Sharpen your knowledge of Japanese swords

Feb 14, 2017

Sharpen your knowledge of Japanese swords

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If you’ve ever wanted to learn about Japanese swords, now’s the time, as an unusually large number of top-quality blades are currently on view at two Tokyo museums. Either exhibition is well worth a visit but together they’re dynamite.“Perfect Guide to Japanese Sword” at ...

Every hero has a few human flaws

Nov 1, 2016

Every hero has a few human flaws

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Ryoma Sakamoto (1835-1867), among Japan’s most beloved heroes, came of age when U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry’s Black Ships arrived demanding trade relations and ending the country’s closed-door foreign policy. The old Japan ruled by the feudal Tokugawa shogunate was giving way to the modern ...

Bushido: Soseki, 'Star Wars' and the samurai

Jul 30, 2016

Bushido: Soseki, 'Star Wars' and the samurai

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In September 1912, Gen. Maresuke Nogi — a hero of the Russo-Japanese War — committed ritual suicide. His sensational death took place on the day of Emperor Meiji’s funeral, making it an act of junshi (following one’s lord in death) and a high-water mark ...

Japan's epic samurai dramas are in a tight spot

Feb 3, 2016

Japan's epic samurai dramas are in a tight spot

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Japanese can roughly be split into two camps: those equipped with an encyclopedic knowledge of history and those who have only a vague idea of who the samurai were or that a Shogun once lived in what is now the Imperial Palace. The history ...

Sawamura Award winner Kaneko to start Game 2

Nov 13, 2014

Sawamura Award winner Kaneko to start Game 2

Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo hopes that right-hander Chihiro Kaneko will continue in Friday’s Game 2 of the Japan-Major League All-Star Series what teammate Kenta Maeda started in a 2-0 win in Game 1.Kokubo called Kaneko, who won this year’s Sawamura Award as Japan’s ...