History of Japan

This week: the story of two men whose fascinating life trajectories led them into an interrogation room in Japan's Edo period, and the fascinating document that resulted from their time together.

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_415__mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we're talking about the story of a man whose story we don't really know: the imperial prince Shotoku, who despite being a near-unknown historically is one of the most legendary figures in Japanese history. How is that possible, and what does that say about his unique role and symbolism?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_314_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we're looking at the legacy of Chikamatsu Monzaemon, the most famous playwright in Japanese history. During his career, which spanned the zenith of Japan's Edo period, he produced some 130 plays and was enormously influential in terms of his approach to drama. How did he do it, and what is his legacy for Japan today?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_413_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we're looking at how the criminal justice system in Japan was remade to serve the interests of the imperial state--a process which laid the groundwork for much of how the justice system operates today.

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_412_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week, we're taking a quick detour into Isaac trolling fans of Michel Foucault-er, the Edo period criminal justice system. How did this system operate, and what considerations are responsible for its approach to justice?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_411_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

This week: Isaac spends 30 minutes unpacking the 400+ page ramblings of a cranky retiree who died about 200 years ago, but whose polemics against his own society have a remarkable amount to teach us about one of the most important moments in Japanese history.

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_410_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

How did it all go so very wrong?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_409_-_The_Contenders_Part_4_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am PST

In just three years, Ozawa Ichiro managed to guide the DPJ from defeat to one of the most smashing victories in Japan's political history. How did he do it? And why, despite the fact that he was the one who set the stage for this victory, did he never end up serving as the prime minister in the aftermath?
Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_408_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

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 Ichiro.

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_407_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST

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 DPJ becoming the largest of Japan's opposition parties?

Show notes here.

Direct download: Episode_406_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:00am PST