The Dawn of Modern Japan as seen through the eyes of the Shōgun’s Last Samurai!
This book, based on twenty-five years of research by Romulus Hillsborough who spent sixteen years living in Japan, joins his growing portfolio of his other works on the pivotal characters and themes of the Bakumatsu Period and the Meiji Restoration bringing many of them together in a welcome work that covers the pivotal period that heralded the end of the Japanese feudal era and the beginning of the industrial and political modernisation of Japan.
Something of a tome ‘Samurai Revolution’ is written as two books. The first covers the conflicting interests of the Tokugawa Bakufu in Edo (modern day Tōkyō) and the Imperial Court in Kyōto and the inter clan alliances which had been forged nearly three hundred years before in the triumphs and Read more…
A delight to the eye and a treasure trove of information!
Photography in Japan 1853-1912 , originally published in 2006, provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of early photography in Japan often little known outside academic circles or those with a specific interest in the period when Japan was undergoing rapid modernisation.
Though most people are generally unaware of the larger scope of the world of early photography in Japan and the early photographs of both non-Japanese and Japanese photographers, some with little more than a passing interest may be aware of the photographs of Felice Beato, which have recently had a fair amount of publicity, some of which are included in this book. The book follows the beginnings of photography in Japan from its introduction by foreigners through its Read more…
An introduction into the world of Japan’s oldest martial art!
The Founding of Sumo
Nomi no Sukune was a potter from Izumo and ancestor of Sugawara no Michizane. His famous fight with Taima no Kehaya under the patronage of Emperor Suinin resulted in the death of Taima no Kehaya and the founding of Sumo, the traditional national sport of Japan. An influential figure Nomi no Sukune also proposed to Emperor Read more…
Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Date: 5 – 13 Aug 2015
Venue: Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle (entrance facing Regent’s Park), London NW1 4QP
This year in August will be the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. An Englishman, Mike Stevenson, has in his possession two collections of art works made by children in Japan in the aftermath of World War II. The 34 works in one collection were made by students of a Christian girls’ school in Hiroshima, which suffered the deaths of over 300 students. The school building was destroyed, but it was said to be the first to re-open following the atomic bombing of that city. Read more…
Hooray! It’s competition time again!
Famed the world over for their intricate beauty, Japanese dolls (ningyo) have played an important role in Japanese art and culture. Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll (read review here) is the first comprehensive book on antique Japanese dolls and figurines published in English. The book focuses on dolls in six categories:
- GOSHO-NINGYO: Palace Dolls and Auspicious Wishes
- HINA-NINGYO: Dolls for the Girl’s Day Festival
- MUSHA-NINGYO: Warrior Dolls for the Boy’s Day Festival
- ISHO-NINGYO: Fashion Dolls and Popular Culture
- NINGYO IN THE THEATER: Entertaining the Gods and Man
- NINGYO AND HEALTH: Dolls as Talisman and Tool
A winner has been chosen!
Sadly there can only be one winner.
And the winner is… Read more…
The first comprehensive book on antique Japanese dolls published in English!
NINGYO: The Art of The Japanese Doll, written by Alan Scott Pate, the leading expert on Japanese dolls in the US, is a stunning hardback coffee-table book published by Tuttle Publishing that focuses on an area of Japanese culture little explored by westerners.
More than a plaything, the Japanese doll is a decorative object that is the central focus of many festivals like the Hina Matsuri (the Girl’s Day Festival) which takes place in Japan every year in March. To the world outside Japan, Hina dolls with their elaborate well-detailed costumes are Read more…
Hooray! It’s competition time again!
In The Art of the Japanese Sword (Diverse Japan’s review here), master swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshihara offers a detailed look at the entire process of Japanese sword making, including the finishing and appreciation of Japanese blades.
Japanese sword art stands out in many ways: functionality as a weapon, sophisticated metallurgy and metal smithing, the shape of the blade itself—all contribute to the beauty of these remarkable weapons. The Art of the Japanese Sword conveys to the reader Japanese sword history and Read more…
Like people and snowflakes, no two Japanese swords are the same!
Written by Yoshindo Yoshihara (a third generation swordsmith) with Leon and Hiroko Kapp, The Art of the Japanese Sword is a beautiful large format book (effectively printed on glossy black paper with white text) that focuses on the production and understanding of the symbolic steel weapon once used by samurai and now admired by art collectors all round the world as an object of perfection, although many people use them to practice traditional Japanese martial arts like Iaido (the art of drawing the sword). Read more…
An exhibition at the British Museum in Room 3 supported by The Asahi Shimbun. 19 June – 17 August 2014
To coincide with the publication of the British Museum’s new book, ‘Netsuke: 100 miniature masterpieces from Japan’, by Noriko Tsuchiya, the museum is hosting a small exhibition, ‘Dressed to Impress: Netsuke and Japanese men’s Fashion’ sponsored by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
As traditional Japanese men’s clothing had no pockets personal effects had to be carried in containers (inrō) hung from the belt (obi). To hang the inrō from the obi a long cord (himo) was threaded Read more…
A lecture by Noriko Tsuchiya and Max Rutherston, 3rd July 2014
The Japan Society in association with the British Museum hosted a joint lecture at the Swedenborg Society by Max Rutherston, an Asian Art dealer specialising in netsuke, and Noriko Tsuchiya, the author of the British Museum’s new publication, ‘Netsuke: 100 miniature masterpieces from Japan’, a selection from the museum’s 2,300 strong netsuke collection. Read more…
Koto Anniversary Concert at the Embassy of Japan, London Friday 20th June 2014!
Attended by about 100 invited guests, the Embassy of Japan hosted a memorial recital of the koto music of Miyagi Michio, musician and essayist, on Friday 20 June 2014 to celebrate and commemorate the 120th anniversary of his birth. Born in Kobe in 1894 and brought up by his grandmother, by the age of eight he had become blind as a result of eye disease at which point he began to train on the koto under the auspices of Nakamura Kengyo II. He moved to Korea aged 13 and remained there until 1917 when, at the age of 23 he moved to Tōkyō. He was to have been sponsored by Itō Hirobumi, the Prime Minister of Read more…
Wedding gifts for couples consist almost exclusively of only large amounts of cash!
While weddings are a big deal in most parts of the world, countries that have extraordinarily rich historical cultures emphasize the importance of the marriage ceremony by weaving together their traditional rituals with modern trends. Such is the case with the majority of Japanese weddings, which can either reflect historic Shinto tradition or combine it with Read more…
An English translation of ‘Meiji Gekidan: Ranpu No Moto Ni Te’ (Talks On Meiji Era Theatre: Under The Lamp) By Okamoto Kidō
Translation was undertaken for Kabuki fans who are unable to read Japanese!
Born October 15th 1872 to Okamoto Keinosuke (a samurai retainer of the Tokugawa Shōgunate who, after the Meiji Restoration, went to work for the British Legation as an interpreter) Okamoto Kidō is best known outside of Japan for his mystery novel ‘The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi’. His family were avid Kabuki fans and well-connected in the theatre world. Though Kidō announced his intention at an early age to become a Kabuki playwright as a consequence of his father’s bankruptcy he had to skip University and Read more…
Four Hundredth Anniversary Of The Death Of Tokugawa Ieyasu & Japan400 Anniversary Event An Answering Visit Of Emissaries From Sumpu-Shizuoka, Four Centuries Later
Date: Saturday, December 7th, 2013
Venue: SOAS (University of London)
Part I: Japan400 Ceremony and Presentations
Third and final part: Japanophile Trevor Skingle ‘walks Japan’ to raise funds for the humanitarian charity RedR UK!
Day Seven: O-tsumago to Kiso-Fukushima – Reports came in that 800mm of rain had fallen on Kyōto as a result of the typhoon Man Yi, that the level of the Kamogawa River at Sanjo Obashi Bridge where the group had walked a few nights before was phenomenally high and there had been Read more…
Part Two of Three: Japanophile Trevor Skingle ‘walks Japan’ to raise funds for the humanitarian charity RedR UK!
Day Four: Hosokute to Okute – For those who had suffered from the unseasonal heat the day’s walk was limited to hiking from Hosokute to Okute, whilst the remainder of the group went on to complete the second part of the hike across Jūsan Toge (Thirteen Passes) into Ena. After an early morning stretch outside the Read more…
Part One of Three: Japanophile Trevor Skingle ‘walks Japan’ to raise funds for the humanitarian charity RedR UK!
Stretching 533km from Edo (modern day Tōkyo) to Kyōtō the Nakasendō Road, though extant since the seventh century, was administratively established as one of the five official roads of the Edo Era (the others being the Tōkaidō, Kōshū Kaidō, Ōshū Kaidō, and Nikkō Kaidō) by Tokugawa Ieyasu shortly after his victory at Read more…
Concluding story of Shinsengumi: Japan’s “Special military police force”!
In the lead up to the Meiji Restoration supporters of the Meiji Court, the National Patriots, Ishin Shishi, were formed mainly from the Tozama Daimyo, the Oustide Lords, those who had submitted to the Tokugawa only after their defeat at the battle of Sekigahara and who were predominantly made up of Read more…