History of Japan

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST

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 PST