Episode 201 – The Green Archipelago

This week: Japan’s a pretty verdant place, but how did it stay that way when so many other places were ravaged by human development?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Totman, Conrad. The Green Archipelago.

Totman, Conrad. A History of Japan.

Basically everything Conrad Totman ever did.

amaterasu
Adding to the strain on Japan’s environment was the need to rebuild major monuments after a set time — particularly Shinto shrines, since Shinto’s fierce taboos surrounding decay require sites to be continuously restored. Ise Shrine, shown here, is rebuilt every 20 years on alternating sites, and has been since the 600s.
photo2-2
The Todaiji Buddha, which required 160,000 cubic feet of charcoal to produce.
HinokiPlantation
Stands of Japanese cypress, or hinoki, were among the most valuable timber sources in Japan — and the most heavily harvested.
3010_11
Zojoji, one of two burial temples of the Tokugawa shoguns in Edo.
XYZeXYZe3801_375
Nikko Toshogu, a shrine to the deified spirit of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu’s building boom was the largest one in Japanese history before the Meiji Era.

 

Episode 200 – The 200th Episode

All you could ever want to know about podcast recording, UW’s graduate program, and why the Japanese definitely are not part of the 10 lost tribes of Israel! That and more!

Thank you all for 200 great episodes!

Listen to the episode here.

Check out Accessible Japan at its fantastic website here!

Sources

An NIH article on kampo.

Shillony, Ben-Ami. Jews & The Japanese: The Successful Outsidesr.

Goodman, David G. and Masanori Miyazawa. Jews in the Japanese Mind: The History and Uses of a Cultural Stereotype. 

Morikawa, Jun. Whaling in Japan.

A collection of articles and information on Japan’s territorial disputes assembled by the New York Times.

Images

20170705_141637
My “research assistants” and banes of my audio recording career, playing innocent after spending 20 minutes trying to get me to stop recording and play with them.
Japanese Tefilin
Proponents of the theory that the Japanese are part of the tribes of Israel point to Shinto customs like this one, which involves ritual headwrappings that superficially resemble the tefilin worn by Orthodox Jews during prayer, because there is nothing intrinsically important about the human head that might draw someone to place some kind of symbolic significance on it.
6952660-3x2-700x467
Under the pretense of research whaling, Japanese vessels continue to hunt whales for consumption. However, whale meat was never very popular before the 1950s.
dokdo-demonstration1
A Korean street protest against Japan’s claim on the Liancourt Rocks. The issue is far more of a hot button in Korea than in Japan, where it is generally ignored by the public at large and used by the LDP as a cheap electoral strategy.

Episode 199 – Fist of Legend, Part 6

In which we bring things to a close by considering the fall of the Butokukai, the spread of budo beyond Japan, the role of martial arts in the African-American community, the question of Olympic sport status, and the challenge of the UFC. It’s gonna be a busy week.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

This excellent article on martial arts and black power.

NYT piece on kendo and the olympic sport question.

Images

shinai4
As part of an attempt to shed its militaristic image, some kendo practitioners adopted the European-style fencing jacket as a practice outfit after the US Occupation.
eeedb5ae6ab8938761353ef3aa2fc0ea
Steve Sanders (Muhammed) on right, with Jim Kelly of Enter the Dragon fame on the left. The Black Karate Federation logo is visible behind them.
karate-illustrated-steve-sanders-cover
Sanders on the cover of a Karate Illustrated magazine. From the excellent article provided by Kung Fu Tea.
Olympic Judo London 2012 (74 of 98)
Judo at the 2012 London Olympics. The precise role of competition in budo remains fiercely debated, and there are some among other budo communities who point to a perceived decline in the aesthetic qualities of judo as a warning about the dangers of a focus on competition.

Episode 198 – Fist of Legend, Part 5

This week: can a martial art be a philosophy of life? Can it rise to the level of a religion?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Stalker, Nancy K. Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburo, Omotokyo, and the Rise of New Religions. 

So, Doshin. This is Shorinji Kempo. (note: there’s basically nothing academic on Shorinji Kempo out there, which makes many of the claims in this book and others difficult to verify).

Ueshiba, Kisshomaru. Aikido. 

Images

Morihei_Ueshiba_1939
Ueshiba Morihei in his middle age, around the time he went to Tokyo.
250px-Takeda_Sokaku
Takeda Sokaku, Ueshiba’s first teacher.
sokaku-takeda-osaka-36-08
Takeda demonstrating Daito-ryu at the Asahi Shimbun offices in 1936.
Morihei_Ueshiba_Portrait
Ueshiba later in life.
kaiso-around-1950s
So Doshin as a younger man.
Doshin_So's_Instruction
So Doshin instructs one of his most famous pupils, the martial arts film star Sonny Chiba.

Episode 197 – Fist of Legend, Part 4

This week: karate comes to mainland Japan (and gets a rebrand in the process), and the Butokukai’s attempts to militarize the martial arts backfire when the Americans come to town.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Gainty, Denis. Martial Arts and the Body Politic in Meiji Japan.

Haines, Bruce. Karate’s History and Traditions.

Funakoshi, Gichin. Karate-do Nyumon.

Images

220px-Funakoshi_Gichin
Funakoshi Gichin as a younger man.
6edca1e6c96c417feda77b3ff1f5b458
Funakoshi Gichin after the Second World War.
Funakoshi_memorial
The monument to Funakoshi Gichin at Engakuji, placed there by his mainland Japanese students in the 1970s.
2_4_Gakko-Naginatado
Naginata training like this was traditionally associated with female samurai during the Edo period; during the 20th century, the art of Naginata-do retained that association. It is still dominated by female practitioners to this day.
300px-JUJITSU_(AND_RIFLES)_in_an_agricultural_school
By the 1920s, budo training in state run schools (like this state-run agricultural college in the 1920s) was commonplace. By the time of World War II, it became mandatory in secondary schools.

Episode 196 – Fist of Legend, Part 3

This week: the rise of judo and of the modern budo, and karate strikes back!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Haines, Bruce. Karate’s History and Traditions.

Morio, Higaonna. The History of Karate: Okinawan Goju-ryu.

Gainty, Denis. Martial Arts and the Body Politic in Meiji Japan.

Images

yamashita-casa-branca
Yamashita Yoshiaki and his wife at the White House.
240px-Butokukai_Kyoto
The Butokukan in Kyoto upon its completion in 1899.
Officials
The opening ceremony of the Butokukan.
220px-Higaonna_Kanryo
Higaonna Kanryo, the man behind
Karate_stilovi_sa_Okinawe
A wonderfully confusing chart for those of you interested in Karate and interested in tracing some lineages around.

Episode 195 – Fist of Legend, Part 2

This week: who wants to swing a sword when you can just shoot a gun?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Hurst, G. Cameron. Armed Martial Arts of Japan. 

Gainty, Denis. Martial Arts and the Body Politic in Meiji Japan.

Stevens, John. The Way of Judo. 

Images