History of Japan

This week, I'll be talking about the life of the average city-dweller in the Edo Period. This is a very wide-ranging episode, covering everything from the schools in which young samurai were trained to the kabuki-based prostitution which those same young samurai were absolutely forbidden to patronize (not that it stopped them).

I have to say, of all the episodes I've finished up to this point, I've enjoyed writing this one the most. I hope you guys like it too!

Direct download: Episode_10_-_A_Day_in_the_Life_of_Edo_Japan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

This week we will be covering the social and political structure of Edo Japan. There's a lot of interesting material to go through, ranging from the social system (hint: it's good to be a samurai [but not as good as you might think]) to the foreign relations of the bakufu (which mainly involved making Dutch people do hilarious things for their amusement).

Enjoy!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

This week, we will be discussing the reunification of Sengoku Japan under the three Sengoku Unifiers -- Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu.

We will be discussing the trajectory of their careers and the nature of their characters. Since (spoilers) they were pretty bad people, it should make for some pretty good listening!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

This week, we're going to cover the fall of the Ashikaga and the early Sengoku period (rougly 1400-1550 AD). I'll also be briefly discussing the arrival of Westerners and the rise of the militant Ikko Ikki movement. Enjoy!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

This week we will cover the structure of the Kamakura bakufu, the Hojo triumph over the Mongols, the fall of the Hojo, and their replacement by the Ashikaga family. We'll also cover some cultural developments in the fields of Buddhism and Noh theater.

Intrigue! Backstabbing! Performance Art!  All the makings of an exciting show!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

This week, we will be covering the fall of the Heian system, the massive Genpei War between the Minamoto and Taira families, and the rise of the first shogunal government (called a bakufu) under the auspices of the brutal Minamoto no Yoritomo. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

This week's episode will discuss the Heian Period (794-1185), one of the golden ages of Japanese history. We'll talk about the politics and culture of the period, covering the structure of government, literary styles, and why it is that I think the Tale of Genji is kind of creepy.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Today we will be discussing the Asuka and Nara periods, and the formation of a centralized, Chinese-style government based in a permanent capitol city. 

There's intrigue, backstabbing, and stories about poop; should be fun!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

In this second episode, we discuss the earliest periods of Japanese history (the Jomon, Yayoi and Tumulus/Kofun periods), covering the years from prehistory to 538 AD.  It's a long haul to cover!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Welcome to our introductory episode!  Today we will be covering the basic ideas behind this podcast, including:

  • Who I am
  • What I'm planning to do here
  • Why you should care about history
  • Why Japanese history is important
  • What I need from you, my lovely and charming audience

I'll be updating with new episodes every weekend (preferably Saturday, sometimes Sunday), so check back next week for more.  Thanks for listening!

Direct download: HoJ_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT