History of Japan

This week's episode is an overview of the Allied Occupation of Japan. In just seven years (1945-1952), the Allies undertook a massive effort to overhaul Japan's politics, economy, and society. We'll discuss the ways in which they tried to do so, and briefly attempt to evaluate their success. This was a really interesting episode to write and record -- I learned a lot myself!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

This week we're going to be taking another break from the forward march of history to discuss the life of a man named Sugihara Chiune. Sugihara worked as a bureaucrat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to World War II, and in 1940 he gave up his career in order to save thousands of Jewish refugees from the Nazis. We'l discuss who Sugihara was, what he did, why he did it, and why I think he's worth remembering.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm EDT

We've arrived, finally, at the Pacific War -- this week, we'll be charting the course Japan took to war, briefly summarizing the cours of said war, and then discussing how the war ended. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_16.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, we'll be discussing domestic developments in Japan, and the path by which a reasonably (if not totally) liberal democracy in the 1910s and 1920s morphed into a military dictatorship in the 1930s. We'll talk about the various means by which the military grew its influence, and how it was able to use violence to cow the civilian government.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Our podcast this week will turn to the subject of Japanese foreign policy from the end of the Sino-Japanese War in 1895 to the middle of the war against Nationalist China in 1940. We will cover the Russo-Japanese War, the steady split of the military away from the rest of the government, and the radicalization of Japanese policy towards China, culminating in the decision to launch a foolish and counterproductive war in 1937.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

This week, it's time for a story of triumph and tragedy, racism and acceptance, international relations, and most importantly: baseball!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This week, we're going to cover the early Meiji Period (1868-1900 or so). We'll be covering a wide range of topics, ranging from international relations to politics to social developments. This is one of the most interesting and tumultuous periods in Japanese history, and I hope you find it as engaging as I do!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

This week, we'll be talking about the period called the Bakumatsu, or the end of the Bakufu. We'll be tracing a complex, but very interesting narrative describing how the Tokugawa went from masters of all they surveyed to defeat and destruction in a mere 15 years.

Man, that sounds really gloomy. I promise there are fun bits too!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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