai warlord?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_283.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover one of the most famous tales of revenge in Japanese history: that of the two Soga brothers, Goro and Juro. What do we know of the original story, and how did it morph into one of the most famous tales ever told in Japan?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_282.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the remainder of Oda Nobunaga's rise to power: his wars for control of central Japan in 1570, his cleverness as a ruler, his brutal reign, and his eventual death at the hands of one of his most trusted retainers. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_281.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Apologies for the delayed publication, all! Slight technical hiccup on my end.

This week, we turn to the life and legacy of the first of Japan's three unifiers: the warlord Oda Nobunaga, who expanded his domains from part of a backwater province to 1/3rd of all Japan in just a few decades. Who were the Oda? Where did they come from? And how did Nobunaga go from a nobody to a major force in Japanese politics in just a few years?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_280.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 2:30pm PDT

This week, we consider a figure who appears in two stories from the ancient collection of tales known as the Konjaku Monogatari: the bandit chief Hakamadare. What do we know about him? What do the stories say about him? And what can we learn from those tales?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_279.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we investigate the role of Japan in laying the groundwork for Vietnam's wars against France and the United States. How did Japan's occupation of Indochina create the groundwork for the Viet Minh? And why did some Japanese soldiers, given the choice to return home in defeat or stay behind and fight on behalf of a country other than their own, take up the Vietnamese cause? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_278.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we arrive at the end of the Ashikaga. What were the final 100 years of Ashikaga "rule" like, and what can we take away from exploring their time as rulers of Japan?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_277.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we do a deep dive on the life of Ashikaga Yoshimasa and the lead up to the Onin War, the conflict that traditionally marks the end of Ashikaga rule over Japan. But how fair is it to point to Onin as a break with the past? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_276.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we turn away from politics to discuss religion, art, and the economy during the age of the Ashikaga. Why is this era such a moment of societal flourishing despite the constant warfare and instability of Ashikaga rule?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_275.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week: war in the Ashikaga age. Plus; the reign of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu is generally considered the zenith of Ashikaga prestige, but why was his power built on such shaky foundations? Once the Ashikaga had seized control of Japan, how did they go about actually governing it?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_274.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we start a multipart series on the Muromachi period and the reign of the Ashikaga family. How did they come to power? Why is their government generally described as so weak? And how, despite that weak government, did they win a 60 year war for control of Japan?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_273.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we cover the life and career of the legendary judge Oka Tadasuke, who rose from minor samurai to the rank of daimyo and a major position in the bakufu -- only to become a legendary figure. Who is he? How did he rise so high? And what can he tell us about the role of judges and bureaucrats in Japanese society more generally?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_272.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the fascinating tale of Sei Shonagon and the Makura no Soushi, or Pillow Book. Why is a collection of anecdotes considered to be one of Japan's greatest literary classics? What mkes the Pillow Book so famous? And why does Isaac love it so very much?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_271.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the life and work of one of Japan's most famous authors: the 11th century courtier Murasaki Shikibu. Why do we know so little about who she was? What inspired her to write Genji? Why do I dislike her work so viscerally? And how did it become so famous?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_270.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

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