Hasekura Tsunenaga's portrait has a tale to tell

Mar 12, 2014

Hasekura Tsunenaga's portrait has a tale to tell

by Rhiannon Paget

History is littered with grand projects and dashed expectations that are no less intriguing than its moments of triumph and heroism. A large portrait in oils of a splendidly attired, mid-ranking samurai posing regally in a Roman palace in the early 1600s bears witness ...

Camera artist casts new light on Jomon millennia

Sep 28, 2013

Camera artist casts new light on Jomon millennia

by Edan Corkill

The Jomon Period of Japanese history is so shrouded in the mists of time that any bid to fathom its secrets stretches even the usual bounds of prehistoric archeology. Yet as amateurs and experts alike have continued unearthing examples of Jomon pottery and stone ...

Re-creating the life of a 17th-century concubine

Apr 28, 2013

Re-creating the life of a 17th-century concubine

by Mark Schilling

As G.G. Rowley notes in the preface to her lovingly researched, elegantly written study of Imperial concubine Nakanoin Nakako, the history of her subject's period, the late 16th and early 17th centuries, "has traditionally been written as the history of men."

'A person and a possession': Japanese women in history

Mar 3, 2013

'A person and a possession': Japanese women in history

by Kris Kosaka

SELLING WOMEN: Prostitution, Markets and the Household in Early Modern Japan, by Amy Stanley. University of California Press, 2012, 282 pp., $49.95 (hardcover) In the vast cultural landscape, Japan fascinates the mainstream with manga and anime, the martial arts, Zen and kimono. Of course, ...