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Sep 24, 2021

This week, the DPJ's good fortune--in the form of the hilariously politically inept Prime Minister Mori Yoshihiro--turns to disaster, as he is replaced by the charismatic Koizumi Junichiro. Facing a revived LDP, the DPJ will turn to one of the most singular (and divisive) figures in modern Japanese politics: Ozawa...

Sep 17, 2021

This week, we're beginning a four-part retrospective on the rise and fall of Japan's most successful postwar opposition party: The Democratic Party of Japan, or DPJ. This week: how did two veterans of the tumultuous politics of the early 1990s come together to found this scrappy little party, and what forces led to the...

Sep 10, 2021

This week, we're talking about one of the last attempts to save the Tokugawa shogunate: the Tenpo Reforms of the 1840s, and their chief architect, the hard-partying Mizuno Tadakuni. What did he see as the most pressing problems Japan faced? How did he try to solve them? And how did this final attempt to salvage Tokugawa...

Sep 3, 2021

This week, we're taking a closer look at the unequal treaty system of the 1800s by exploring one of its crappier (!) consequences: a diplomatic incident over cholera quarantines and extraterritorial laws surrounding a small German freighter called the Hesperia.

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