Mar 25, 2022
This week on the podcast, we're exploring the life of a woman whose story would normally be confined to the sidelines: an imperial concubine in the early 1600s by the name of Nakanoin Nakako? Who was this young woman and how did she become a part of the emperor's household?
Mar 18, 2022
This week on the podcast, we're talking the tale of the iconoclastic monk Ikkyu Sojun. His fame is predicated on an odd combination of Zen austerity and the embrace of the wine shop and the brothel, rather than the temple, as the place to seek enlightenment.
Mar 11, 2022
How can a man who was terrible as a ruler also be one of the most important tastemakers in Japanese history? Today we're unpacking the biography of Ashikaga Yoshimasa, more or less universally reviled as the worst man ever to lead Japan and yet one of the most important figures in developing much of what we think of as...
Mar 4, 2022
Today, we're looking at a rather unusual scandal from early 20th century Japan, and what it shows us about the power of the democratic impulse in Japan even before the country could be called a democracy. Plus, political maneuvering and corruption galore! What's not to love?