The history of Japan is expansive and diverse. This is my attempt at spreading knowledge and understanding of that history.

I wish you all a very happy New Year!

(Source: japanese-history)

collective-history:

In a tinted black-and-white photograph dating to around the 1910s, women pose with cherry blossoms in Japan.

collective-history:

In a tinted black-and-white photograph dating to around the 1910s, women pose with cherry blossoms in Japan.

(via collectivehistory-deactivated20)

Japanese Bridges


"Depending upon the size and nature of the pond, gardens that include bodies of water with islands generally include bridges connecting the islands with the shore and often with each other. In the Heian Period and probably earlier, some of the bridges of the large boating ponds were arching structures of Chinese inspiration, allowing boats to pass beneath the spans. They could be built of either wood or stone (a wooden arched bridge is called sori bashi, a stone version sori ishibashi).

In later gardens, many of which have ponds that are too small for boats, bridges are often simple slabs of stone used singly or in combinations of two or three spans. These slabs are frequently natural, uncut stones, which together with the upright stones that usually flank the ends of the bridge should be considered part of the general “stone aesthetics” of a garden. In some instances, the bridge is actually part of a dry landscape, spanning only a sand or gravel stream. Other bridge types include simple wooden structures (kibashi) sometimes consisting of logs laid parallel to one another and supported on a truss-work frame, and more elaborate covered bridges that sometimes approach the scale of a pavilion.

The Chinese arched bridge (or “full moon bridge,” engetsukyo in Japanese) also survived into later periods and were sometimes employed in the same garden in which rustic slab bridges were found, but most of these have disappeared.”

(Source: learn.bowdoin.edu)

Himeji Castle, about sixty miles west of Osaka, is one of the best preserved 16th century mid-evil castles in Japan.

(Source: japanese-history)

FYJH has just undergone a URL change. The blog will now be under the URL Japanese-History.tumblr.com

This change is coming in a package deal of streamlining the theme and attempting to professionalize the blog.

Thank you for your continued support.

(Source: japanese-history)

Vintage Japanese car & motorcycle advertisements

ca. 1960-1980s

(Source: japanese-history)

Emperor Taishō
On 30 July 1912, upon the death of his father, Emperor Meiji, Prince Yoshihito succeeded him on the throne. The new emperor was kept out of view of the public as much as possible. Having suffered from various neurological problems throughout his life, by the late 1910s, these maladies made it increasingly impossible for him to carry out public functions. 
On one of the rare occasions he was seen in public, the 1913 opening of the Diet of Japan, he is famously reported to have rolled his prepared speech into a cylinder and stared at the assembly through it, as if through a spyglass. 

Radioactive Fallout in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Immediately after the detonation of the Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right) atomic bombs, two types of radioactive fallout were present, initial and residual. 

Initial radiation comes from the detonation of the bomb, and immediately effects those in the local vicinity of the blast. The large amount of immediate deaths in the bombings were due to other factors such as flash or flame burns, falling debris, suffocation, etc… and not that of initial radiation. However, in the coming days and weeks following the blasts, about 30-50% of survivors succumb to the extreme amounts of initial radiation their bodies had absorbed.

Residual radiation has a longer lasting effect, and is what sticks (or is formed inside of) physical matter such as soil, buildings, and bodies. Deaths from residual radiation were relatively low due to the lack of a substantial amount of nuclear fallout as seen in other nuclear incidents. The bombs were detonated ~500 meters above street level, maximizing the large scale devastation to buildings, but limiting the amount of radioactive soil thrown into the atmosphere (that would eventually rain back down onto the ground). Most of the residual radiation had been pushed upwards into the mushroom cloud.

The threat of nuclear contamination was relatively low, and didn’t seem to pose a long threat of radiation poisoning as seen in the Chernobyl disaster. Because of this, reconstruction of the cities began only months after the bombings.

(Source: japanese-history)

Kanda House (built 19th century)

The Kanda family house is a typical “Gassho-zukuri” style house (a house built in the form of hands steepled in prayer). The house was established in the latter half of the Edo period by Wada Yaemon, the second son of the nearby Wada family (whose house is also a cultural treasure). At that time, the site of the present-day Kanda house was a rice field attached to Ubusuna Hachimangu Shrine. Accordingly, he changed his family name to “Kanda” (“Divine Rice Field”) in homage to the land’s former use. Subsequently, a house was constructed over a period of ten years by a master shrine carpenter from Ishikawa prefecture.

The upper stories of Gassho houses were commonly used for silkworm production, and Kanda house is no exception. The owners also made fuming nitric acid, an ingredient in the gunpowder of the time, as a commodity to trade for cash.

(Source: orientalarchitecture.com)

Ikuta Jinga Shrine

Ikutajinga is a Shinto shrine in Kobe where annual festivities are held commemorating a 12th century war between the Genji and Heishi samurai clans known as the Genpei War.