History of Japan

This week, we look at the contentious summer of 1960, in which the disputes of postwar Japan boiled over into some of the most intense protests in the country's history. How do these conflicts shape modern Japanese society? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_244.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, the origins and history of Sumo. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_243.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, the story of Nakahama Manjiro, the castaway turned American whaler turned gold miner turned samurai turned English professor. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_242.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

This week, we conclude our up close look at the Shimazu family and Satsuma domain with a consideration of how the domain fit into Edo society, and its position in modern Japan. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_241.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, we cover the sengolu era history of the Shimazu clan, and their meteoric ascent from  minor lords to major ones in the span of a few decades. Plus, the Tokugawa and the Shimazu, the role of sugar in the Shimazu clan's fortunes, and the invasion of the Ryukyu islands. It's a packed episode!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_240.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, we start a short series on the history of one of the most influential fiefdoms in Japanese history (Satsuma) and the family who ruled it (the Shimazu). How did this little chunk of land on the edge of Japan grow to national importance?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_239.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, we tackle the evils of Unit 731 -- its history, its experiments, and its ultimate escape from any real justice. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_238.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, we take on the scintillating story of the Manchurian princess Kawashima Yoshiko, who grew up in Japan before becoming an agent for Japanese intelligence. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_237.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

This week, we discuss the career of Japan's most legendary director, Kurosawa Akira. From humble, middle class beginnings, our story will take us through some of his most notable films, and include detours into the lives of Mifune Toshiro, George Lucas, and even Francis Ford Coppola!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_236.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week: the story of a relatively unimportant man who appears briefly and dies spectacularly, and the long chain of events that led to those moments. Politics, betrayal, war, and a dog -- what's not to love?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_235.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT