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Introduction to the History of Ancient Japan
Video by Kelly Macquire

Introduction to the History of Ancient Japan

The History of Ancient Japan dates back to the fifteenth century BCE, and spans thousands of years until the beginning of the Medieval period in Japan. The Jōmon period was the first historical period of Japan, and the name Jōmon comes from...
Yayoi Period
Definition by Tony Hoang

Yayoi Period

The Yayoi Period is one of the oldest historical periods of Japan spanning from c. 300 BCE to c. 250 CE, preceded by the Jomon Period and followed by the Kofun Period. The name Yayoi comes from the district in Tokyo where the first artifacts...
Itsukushima Shrine
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine on the island of the same name, also known as Miyajima, located in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Traditionally founded in the 6th century CE, the present layout of buildings dates to the 12th...
Ancient Nara
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Ancient Nara

Nara, located around 30 km south of modern Kyoto, was the capital of ancient Japan between 710 and 784 CE. It gave its name to the Nara Period (710-794 CE), although the name during the 8th century CE was Heijokyo. Modelled on the Chinese...
Tokugawa Iemitsu
Definition by Graham Squires

Tokugawa Iemitsu

Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651) governed Japan as the third shogun of the Edo period. He implemented a number of important policies that not only consolidated his family's hold on power but also greatly impacted Japanese society for several...
Life in a Japanese Buddhist Monastery
Article by Mark Cartwright

Life in a Japanese Buddhist Monastery

Buddhist monasteries have been part of the Japanese cultural landscape ever since the 7th century CE, and they remained both powerful and socially important institutions right through the medieval period. Today, many of Japan's finest examples...
Heian Period
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Heian Period

The Heian Period of Japanese history covers 794 to 1185 CE and saw a great flourishing in Japanese culture from literature to paintings. Government and its administration came to be dominated by the Fujiwara clan who eventually were challenged...
Ninja
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Ninja

Ninja (aka Shinobi) were the specialised assassins, saboteurs, and secret agents of medieval Japanese warfare who were highly-trained proponents of the martial arts, especially what later became known as ninjutsu or 'the art of the ninja'...
Portuguese Nagasaki
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Portuguese Nagasaki

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...
Ihara Saikaku
Definition by Graham Squires

Ihara Saikaku

Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693) was a Japanese poet and novelist who played a leading role in creating the so-called ‘floating world’ (ukiyo-zoshi) genre of popular literature in the 17th century. His work was significant because, in terms of both...
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