Nagasaki, on the northwest coast of Japan’s Kyushu Island, was an important Portuguese trading base from c. 1571 to 1639, and the most eastern outpost of the Portuguese empire. The Portuguese presence transformed Nagasaki from a small fishing...
The Nara Period (Nara Jidai) of ancient Japan (710-794 CE), so called because for most of that time the capital was located at Nara, then known as Heijokyo, was a short period of transition prior to the significant Heian Period. Despite the...
The samurai (also bushi) were a class of warriors that arose in the 10th century in Japan and which performed military service until the 19th century. Elite and highly-trained soldiers adept at using both the bow and sword, the samurai were...
The Ryukyu Castles of Okinawa
The medieval Ryukyu castles on the island of Okinawa, Japan are impressive testimony to the kingdom's power and wealth from the 12th to 16th century CE. Notable castles include Shuri Castle, the royal residence, and four excellent examples...
Map of Japan in the 16th Century CE
A map of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600 CE).
Major Temples and Shrines of Japan circa 1200 CE, Kamakura Shogunate
This map depicts all major Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines of Japan around the year 1200 CE. Notice that many renowned temples (such as the famous Kinkaju-ji) have not yet been built at that time. The map highlights the city of Kamakura...
Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto, Japan
Kinkakuji Temple or the "Temple of the Golden Pavilion" was constructed in the 1390s CE as the retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (r. 1368–1394 CE). It is comprised of a three-story pavilion — covered in luxurious gold...
The Mongol Invasion of Japan
"The Mongol Invasion" is a Japanese silk tapestry by Kawashima Jimbei II (Japanese, 1853 - 1910 CE), based on an oil painting by Morizumo Yugyo (1854 - 1927 CE). The painting depicts the Mongol Empire's failed invasions of Japan in in 1274...
Feudal Japan Medieval Regent Figurehead Shinto Clan Court Zen Buddhism Daimyo Samurai Shogun Bushido Ronin Wako Kana system Za Kamikaze
Map of Japan by Katip Çelebi
Map of Japan by Katip Çelebi (d. 1657), geographer of the Ottoman Empire, in his famous geographic dictionary, Kitab-ı Cihannüma (View of the World). Cambridge University Library.