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

Episode 194 – Fist of Legend, Part 1

This week: where do Japan’s traditional martial arts come from?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Read, Paul. One Last Thing: The Untold History of the Martial Arts Philosophy.

Meyer, Isaac. The Soul of a Nation: Swordsmanship in Modern Japan. (BA Thesis, Wesleyan University, 2010)

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Images

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A page from the Heiho Kadensho of Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. Books like this one were designed not to propagate the style but to act as certificates of expertise for instructors.
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The domain school of the old Aizu domain, the Nisshinkan. At schools like this one, samurai children would learn a fusion of martial arts and Confucianism unique to the Tokugawa era.
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Traditional karate weapons like these were derived from common household or farming implements, a reminder of karate’s low-class origins.

Episode 193 – No Country for Young Women, Part 2

This week: what are three educated women to do in a society that doesn’t value their education?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Nimura, Janice. Daughters of the Samurai.

Furuki, Yoshiko. The White Plum, a Biography of Tsuda Ume.

Tsuda, Umeko and Yoshiko Furuki. The Attic Letters: Ume Tsuda’s Correspondence to her American Mother.

Some excellent biographical sketches of Ume, Shige and Sutematsu are available here.

Images

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Nagai Shige as a college student at Vassar.
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Yamakawa Sutematsu as a student at Vassar.
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Oyama Iwao and Sutematsu together. Initially a political marriage, by all accounts the union became a very happy one.
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Tsuda Ume in her dorm room at Bryn Mawr. This makes me feel much better about how my dorm looked in college.
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Alice Bacon with Shige, Sutematsu, and Ume during her time working for the Joshi Gakushuin.
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Anna Cope Hartshorne, Tsuda Ume’s closest friend and collaborator in building Tsuda College.
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The modern campus of Tsuda College in Kodaira. The school’s tremendous success can be attributed in part to the amazing energy of its founder.

Episode 192 – No Country for Young Women, Part 1

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Empress Shoken in Western-style court dress. She was charged with seeing off the five girls and giving them their mission.
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The girls on arriving in the West. From left to right: Ryo, Sutematsu, Shige, Ume, and Tei.
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Adeline and Charles Lanman.
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From left to right: Ume, Sutematsu, and Shige.
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Shige as a young girl living in New Haven.

This week: the beginning of a two parter on Japan’s first ever female exchange students.

Listen to the episode here.

You can check out Astra Nullius here.

Sources

Nimura, Janice. Daughters of the Samurai.

Furuki, Yoshiko. The White Plum, a Biography of Tsuda Ume.

Tsuda, Umeko and Yoshiko Furuki. The Attic Letters: Ume Tsuda’s Correspondence to her American Mother.

Some excellent biographical sketches of Ume, Shige and Sutematsu are available here.

Images