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Articles from JREF

  1. Saga of the Samurai: Interview with Terje Solum

    Terje Solum is the author of the series "Saga of the Samurai". Over the past 14 years, he has published six volumes on the Kai Takeda clan. In late autumn, he will release his next volume dedicated to the Ōmi Gamō. We interviewed Terje in August 2017. Q: Tell us a bit more about your background,...
  2. Mount Omuro

    Mount Omuro (大室山 Ōmuroyama) is a volcano south of Ito City on the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula. Extinct for 3,700 years, the cone-shaped mountain is completely covered in grass and has a circular trail around its crater mound at an altitude of 580 meters. The trail is about one kilometer...
  3. Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

    Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (横浜・八景島シーパラダイス Yokohama Shīparadaisu) is an amusement park with an aquarium, shopping malls, a hotel, marina and amusement rides. It is located in Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Japan and was opened on May 8, 1993. Aerial view of Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise View...
  4. The Late Hojo

    The Late Hōjō clan (後北条氏 Go-Hōjō-shi) were powerful regional lords at the end of the Muromachi Period (1333-1568) and in the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568-1600) and must not be confused with the warrior family by the same name who were hereditary regents (執権 shikken) of the Kamakura shogunate in...
  5. Rental mobile WiFi routers

    To international travellers who need access to the internet free wireless hotspots are an increasingly viable alternative to rental phones and prepaid SIM cards. In Japan, WiFi hotspots can be found around airports train stations (many shinkansen stations and in Tokyo around Yamanote Line)...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. 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...
  14. 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....
  15. 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...
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