History of Japan (History)

This week, we're starting a multi-episode series on one of Japan's most famous organizations: the study society-turned-religion-turned-political-party known as the Value Creation Society, or Soka Gakkai.

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_357_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week: how do historians learn about the lives of everyday people? Let's take a look at how it's done by thinking about a group of people often overlooked in histories of the Edo period even though they made up half the population: women.

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_356_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're talking about one of Japan's most famous collections of supernatural tales, the fantastic Ugetsu Monogatari (Tales of Moonlight and Rain) from 1776.

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_355_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're talking about popular literature, with a specific focus on one of Japan's most famous pieces of detective fiction -- the Hanshichi Torimonocho.

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_354_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we wrap up our history of Christianity in Japan with a look at the Occupation and Postwar Eras -- and with some final thoughts on what it means to be a part of a faith viewed as "outside" the mainstream of the nation. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_353_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we'll cover the striving of Japanese Christians to be accepted as genuine patriots by the government during the pre-war era. This striving will lead to closer and closer ties between the state and religion; it will also invite danger once we get into the war years. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_352_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're going to talk about the heyday of Japanese Christianity during the Imperial era: the 1870s and 1880s, when the church, finally free of government restriction, began to grow. But behind that growth lurked a dangerous reality about the religion's relationship with the state. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_351_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're talking about Christianity during the Bakumatsu Period -- the era that saw the forced opening of Japan and the collapse of samurai government. How did debates around Christianity figure in to this turbulent time in Japanese history?

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_350_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the short yet fascinating history of Islam in Japan. What factors led to a connection between the Islamic world and Japan? Who led the efforts to build bridges between the two? And why is the history of this relationship so generally unknown?

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_348_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we wrap up the series with a look at black history during the Occupation and Postwar eras, with some final thoughts on the series as a whole.

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_347_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we turn our attention to the black experience during the war in the Pacific, and to the fascinating story of the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World. 

Show notes here

Direct download: Episode_346_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're talking about political and cultural exchange between black communities and Japan in the 20s and 30s, as well as how one prominent black leader found himself bamboozled by Japan's pro-empire propaganda in the 1930s.

Show notes here

Direct download: History_of_Japan_345_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we look at Japan's relationship with blackness and black communities in the wake of the Meiji Restoration, and at the beginnings of a movement among black people to make Japan into a champion of non-white peoples.

Note: this episode includes some language that may be considered dated or offensive (though no use of slurs). 

Show notes here

Direct download: Episode_344.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're beginning an overview of black history in Japan with a focus on the Sengoku and Edo eras, and especially the fascinating tale of Yasuke. What sources do we have for this moment of cultural contact?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_343.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, how did the 1964 Paralympics end up in Japan? Who made it happen? And why does 1964 represent an important moment in the history of disability sports in Japan? 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_342.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're focusing on the story of Ono no Komachi, a mysterious poet from the 800s whose poems were used to construct a fictional persona entirely separate from who she actually was. How did this happen? Why does it matter? And what can we learn from telling the history of a made up character? 

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_341.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're covering the career of one of modern Japan's spymasters: Akashi Motojiro, who attempted to build an intelligence network in Russia during the Russo-Japanese War. Why was he given this task? Did he succeed? And what lessons does his career offer in terms of the wider arc of modern Japanese history? 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_340.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Mawwiage is whut bwings us togethah, today! Today we're talking about the history of marriage as an institution in Japan. How has it changed and evolved? What customs and practices have governed it? And what do those practices look like today?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_339.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

This week, Japan finally gets the Olympics; but what does that really mean for Japan? What does hosting really accomplish for Japan's image, and how do the games themselves unfold? 

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_337.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're starting a series on the history of the Olympic movement in Japan. How did Japan get involved in the Olympics? What factors drove Japanese participation? And what ever happened to Japan's first attempt to host the Olympic games -- the 1940 Olympics that never were. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_336.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're taking an in-depth look at the life and legacy of Ozu Yasujiro, one of Japan's most famous directors -- despite the fact that it's really only in the last decade and a half of his life that he had the freedom to make the films he wanted to make!

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_335.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're talking over Japan's response to one of the greatest public health crises of the 20th century: the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19. What strategies did the government put in place to try and counter the flu, how was it treated, and what was it like for the doctors on the front lines fighting to save their patients?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_334.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we tackle one of our more unique subjects. It's time to talk about an institution so secretive that most of its records were almost certainly destroyed to keep them away from prying eyes. No, it's not some secret ninja clan: it's the harem, or Oku, of the Tokugawa shoguns. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_333.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we tackle the life of one of Japan's most interesting women, who rose from obscure origins to become a major power player in the early Tokugawa period: Saito Fuku, better known as Lady Kasuga. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_332.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we wrap this series up with a look at the changes in the feminist movement during the US Occupation of Japan, and with a look at the postwar careers of Ichikawa Fusae and Hiratsuka Raicho. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_331.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we continue our exploration of the life of Hiratsuka Raicho, and add a new character to our cast: Ichikawa Fusae. How did these two women navigate the tricky waters of 1920s and 1930s Japanese politics, and what obstacles did they encounter along the way? 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_330.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we start off our first ever twinned biography with a look at the early career of one of Japan's pioneering feminists: Hiratsuka Raicho. 

Direct download: Episode_329.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're talking about my absolute favorite poet in the history of forever: Kobayashi Issa. I promise he's great, and I don't just love him for the poop jokes. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_328.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we take a look at one of postwar Japan's most famous political scandals, and how the efforts of one company to revive its fortunes ended up roping in everyone from shadowy underworld figures to the Prime Minister of Japan himself. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_326.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, tensions within Japanese society explode as a simple stock purchase turns into a knock-down, drag out fight over corruption in the Japanese state. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_325.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we tackle a political scandal from 1930s Japan to dig deeper into the question: just why did Japan's system of parliamentary government and liberal democracy, which seemed to be flourishing in the 1920s, fall apart so quickly in the 1930s?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_324.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're discussing the autobiography of a troublemaking, low-ranking samurai whose life didn't reshape Japan, but whose tale can tell us a lot about how our image of the samurai class matched up with reality.

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_323.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, take a deep dive with me into the life of one of the regents of the Heian Era, Fujiwara no Tadahira, as we try and figure out just what it looked like to try and rule over Heian Japan on a day to day level. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_321.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

As the 1950s become the 1960s, the truth of Chisso's failure to address its problems comes out thanks to a new round of poisoning on the other side of Japan. The people of Minamata seek justice for themselves. 

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_320.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're beginning a deep dive into the history of one of the most famous cases of environmental poisoning in Japanese history: Minamata disease. How did a chemical factory end up poisoning the people of a small town in rural Japan for years before anyone found out? And why, once it became clear that they were being poisoned, did it take so long for anything to come of it?

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_319.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're talking about one of the greatest cheesy samurai film franchises of all time. Just how did a series of films about one man and his baby mowing down legions of opponents become a pop culture legend? The story of how Lone Wolf and Cub became one of the greatest samurai film franchises ever is our final episode of 2019.

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_318.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we explore the career of the first woman to make a big splash in modern Japanese literature: Higuchi Ichiyo. We'll talk about her story, her writing, her legacy, and her tragically short career -- and I'll spend a lot of time talking about how much I hate Mori Ogai!

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_317.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Since Japan just got itself a new emperor, this is a good time to go back and look at an incident from the enthronement of the last emperor -- and at a time where one local politician's comment at a council meeting ignited a national firestorm which ended with him being shot.

Show notes here: http://isaacmeyer.net/2019/11/episode-314-resp…-imperial-throne/

Direct download: History_of_Japan_314.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're going to zoom in on the kind of life that doesn't usually make the big picture history of Japan. It's time to look at the story of a single medical student during the final years of the Tokugawa era and explore everything from his education to his drinking habit, and to ask ourselves just what we can learn from such a focused examination of the past.

Show notes here.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_313.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we look at the violent incidents that eventually undermined the Freedom and People's Rights Movement, and the legacies of the movement for Japan today.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_312.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

How do you talk about a movement without clear leaders? By breaking down its different levels. Plus, a look at how things came to a head between the Freedom and People's Rights Movement and the government.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_311.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're starting a look at the Jiyu Minken Undo -- the Freedom and People's Rights Movement -- by talking a bit about its ideological origins as well as some of the movement's early leaders.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_310.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week: the battle against the construction of a new international airport in Chiba prefecture. Who fought against the airport, why, and how did it all go so very wrong?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_309.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:30am PDT

This week, the crew of the Breskens is freed at last. Plus some final thoughts on Tokugawa diplomacy.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_308.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

The Breskens crew arrive in Edo, with the question of how they are to be treated looming over them. At the same time, another group of very different Europeans arrive there as well. This week, we'll talk about the interwoven fates of both groups, and what they tell us about the concerns of the shogunate and Tokugawa Iemitsu. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_307.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're taking a look at the foreign policy of Edo Japan by starting a deep dive into a complex case study: the tale of the 10 prisoners of Nanbu domain!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_306.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we'll cover the end of USCAR and the legacies of 27 years of foreign rule over Okinawa Prefecture. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_305.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we start off some coverage of the period of American rule over the Ryukyus, and the entwined histories of USCAR - the US Civil Administration for the Ryukyu Islands -- and the GRI, the Government of the Ryukyu Islands. How did this arrangement work? What were the issues between them? And why did so many Okinawans come to despise American rule? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_304.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Finally, a long overdue look at one of the most romanticized and exocitized parts of traditional Japanese culture. What are geisha? Where do they come from? Aren't they basically fancy prostitutes? And haven't I learned everything I need to know about them from reading Memoirs of a Geisha?

 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_303.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we take a look at the peasant uprisings in Aizu domain in 1868 to continue our exploration of the question: where were all the peasants in the Meiji Restoration?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_302.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

While the Meiji Restoration was going on, where was everybody else? We'll start trying to answer that question today with a look at an uprising in 1866 in the region of Shindatsu.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_301.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover an obscure bit of samurai history: the Keian Incident, a planned coup against the Tokugawa Shoguns that was foiled by a lucky bit of happenstance. What can we learn from something that, in a certain sense, didn't actually happen?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_299.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we profile one of the great Western interpreters of Japan: Lafcadio Hearn. How did some Anglo-Greek kid end up in Japan by way of New Orleans, and why do we still care about him today?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_298.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we round out our look at the celebrated women of Heian Japan with two very different careers: that of the celebrated poet Akazome Emon and the recluse known either as Takasue's daughter or Lady Sarashina. Plus some final thoughts on women in the Heian era. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_297.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week: the start of a two-part series on women in Heian Japan. What makes the social position of women in the Heian Era so distinct from later points of Japanese history, and from the East Asian cultural sphere more generally? How do we know what we know about the lives of women? And what can we learn from the story of one particularly badass woman: the poet and "femme fatale" Izumi Shikibu?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_296.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we cover the true story of North Korea's abduction of Japanese civilians. Who was taken, and why? What do we know about their lives in the north? And how does their disappearance still affect the relationship between Japan and North Korea today?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_295.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, the effects of the collapsing asset bubble spread as the extent of the damage caused is revealed; Japan's financial and political leaders scramble to respond, while refusing to admit the scale of the crisis. Plus, the legacies of the bubble era for Japan today. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_294.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, it all starts to come crumbling down. Japan is plagued by scandals that destroy public confidence at the system right as some begin to look around and say, "hey, does this all seem a bit unsustainable or is it just me?"

It's not just them. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_293.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

The Plaza Accord was supposed to fix the US-Japan relationship. How did that work out? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_292.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we're going to talk about life in the bubble era by looking at three snapshots of that experience: a movie, a book, and a poem. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_291.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we turn our attention to the 1980s. Japan and the United States find their relationship wracked by increasing tensions over political and economic relations, and turn to the solution of an agreement designed to ease the pressure of Japan's economic growth. The result? Japan's infamous Bubble Era!

Direct download: History_of_Japan_290.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we're going to talk about the impact that the gun had on Sengoku Era Japan, and the ways that it both reinforced and undermined the political trends of the time. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_289.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we discuss the history of one of the most important technologies in Japan: the gun. How did it get to Japan and spread around the country so quickly?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_288.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week, we're taking a look at a specific oni tale, and probably the most famous one; the story of the Demon King of Mt. Oe, Shuten Doji. What's his story? How did he get punked by five of Japan's most famous warriors? And why are we still talking about him so many years later?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_287.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week we talk oni, the demons of Japanese folklore and legend. What makes oni different from Western style demons? What are some of the most famous oni stories? And how has the image of the oni changed over time?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_286.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:00am PDT

This week: how did the Hojo go from the zenith of their power to utter destruction in a single generation? The answer: a difficult neighborhood, dangerous neighbors, and bad decisions. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_285.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we will talk about the innovations the Latter Hojo used to secure their dominance, and about their long war against one of the great clans of the Kanto, the Ogigayatsu Uesugi. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_284.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the remainder of Oda Nobunaga's rise to power: his wars for control of central Japan in 1570, his cleverness as a ruler, his brutal reign, and his eventual death at the hands of one of his most trusted retainers. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_281.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Apologies for the delayed publication, all! Slight technical hiccup on my end.

This week, we turn to the life and legacy of the first of Japan's three unifiers: the warlord Oda Nobunaga, who expanded his domains from part of a backwater province to 1/3rd of all Japan in just a few decades. Who were the Oda? Where did they come from? And how did Nobunaga go from a nobody to a major force in Japanese politics in just a few years?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_280.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 2:30pm PDT

This week, we consider a figure who appears in two stories from the ancient collection of tales known as the Konjaku Monogatari: the bandit chief Hakamadare. What do we know about him? What do the stories say about him? And what can we learn from those tales?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_279.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we investigate the role of Japan in laying the groundwork for Vietnam's wars against France and the United States. How did Japan's occupation of Indochina create the groundwork for the Viet Minh? And why did some Japanese soldiers, given the choice to return home in defeat or stay behind and fight on behalf of a country other than their own, take up the Vietnamese cause? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_278.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we arrive at the end of the Ashikaga. What were the final 100 years of Ashikaga "rule" like, and what can we take away from exploring their time as rulers of Japan?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_277.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we do a deep dive on the life of Ashikaga Yoshimasa and the lead up to the Onin War, the conflict that traditionally marks the end of Ashikaga rule over Japan. But how fair is it to point to Onin as a break with the past? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_276.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we turn away from politics to discuss religion, art, and the economy during the age of the Ashikaga. Why is this era such a moment of societal flourishing despite the constant warfare and instability of Ashikaga rule?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_275.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week: war in the Ashikaga age. Plus; the reign of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu is generally considered the zenith of Ashikaga prestige, but why was his power built on such shaky foundations? Once the Ashikaga had seized control of Japan, how did they go about actually governing it?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_274.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we start a multipart series on the Muromachi period and the reign of the Ashikaga family. How did they come to power? Why is their government generally described as so weak? And how, despite that weak government, did they win a 60 year war for control of Japan?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_273.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week we cover the life and career of the legendary judge Oka Tadasuke, who rose from minor samurai to the rank of daimyo and a major position in the bakufu -- only to become a legendary figure. Who is he? How did he rise so high? And what can he tell us about the role of judges and bureaucrats in Japanese society more generally?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_272.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the fascinating tale of Sei Shonagon and the Makura no Soushi, or Pillow Book. Why is a collection of anecdotes considered to be one of Japan's greatest literary classics? What mkes the Pillow Book so famous? And why does Isaac love it so very much?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_271.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the life and work of one of Japan's most famous authors: the 11th century courtier Murasaki Shikibu. Why do we know so little about who she was? What inspired her to write Genji? Why do I dislike her work so viscerally? And how did it become so famous?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_270.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the little-known "Chichibu Incident," an uprising against the Meiji government in 1884 that saw several thousand people take up arms against the state. Where did it come from? How did the rebellion fare? And what is its connection to the broader trends of Japanese history?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_269.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

Today, we cover one of the most unusual stories of WWII: the policy of saving and protecting Jews pursued by some among Japan's military leadership. How did anti-semitic ideas about a global conspiracy convince some in Japan that the Jews could be their allies? How many were saved? And what does it all mean? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_268.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover poet and political activist Yosano Akiko in her drift from icon of the political left to polemicist for the ultranationalist right. What kind of life trajectory drives a person that way? Why did she follow that path? And why did she write so many poems about breasts?

Direct download: Episode_267.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am PDT

This week, we take a look at the bizarre history of a single text -- Senkyou Ibun, or Strange Tidings from Another World -- and the two people responsible for creating it: the famous scholar Hirata Atsutane, and a boy named Torakichi who claimed to have lived in Japan's spirit world. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_266.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the life of real estate mogul and international gambling sensation Kashiwagi Akio. Who was he? How did he become an internationally famous gambler? Why was he mysteriously murdered? And how the hell does none other than Donald Trump fit into this?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_265.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover the story and legacy of the great warrior Kusunoki Masashige. Why does he have the unique distinction of a statue on the grounds of the emperor's palace in Tokyo? What do we actually know about him?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_264.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

As a surprise bonus, here's an episode of my new show Criminal Records on one of Japan's most fascinating criminal cases. Fair warning: this episode includes some graphic content!

Direct download: Episode_03_-_Abe_Sada.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:46am PDT

This week; Oomoto's zenith and fall from grace. Plus, what have we learned from all this?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_263.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we tackled the origin of one of Japan's new religious movements: Oomoto, or The Great Origin. Where did it come from, and how did the unique combination of two very different people with the right set of circumstances lead it to prominence?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_262.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we cover postwar Tokyo as it recovers from the devastation of war in remarkable time, and take some time to think about what we've learned from the history of Japan's most central city.

 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_261.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week: the Great Kanto Earthquake, the firebombing campaign, and Tokyo during the Occupation. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_260.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we take a look at the history of pro wrestling in Japan, and its unlikely progenitor: a Korean-born sumo wrestler named Rikidozan. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_256.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we close out our time with Taiwan with a look at its return to the Republic of China, and at the modern day relationship between the "renegade province" and Japan. 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_255.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, Japan's attempt to assimilate Taiwan finds some success, and one big stumbling block: the Musha Incident, the last and largest rebellion against Japanese rule on the island. Plus, the beginnings of Taiwan's mobilization for war.

Direct download: History_of_Japan_254.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week: now that Japan has conquered Taiwan, what are they actually going to do with it?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_253.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we start a history of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. How did Japan come to conquer the island, and what did its conquest entail for the Japanese and for the inhabitants?

Direct download: History_of_Japan_252.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:09pm PDT

This week, we take a look at the history of gay and lesbian relationships in Japan. How has the social position of homosexuality changed over time in Japanese history? What evidence can we use to "read out" the history of a non-mainstream culture? 

Direct download: Episode_251.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

This week, we take on the legend of Miyamoto Musashi. How is it that a person we know very little about came to be a legend? Could it be, perhaps, that the very fact that we know so little about him for sure is part of the allure of his legend? 

Direct download: History_of_Japan_250.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT