Episode 38 – Japan’s Christian Century, Part 1

This is part one of an eventual three part series on the rise and fall of Christianity in medieval Japan. This week, we’ll cover the background of events in Europe and Japan, as well as the arrival of the first Portuguese traders in the country.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Boxer, CR. The Christian Century in Japan.

Sansom, George. A History of Japan, Vol II (1336-1615).

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

 

In 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses for debate to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany. His defiance of the Catholic hierarchy touched off the Protestant Reformation in Europe.
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses for debate to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany. His defiance of the Catholic hierarchy touched off the Protestant Reformation in Europe.
The location of Tanegashima island in reference to Kyushu. Tanegashima was the site of the first Portuguese landing in Japan.
The location of Tanegashima island in reference to Kyushu. Tanegashima was the site of the first Portuguese landing in Japan.
An Edo period print by Katsushika Hokusai depicting the arrival of the first foreigners in Japan.
An Edo period print by Katsushika Hokusai depicting the arrival of the first foreigners in Japan.
A Portuguese fleet coming to Japan for trade.
A Portuguese fleet coming to Japan for trade.
Portuguese tradesmen offloading their goods in Japan.
Portuguese tradesmen offloading their goods in Japan.
A "Tanegashima"-pattern arquebus, built off European models.
A “Tanegashima”-pattern arquebus, built off European models.
This statue in Kagoshima depicts Francis Xavier (center) with Anjiro, the Japanese Christian convert who first suggested he come to Japan, on the left. The figure on the right is a second Japanese convert generally known by his baptismal name Bernard.
This statue in Kagoshima depicts Francis Xavier (center) with Anjiro, the Japanese Christian convert who first suggested he come to Japan, on the left. The figure on the right is a second Japanese convert generally known by his baptismal name Bernard.

Regarding Advertising on the Show

As you may have heard in the most recent episode, I’m considering adding ads to the show. I’d like your thoughts on this, so please fill out the poll below. Alternatively, you can email me at ijmeyer@uw.edu with your thoughts.

 

 

Episode 37 – Women Warriors

This week, we’ll be tackling an oft-requested topic; women warriors in the samurai class. Contrary to what you might think, women were actually very active in the roughly 800 years that make up the dominant time of the samurai class. Today, we’ll be discussing just a few of them and learning about their accomplishments during Japan’s war-torn past.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Amdur, Ellis. Women Warriors in Japan: The Role of Arms-Bearing Women in Japanese History

McCullough, Hellen Craig, trans. The Tale of the Heike.

Sansom, George. A History of Japan, vol. I and II (Prehistory-1334, 1334-1615)

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

A Meiji period depiction of Empress Jingu, leading Japanese troops in Korea during the 200s AD.
A Meiji period depiction of Empress Jingu, leading Japanese troops in Korea during the 200s AD.
The European-style portrait on this 1881 one yen banknote is supposed to be Empress Jingu -- she was a popular figure in the Meiji Period, though her martial aspects were downplayed somewhat.
The European-style portrait on this 1881 one yen banknote is supposed to be Empress Jingu — she was a popular figure in the Meiji Period, though her martial aspects were downplayed somewhat.
A female member of the samurai class practicing with weapons. Generally speaking, women are associated with the naginata, a bladed polearm -- the theory being that it made up for the shorter reach of most women compared to men. However, women are described using a wide variety of weapons throughout Japanese history.
A female member of the samurai class practicing with weapons. Generally speaking, women are associated with the naginata, a bladed polearm — the theory being that it made up for the shorter reach of most women compared to men. However, women are described using a wide variety of weapons throughout Japanese history.
Tomoe Gozen in action. Note the decapitated corpse beneath her.
Tomoe Gozen in action. Note the decapitated corpse beneath her.
Hangaku Gozen, as depicted in a print by Edo-period artist Yoshitoshi. Her armor is probably not accurate to the period (being based off Edo era designs rather than Kamakura-era ones).
Hangaku Gozen, as depicted in a print by Edo-period artist Yoshitoshi. Her armor is probably not accurate to the period (being based off Edo era designs rather than Kamakura-era ones).
Nakano Takeko. This picture was taken only a few months before her death.
Nakano Takeko. This picture was taken only a few months before her death.

Episode 36 – The Great War

We’re back for the start of 2014, and to kick the year off right we’re looking at this year’s most significant anniversary: 1914. We’ll be talking about the effects of World War I in Japan, and the ways in which it marked a turning point for Japanese policies in Asia.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.

Humphreys, Leonard. The Way of the Heavenly Sword: The Imperial Japanese Army in the 1920s.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Pyle, Kenneth. The Making of Modern Japan.

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

Japanese marines coming ashore during their assault on Tsingtao, a German-held territory in China.
Japanese marines coming ashore during their assault on Tsingtao, a German-held territory in China.
A lithograph depicting the occupation of Blagoveshchensk by the Imperial Army during the Siberian Intervention.
A lithograph depicting the occupation of Blagoveshchensk by the Imperial Army during the Siberian Intervention.
A Japanese propaganda poster from the Siberian intervention. The caption reads: "Our air, naval, and land forces close in, mopping up the enemies of the White Army."
A Japanese propaganda poster from the Siberian intervention. The caption reads: “Our air, naval, and land forces close in, mopping up the enemies of the White Army.”
A soldier from the White Army.
A soldier from the White Army.
The May 4th protesters in Beijing, marching through Tiananmen Square. Incidentally, 70 years later another group of Chinese students would choose May 4th, 1989 as a date to begin protests against their own government in the name of democracy.
The May 4th protesters in Beijing, marching through Tiananmen Square. Incidentally, 70 years later another group of Chinese students would choose May 4th, 1989 as a date to begin protests against their own government in the name of democracy.
Chinese students from Tsinghua burn Japanese goods during the May 4th Movement.
Chinese students from Tsinghua burn Japanese goods during the May 4th Movement.
Hara Kei (sometimes referred to as Hara Takashi), protege of Ito Hirobumi and one of the members of the second generation of Japanese leadership.
Hara Kei (sometimes referred to as Hara Takashi), protege of Ito Hirobumi and one of the members of the second generation of Japanese leadership.
Katsura Taro, protege of Yamagata Aritomo and another member of the second generation of Japanese leaders.
Katsura Taro, protege of Yamagata Aritomo and another member of the second generation of Japanese leaders.
Terauchi Masatake, the Prime Minister who ordered Japanese intervention in Siberia.
Terauchi Masatake, the Prime Minister who ordered Japanese intervention in Siberia.