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Sep 23, 2022

This week, the tale of Ogimachi Machiko--the aristocrat whose literary descriptions of her life in a samurai family became one of the most popular works of women's literature during Japan's Edo period. 

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Aug 5, 2022

This week: the career and legacy of the most influential Japanese poet you've probably never heard of, Fujiwara no Teika. Teika's views on poetry and literature have shaped how we read those genres down to the present day, so how did he develop such authority in the field?

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Jul 22, 2022

This week, we're taking a look at the legacy of one of Japan's most influential poets: Ki no Tsurayuki. His poems may not quite be the popular phenomenon they once were, but his views about how poetry works have always been influential, and shaped how we think about poetry down to this day.

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Jul 8, 2022

This week: we tend to think of tea in terms of the tea ceremony and fancy culture, but what about lowbrows like me who like to drink our tea bottled from a vending machine? This week we'll be looking at tea as a commodity, and how it became a staple of Japan's consumer culture.

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Jun 3, 2022

The Jokyu Rebellion is one of the more minor conflicts in Japanese history; yet it also represents a tipping of the political balance of Japan that, eventually, will profoundly reshape the country. This week, we explore one of the chronicles of that conflict to see what we can learn about it, and about medieval Japan...