History of Japan (history)

This week we look at the Second Sino-Japanese War from the opposite angle: not those who fought, but those who collaborated. We'll discuss the titular leader of Manchukuo and the head of the "reformed" Chinese regime with an eye towards shedding some light on who collaborated and why.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_94.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

This week we introduce the man who led China's war against Japan: Chiang Kai-shek. The reluctant military leader wanted no part of a war against the nation where he had trained, but the trends of the time forced him into a conflict that would eventually destroy not only Japan, but his own regime as well.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_93.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

This week, we turn to the life of the father of modern China: Dr. Sun Yat-sen. How did he help turn China from an empire into a modern nation-state, and how did his paths cross with Japanese allies and enemies along the way?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_92.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

This week, we're going to start our exploration of the Sino-Japanese relationship with a quick recap of the history of China's last imperial dynasty. How did China find itself in such desperate straits by the turn of the twentieth century that they were being surpassed by a chain of islands that had been irrelevant for centuries? Tune in to find out!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_91.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In the late 17th century, the popular writer Ihara Saikaku produced literature for mass entertainment and consumption. He became immensely popular, and remains widely read even centuries after his heyday. We'll explore his life, career, and legacy as we ask, "just how did a man making entertainment to pay his bills become one of Japan's most celebrated authors?"

Direct download: History_of_Japan_90.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

This week; a mad emperor on a quest to live forever, and the sorcerer who led an expedition to make it happen and may just have founded Japanese civilization in the process (but probably not). It's the likely untrue but still fun and interesting story of Xu Fu!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_88.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

For our final episode on Shinto and the Japanese state, we'll focus on the postwar controversies of Shinto: what was the role of the emperor going to be? How would Shinto fit in the new political order? And what on earth are we going to do with Yasukuni? The answers to these questions are what give shape to much of the controversy surrounding Shinto in modern Japan.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_87.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Direct download: History_of_Japan_85.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

This week, we go back to address a glaring flaw from episode 10: my total lack of discussion of the countryside. Rural life in the Edo Period involved a lot more than simply farming from dawn to sunset, and this week we'll get into exactly what it meant to be a peasant in the golden age of the samurai.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_84.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Koizumi Junichiro was quite possibly the most successful Prime Minister Japan has had for decades (and certainly the best dressed). This week, we'll trace the rise of his career, his goals while in power, and the impact of his reforms on a Japanese state sometimes thought to be irreformable. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_83.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EST