History of Japan

This week, we delve into the life, legacy, and style of Matsuo Basho, Japan's most famous poet. Who was he? How did he develop his unique style? How did Japan's most famous haiku poet end up writing before the invention of the word "haiku"? All that and more!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_249.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week we take on the history of the von Siebold family -- father Philip Franz, son Alexander, and daughter Kusumoto Ine. How does the story of this unusual family fit in to the story of 19th century Japan?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_248.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we're very lucky to have a chance to speak with Mr. Isaac Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro grew up in wartime Japan, and shares his experiences here with us today. You can check out his book, Edokko: Growing Up a Foreigner in Wartime Japan on Amazon!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_247.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we cover the story of Engelbert Kaempfer, who wrote one of the most thorough and best known accounts of Japan for Western consumption before the Meiji era. How did this random German dude end up in Japan? What did he write about it? What did he think of it? And why do we care? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we cover the Miike coal mine strike of 1960. As labor and management do battle over the future of the mines, how will the future of the country be shaped by their clash? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_245.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

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: 4:00am PST

This week, the origins and history of Sumo. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_243.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

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: 5:00am PST

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: 4:00am PST

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: 4:00am PST