Tag Archives: samurai

Drama: Cutting Off One’s Hair In Japan

An Old Tradition One theme that arises in Japanese drama, be it film or anime, is a character dramatically cutting off her hair. This is signals some kind of dramatic, life-altering change.

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Japan: Sengoku Jidai Weapons: The Yari

The Footman’s Bread and Butter The Japanese yari (槍、やり), or spear, was not originally a dominant weapon of war. My own research into this issue should not be thought of as authoritative, but this post contains my impressions on this … Continue reading

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Early Japan: Ritualized Duels

What’s Wrong With Ritual? In doing a little research on the history of the yari, the Japanese word for “spear,” I came across a mention that battles in early Japan, circa 700 A.D., were highly ritualized affairs with lone warriors … Continue reading

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The Decay of the Power of Japan’s Emperors

A Bit Of Useful History Following the Genpei War (the subject of The Tale of Genji), which gave rise to the Bafuku (government said to be run out of a general’s tent rather than a palace), the Imperial line was subject … Continue reading

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Free Ebook: The Allure of Japanese Swords

Here. Take it. I tried pushing this thing in preview form a while back. I’d rather give it away for free than have no one look through the whole thing. It’s about Japan, swords, samurai, art, culture… and more swords. … Continue reading

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Japanese Culture: Sakura Shinguji

真宮寺さくら In Japanese, the family name is said first. Also, while romanized as Shinguji, a word processor would want “shinguuji.” Sakura means cherry blossom (though it can also refer to the cherry tree). Shinguji here uses kanji at variance with … Continue reading

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Why Bushido Didn’t Push Japan Into WWII

Setting The Record Straight I don’t want to link to this because it’ll only draw attention to leaky history but, in my efforts to find sites worth linking this blog to, I began reading a ‘history of Japan’ that floated … Continue reading

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A Concise History of the Samurai

This is from a class I once taught on an education site. I provide it for free. It is, as the topic implies, a concise history that takes the big picture view that puts all the little details in context. … Continue reading

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The Allure of Japanese Swords: Preview

Open publication – Free publishing – More wakizashi

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Profiles in Bushido: Takeda Shingen, “Kai no Tora”

Takeda Shingen (武田信玄) 1521-1573 Dubbed “The Tiger of Kai” (Kai Province), Takeda Shingen was a legendary military strategist during the Sengoku Jidai (戦国時代), the Civil War Period of Japan that lasted for a century. Born as the eldest son of a … Continue reading

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