56 posts tagged with History and japan.
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Sea of Crises

A sumo wrestling tournament. A failed coup ending in seppuku. A search for a forgotten man. How one writer’s trip to Japan became a journey through oblivion. [slGrantland]
posted by cthuljew on Nov 5, 2014 - 28 comments

National Greatness

Francis Fukuyama on 'The End of History?' twenty-five years later: "liberal democracy still doesn't have any real competitors," but to get there... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 15, 2014 - 29 comments

"We are open even during air-raid drills"

Japanese Film Posters in the Prewar Period: Part 1
Japanese Film Posters in the Prewar Period: Part 2
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 1 Asakusa, Tokyo
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 2 Ginza/Yurakucho/Hibiya, Tokyo
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 3 Shinjuku/Shibuya/Kanda/Roppongi, Tokyo
posted by timshel on Dec 19, 2013 - 4 comments

Beate Sirota Gordon, 1923-2012; "The Only Woman In The Room"

Beate Sirota Gordon, Long-Unsung Heroine of Japanese Women’s Rights, Dies at 89: a NYT obituary relates the fascinating story of a young woman who was just the right person in just the right place at just the right time and managed to strike a blow for gender equality. [more inside]
posted by flex on Jan 4, 2013 - 20 comments

Exploding bombs frequently caused so much vibration of photo enlargers that prints blurred and had to be remade

The Pacific War Photographs of Pfc Glenn W. Eve — "In the summer of 1942, the U.S. Army called up a skinny California boy barely out of his teens. But at 5’9’’ and 125 pounds, Private Glenn W. Eve was deemed unfit for combat. He might have spent the duration of World War II at a desk, except that he had field skills the Army needed – he was a gifted artist, draftsman and photographer who'd spent the previous four years working for the Walt Disney Co. In July 1944, they promoted him to private first class (Pfc) and assigned him to the Signal Photo Corps, bound for the Pacific to document the war. This is his collection, never before published. All comments in quotes are Pfc Eve's, written on the back of the photo."
posted by unliteral on Oct 1, 2012 - 13 comments

Hanover Historical Texts Project

Hanover Historical Texts Project is a collection of primary source texts from ancient times to the modern era in English translation. There is a great number of interesting texts, for instance accounts of Zeno, he of the paradoxes, the diary of Lady Sarashina, a lady-in-waiting in Heian era Japan, a letter from Count Stephen of Blois and Chartres, a crusader writing to his wife, Arthur Young's travels in France before and during the Revolution, a report by the American ambassador in St. Petersburg on March 20th, 1917, immediately after the February Revolution, and finally Petrarch's letter about his graphomania. That last one is from what is perhaps my favorite part of the website, a trove of Petrarch's Familiar Letters. But there's much more in the Hanover Historical Texts Projects besides what I've mentioned.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 24, 2011 - 6 comments

I Wanna Be Your Doguu

Dogu are stylized clay figures from the prehistoric period of Japanese history. After Erich von Däniken popularized his 'ancient astronauts' ideas, Dogu became associated with alien visitors and appeared in many videogames.
More information from The Met and Wiki.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Sep 15, 2011 - 23 comments

If they didn’t surrender after Tokyo, they weren’t going to after Hiroshima.

Q: What ended WWII? A: Not the atomic bomb. [more inside]
posted by swift on Aug 8, 2011 - 171 comments

For the Love of Music

"A ballet dancer needs a mirror to perfect her style, her technique. A singer needs the same -- an aural mirror."
In 1950 and '51, Japan’s first reel-to-reel tape recorders, the "G-Type" (for gov't use) and the "H-1" (for home use) were released by a company named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. Music student Norio Ohga was unimpressed by the wobbly sound of "Talking Paper," so he wrote a note complaining to the firm's founders, who hired him. Mr. Ohga never achieved his original dream of becoming a baritone opera singer, but the future President of TTK, (later renamed Sony,) would still make an indelible, global impact on the world of music -- including the development and introduction of the compact disc. Mr. Ohga died on April 24, 2011. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 4, 2011 - 3 comments

Photographic Immortality

The Burns Archive is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 26, 2011 - 15 comments

vintage Japan and Hong Kong

Old Hong Kong/Macau clips 1949-1989 by Michael Rogge, now 81, who was stationed in Hong Kong and Japan. He documented his life in photos and 16mm film, clips on YT | his YouTube channel | Old Japan in 1870 Engravings. Taken from a Dutch magazine 'De aarde en haar volken' of 1875. Engravings done by French artists. | Old JAPAN in 1869 in engravings French engravings, part of a travelogue, picture a weird Japan. Pictures appeared in Dutch magazine 'De Aarde en haar Volken' of 1869 and were engraved by French artists. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 11, 2011 - 5 comments

The cats are safe!

Cat Island is Safe, Needs Supplies The people of Cat Island have a long history with cats: [more inside]
posted by Katjusa Roquette on Mar 16, 2011 - 34 comments

Dates which do not live in infamy

The attack on Pearl Harbor was neither the U.S.' first armed conflict leading to WW II, nor the last Axis attack on American soil. [more inside]
posted by Zed on Dec 7, 2010 - 29 comments

A Compendium of Obscure Things

Res Obscura is a blog by Ben Breen, a graduate student of early modern history, which styles itself "a compendium of obscure things." Indeed, even the asides are full of wonder, such as the one about Boy, the famous Royalist war poodle of the English Civil War, which is but a short addendum to a post about witches' familiars. Here are some of my favorite posts, Pirate Surgeon in Panama (and a related post about 18th Century Jamaica), vanished civilizations, asemic pseudo-Arabic and -Hebrew writing in Renaissance art, and a series of posts about the way the Chinese and Japanese understood the world outside Asia in the early modern period (Europeans as 'Other', Europeans as 'Other,' Redux and Early Chinese World Maps).
posted by Kattullus on Sep 30, 2010 - 16 comments

Formosan aborigines

Formosa – photographed by Torii Ryuzo.
posted by tellurian on Jan 23, 2010 - 22 comments

1942 maps of the invasion of the United States

Metafilter's own JF Ptak has an interesting post on the Life magazine issue of March 2nd, 1942, readers of which were confronted by some startling maps detailing possible Axis invasion strategies for North America. There was invasion down the St. Lawrence valley, there was invasion via Trinidad, via Bermuda, full frontal west coast, and down the west coast as well - note the mapping of the large "fifth columns". As Ptak notes, maps such as these with huge arrows pointed menancingly at the American homeland were very much not the norm of the day. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 3, 2010 - 44 comments

Animated Stereoviews of Meiji Japan

Animated Stereoviews of Meiji Japan [more inside]
posted by BuddhaInABucket on Nov 13, 2009 - 37 comments

The digital collection of the Tokyo National Museum

The digital collection of the Tokyo National Museum is full of wonder. TNM is the oldest museum in Japan and collects archaeological objects and art from Japan as well as other parts of Asia. The collection can be browsed by type or region. Here are some of my favorites: Buddha's life, The name "Korin" given to pupil, Tale of Matsuranomiya, Coquettish type, Tea caddy in shape of bucket with handle, Mirror, design of sea and island, Traditionary identified as Minamoto no Yoritomo, Seated Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri) and attendants, Sword mounting of kazari-tachi type and (my current desktop background) Figures under a tree. This is but a small sampling of all that can be found in the digital collection
posted by Kattullus on Dec 22, 2008 - 4 comments

Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs

Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs
posted by knave on Nov 12, 2008 - 27 comments

Japan through wonderful vintage photos

Vintage 3-D stereoviews of old Japan, Meiji and Taisho era swimsuit girls, working people, geisha, and kids, old Japan salt prints, dozens of T. Enami glass slides, and strange or offbeat images: all part of a vast and superb collection of Japanese photos from 1862 to 1930 by flickr user Okinawa Soba. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 9, 2008 - 17 comments

Japan before Allied bombings

Old Photos of Japan - a daily photoblog featuring images of Japan between the 1860s and 1930s.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 9, 2008 - 21 comments

1930s Japanese Air Raid and Civil Defence Posters

The Japanese National Archives have a nice set of late 1930s, pre-World War 2, civil defence posters, created in response to their hostilities with China: General Air Raid Defence; Blackout Control; Fire Protection; and Gas Attack. via Airminded, an excellent blog on "Airpower and British Society 1908-1941, mostly." [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jan 26, 2008 - 13 comments

"My humble efforts to assist in the elucidation of the social condition of a distant and comparatively unknown race."

Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs (1867).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 5, 2007 - 11 comments

Japanese historical photographs ca. 1910

A nice set of photographic glass-plate transparencies depicting life in Japan ca. 1910. These "Yokohama photographs" were sold to foreign tourists between about 1868 and 1912. I found the Crafts and Trades section most interesting.
posted by Rumple on Jun 7, 2007 - 18 comments

Japanese Bicycle History Research Club

Japanese Bicycle History Research Club With a nice gallery of photos, illustrations, and ukiyo-e of vintage bicycles in Japan.
posted by carter on Jun 2, 2007 - 5 comments

Photos from Hiroshima

Photos from Hiroshima in August of 1945. Long supressed by the occupying U.S. forces, a highly unsettling (and decidedly NSFW) collection of photos from the days immediately after August 6th. Via.
posted by jonson on Feb 6, 2007 - 199 comments

Japanese Medical Prints

Japanese Medical Prints. Part of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, at the Kansas University Medical Center, and donated by Dr. Matthew Pickard. The digital collections at the Clendening Library also include Florence Nightingale's letters, old school Chinese public health posters, and images from old medical and natural history texts.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Jan 4, 2007 - 5 comments

Comfort Women

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations adopted a bipartisan resolution to ask the Japanese government to formally apologize for sexually enslaving up to 200,000 "comfort women" in Imperial brothels during its colonial occupation of Asia from 1932 through the end of World War II. Many were tortured and raped, and only about 30% survived WWII. Japan has stated repeatedly that even though the brothels were established by military policy, the imperial government was not directly involved in operating them. Taking responsibility would be an admission that they committed war crimes -- slavery and trafficking in women and children -- and could give victims a legal basis to sue for reparations.

H Res. 759 does not ask Japan to provide reparations, but it does push them to unambiguously acknowledge what happened and educate future generations, (full text) rather than continue the current practice of denying what really happened. Previously on MeFi.
posted by zarq on Sep 15, 2006 - 56 comments

Japanophilia and Japanophobia

Japan in America: the Turn of the Twentieth Century - an exhibit of ads, cartoons, art and other popculture artifacts from the decades leading up to WWI. (image menu is at the bottom of the page)
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 9, 2006 - 14 comments

Apparently there is an uncanny valley in Japan, too.

The tradition of making Japanese dolls, called ningyo—meaning human figure—goes back as far as 10,000 years to clay figures made during the Jomon period. The more recent rise in popularity, though, is most often traced to Hina Matsuri--Girls' Day, or the Doll Festival, celebrated on March 3--originating during the Edo period. These antique ningyo are highly sought after by collectors, such as the American expert Alan Pate, who has written a number of articles on the subject. The modern Japanese doll culture, however, is anything but traditional. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ningyo tradition was exported to make toys for the West (previously featured on MeFi), and has culminated in popular Barbie-type dolls such as Superdollfie and others. Contemporary artists have transformed the Japanese doll tradition into something else entirely: Simon Yotsuya, Ryo Yoshida, Koitsukihime, Yoko Ueno, Mario A., Etsuko Miura, and Kai Akemi. A number of these artists were featured in the Dolls of Innocence exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Of course, notable artists outside Japan have worked with dolls before, including Hans Bellmer, who inspired much of the artwork in Innocence, the follow-up to Ghost in the Shell. Explore more: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]. [Several links are nsfw.]
posted by monju_bosatsu on Mar 24, 2006 - 11 comments

Irie Takako: Establishing Oneself and Entering the World

In the Twilight of Modernity and the Silent Film (.pdf) Irie Takako was the most popular actress in 1930s Japan: film scholar Tanaka Masasumi locates the turning point of Japanese modernity in 1933, the year Kenji Mizoguchi's The Water Magician was made, arguing that Irie's transformation from radiant embodiment of moga(modern girl, the Japanese version of the flapper)-hood to suffering beauty in a kimono (.pdf) epitomized modernism's (modanizumu) defeat by nationalism in 1930's Japan. (via Camera Obscura; more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 15, 2006 - 5 comments

Aleksandr Sokurov's "The Sun"

The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life". "The Sun", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's 'Men of Power' tetralogy after the gloom of Moloch (1999), about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus" (2001), focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
posted by matteo on Sep 13, 2005 - 21 comments

James Fee's Peleliu Project

The Peleliu Project. The tiny Micronesian island of Peleliu was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The U.S. invasion of the Japanese occupied island began in September of 1944, and was expected to last only a matter of days. Casualties on this 5 square mile island reached 20,000 by the end of the two-month struggle. U.S. soldiers were forced to pour aviation fuel into caves and ignite them in order to end the standoff of those who refused to surrender. One determined group of 34 Japanese soldiers remained in hiding until they were discovered in April of 1947.
Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Russell Fee returned from Peleliu with a fierce, uncompromising vision of America which would have a profound impact on the life and work of his son. Fifty-three years later, armed with his father's snapshots and diary which he had just uncovered, James Fee went to Peleliu to see with his own eyes the place where his father's vision had taken shape. The result of his five year quest is The Peleliu Project. more inside
posted by matteo on Aug 21, 2005 - 13 comments

Tokyo Rose

"Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?" Tokyo Rose was the name given to any female propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese during WWII’s battle for the Pacific, but it has stuck most tightly to Iva Toguri D'Aquino, an American who studied zoology at Berkeley and unwisely went to visit a relative in Japan in 1941 without a passport.

Her sultry voice was heard across the Pacific during her radio show “The Zero Hour,” which earned her about $7 per month. After the war, "Orphan Annie" returned to the U.S., where she was tried for treason in the most expensive trial in history. Her story has been made into movies and documentaries, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts online and apparently even email her.
posted by gottabefunky on Jul 12, 2005 - 10 comments

Anti-Japan protests in China

Reports of recent Anti-Japanese demonstrations in China lack any details about the content in the disputed history text books. Is it related to the Nanjing Massacre, which Iris Chang wrote about in her much contested book "The Rape of Nanking"? The Chinese government is certainly not acting as a shining example of upholding human rights by any means, but does that deprive its people from the right to have part of their history at least adequately remembered ? And is the Chinese Government using this collective wound to further its own national interests such as keeping Japan from joining the UNSC?
posted by threehundredandsixty on Apr 16, 2005 - 52 comments

Robot Friend Ancient Music Fish

With My Special Partner, I can drink my way back to the 7th Millenium BCE for ancient music, and the fish’ll tell me how to get home.
posted by dfowler on Apr 13, 2005 - 13 comments

Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900–1945

Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900-1945 During the years 1900-1945, the question that motivated Muslims and some Japanese was whether Japan could be the "Savior of Islam" against Western imperialism and colonialism if this meant collaboration with Japanese imperialism. Even during the 1930s, when there was little hope left for prospects of democracy and liberalism in Japan (for that matter in Europe as well), the vision of a "Muslim Japan" was so compelling to many Muslims in Asia and beyond, even among black Muslims of Harlem, as a means for emancipation from Western hegemony/colonial reality that it justified cooperation with Japanese intelligence overseas. Okawa Shumei, the major intellectual figure of Pan-Asianism, the "mastermind of Japanese fascism" in the Tokyo trials, who justified Japan's mission to liberate Asia from Western colonialism by war if necessary, saw Islam as the means. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the relationship transformed into a major Japanese military strategy as the Japanese government began to implement its Islamic policy by mobilizing Muslim forces against the United Kingdom, Holland, China and Russia in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.      Alternately, The Fukuwaza Doctrine
posted by y2karl on Nov 12, 2004 - 11 comments

Iraq, Manchuria, Askari Street--It's The History News Network!

From Nanjing 1937 to Fallujah 2004; Is the U.S. Repeating the Mistakes of Japan in the 1930s?; Attempting Analogy: Japanese Manchuria and Occupied Iraq and Manchuria and Iraq, 1932 and 2004: you can kiss that Vietnam analogy good bye--when historians talk history, they range farther afield. I ♥ the History News Network! Here is food for thought at an all night, all you can eat smorgasbord--those who teach history are condemned to discuss it and we're all the better for it.

For example, Hala Fattah's Askari Street is my current favorite Iraqi weblog. She gives us the history of the Arab horse, the Pachachi family, the Shammar tribe and Kirkuk, and its place in Iraqi History and she has barely begun to write.
HNN: oh, it's an embarrassment of riches and a fount of endless fascination.
posted by y2karl on Jun 11, 2004 - 23 comments

Hanafuda and Go-Stop

Hanafuda, also known as Go-Stop. [more]
posted by hama7 on May 2, 2004 - 6 comments

Netsuke

Netsuke: ornate artifacts of the Edo period. Via neonepiphany.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 17, 2004 - 3 comments

Projects related to Medieval Japan

Sengoku Daimyo: Projects related to medieval Japan.
posted by hama7 on Apr 14, 2004 - 3 comments

Black ships and Samurai: Japan and the US, 1853

Black ships and samurai In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.)
posted by carter on Mar 14, 2004 - 18 comments

WWII Japanese Handgun Website

Nambu: WWII Japanese Handgun Website.
posted by hama7 on Feb 28, 2004 - 39 comments

Dentsu Advertising Museum

Dentsu Advertising Museum. Japanese advertising 1603-1926.
'The Edo Era (1603—1867), during which a full-fledged feudal system was established by the Tokugawa shogunate, was also an era in which the culture of townspeople flourished. That Japan had already developed distinctive advertising techniques of its own as early as the Edo Era might come as a surprise to you. But ample evidence of these remain for us today to follow a historical trail, in the form of nishiki-e (a multicolored woodblock print), hikifuda (handbills) and signboards. A witness of the times, as well as a chronicle of advertising creative work in Japan, these relics represent a valuable record of both the evolution of corporations and the history of common people's lives.'
'Dentsu Advertising Museum presents selected advertising artifacts and works of art from the Yoshida Hideo Memorial Foundation collection, in order to give you a taste of the historical background to Japanese advertising techniques.'
posted by plep on Nov 21, 2003 - 6 comments

Shiseido Women

Shiseido Women. 'In Japan, womens fashion, like makeup, continues to evolve, reflecting the moods and mores of the times. The following photographs of women provide tantalizing glimpses into some of the radical changes that have marked the past century. '
Related interest :- An American Visit to Japan, 1923.
posted by plep on Apr 18, 2003 - 7 comments

old japan maps

A bunch of very beautiful Old Japanese Maps has been put online. Java application Insight(tm) required to view and includes a nifty GIS application to overlay old maps on current maps with 3-D animated fly-throughs. State of the art in online map presentation "The digital images are even better than the originals because you can amplify them, rotate them to look at them from different angles," Mr. Zhou said. "In practical terms, this is a better way of using the material than actually coming here to see the pieces."
posted by stbalbach on Apr 13, 2003 - 5 comments

Red-Haired Barbarians

Red-Haired Barbarians: The Dutch and Othe Foreigners in Nagasaki and Yokohama 1800-1865
posted by hama7 on Mar 30, 2003 - 9 comments

The Kunisada Project

The Kunisada Project, dedicated to one of the greatest ukiyo-e artists.
posted by plep on Mar 16, 2003 - 4 comments

Lafcadio Hearn

In Ghostly Japan, by Lafcadio Hearn, an "American author who lived in Japan, becoming a naturalized citizen, from 1891. His 1904 volume Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things is perhaps the work for which he is best known today; it continues to serve as an introduction of non-Western supernaturalism to a Western audience".[more]
posted by hama7 on Mar 13, 2003 - 15 comments

Bunraku and related

Bunraku is Japan's professional puppet theater. Developed primarily in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it is one of the four forms of Japanese classical theater, the others being kabuki, noh and kyogen.[more]
posted by hama7 on Feb 20, 2003 - 17 comments

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