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Articles from JREF

  1. Recommended books on Japanese History

    This list comprises some of the foremost resources on Japanese history. While they are largely in English, notable works in other languages are listed as well. These resources will be continually updated. Japanese History in general Beasley, William G., The Japanese Experience. A Short History...
  2. Glossary of Japanese Historical Terms

    A glossary with important terms relating to the history of Japan. This list will be continually expanded. TERMKANJIDESCRIPTION bakufu幕府Government of the shogunate, also referring to the seat of the government and administration bakuhan taisei幕藩体制Edo-era system of government, characterised by...
  3. Momotaro

    Momotarō (桃太郎, "Peach Boy") is a popular folktale recounting the adventures of a boy born from a peach found by an elderly woman washing clothes on a riverbank. When she and her husband try to eat the peach, they discover Momotarō who claims to be sent from heaven to be their son. He is adopted...
  4. Kintaro

    Kintarō (金太郎, "Golden Boy") is a popular figure in Japanese folklore and was the childhood name of Sakata no Kintoki (坂田金時), one of the four trusted followers of the famous warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu (源 頼光, 948-1021). Although Sakata seems to have been a historical figure from the Heian...
  5. Himiko

    Himiko (卑弥呼, c. 170–248 CE), also known as Pimiko, was a female ruler of the early Japanese political entity known as Yamatai (邪馬台国 Yamataikoku), as described in the Wei Zhi (魏志, "Records of Wei"), a Chinese chronicle of the 3rd century CE. The location of Yamatai has long been the subject of...
  6. Sengai Gibon

    Sengai Gibon (仙厓義梵, 1750-1837) was a Zen painter and calligrapher whose ink drawings are characterised by a warm, satiric, and often self-critical humour. He was born into a family of poor farmers in Mino (modern-day Gifu Prefecture) and became a monk of the Rinzai School of Buddhism at the age...
  7. Date Masamune

    Date Masamune was a warrior of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568-1600) and the early part of the Edo Period (1600-1868) and one of the greatest daimyō of northern Japan. Succeeding his father at the age of 17, he defeated most of his rivalling neighbours and thereby significantly expanded his...
  8. National Museum of Japanese History

    The National Museum of Japanese History (国立歴史民俗博物館 Kokuritsu Rekishi Minzoku Hakubutsukan) is located in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture. Also known as "Rekihaku", it was established in 1981 as a university research institute and opened to the public in 1983. The collections of the museum focus on...
  9. Osorezan

    Osorezan (恐山, Mount Osore, 879 m), often transliterated as "Mount Fear" or "Mountain of Terror", is a composite volcano located on Shimokita Peninsula in the north of Aomori Prefecture. It is part of the Shimokita Peninsula Quasi-National Park. Lake Usori (宇曾利湖) is in the centre of its caldera....
  10. Nenbutsu

    Nenbutsu, commonly transliterated as nembutsu, is the invocation "namu amida butsu" (南無阿弥陀仏, "I take my refuge in the Buddha Amitābha) chanted in the hope of rebirth into Amida's Pure Land. While nowadays strictly of invocational nature (称名念仏 shōmyō nembutsu), there once were contemplative...
  11. Pure Land Buddhism

    Pure Land Buddhism (浄土仏教 Jōdo bukkyō) is a branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism and seeks rebirth into Amitābha Buddha's Western Paradise (the "Pure Land"), traditionally after death. Pure Land Buddhism achieved great popularity in China from around 800 CE, though it had existed there earlier. It never...
  12. Shoshazan Engyoji Temple

    Shoshazan Engyō-ji (書寫山圓教寺, "Temple of Complete Teachings") is a temple of the Tendai sect of Buddhism located northwest of Himeji City. History Engyō-ji was founded in 966 on top of Mount Shosha (371m) by the priest Shōku Shōnin (性空上人, 910-1007) in what was then known as Harima Province...
  13. Zaibatsu

    Zaibatsu (財閥, literally "wealthy clique") refers to industrial and financial combines of a conglomerate type that dominated the Japanese economy between the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and World War II. Created by powerful industrial families, they were operated through a tight network of parent...
  14. Kegon School

    The Kegon School of Buddhism (華厳宗 Kegon-shū) flourished in the early centuries of Japanese Buddhist history and was one of the largest of the Six Sects of Nara (南都六宗 Nanto Rokushū). It is based on the Huayan or Flower Garland school of Buddhism and was introduced in Japan by the Chinese monk...
  15. Fukuzawa Yukichi

    Fukuzawa Yukichi (福澤諭吉, 1835-1901) was a prominent educator, writer, and propagator of Western knowledge during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), founder of Keio Gijuku (慶應義塾, a private college, later Keio University), of Japan's first daily newspaper Jiji Shinpō (時事新報) , and introduced the art of...
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