Category: japan

Dining room in an Osaka orphanage, taken Febru…

Dining room in an Osaka orphanage, taken February 19, 1951. Most of these children were orphaned by World War II.

Japanese Suffragette Komako Kimura At A New Yo…

While British and American suffragettes get all the attention, Japan had a contemporary suffragette movement. It began after the Meiji Restoration when major educational and political reforms started educating women but excluding them from participation in the new “democratic” government. By law, they were barred from joining political parties, expressing political views, and attending political meetings. Japanese women, more educated then ever and slowly participating in Japan’s workforce, began fighting for the right to participate in the new civil democracy as well.

Unfortunately, when Western white women began winning the right to vote after World War I, Japanese women’s participation in politics was still fighting for basic rights. In 1921, for instance, a court ruling overturned the law forbidding women from attending political meetings. This led to a flowering of women’s suffrage organizations in the 1920s, in addition to literary circles which began publishing feminist magazines during the interwar period.

Japanese women kept the issue alive, but did not win the right to vote until 1945, when election laws were revised under the American occupation.

Three different Japanese texts of the early 19…

Three different Japanese texts of the early 19th century refer to a “hollow ship” that arrived on a local beach in 1803. A white-skinned young woman emerged, but fishermen found that she couldn’t communicate in Japanese, so they returned her to the vessel, which drifted back to sea.

Although it reads similar to a folktale, it is an oddly specific one — the texts give dates (Feb. 22 or March 24) and give the dimensions of the craft (3.3 meters high, 5.4 meters wide), which was shaped like a rice pot or incense burner fitted with small windows. Reportedly the woman carried a small box that no one was allowed to touch.

Unfortunately, the place names mentioned appear to be fictitious. So most likely the story is merely an expression of the insularity of the Edo period. One thing the ship was not was a UFO — it never left the water, but simply floated away.

Did You Know Japan Used To Have Wild Wolves?

Unfortunately, wolves have been extinct on Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu since the 1700s, and on Hokkaido since the 1800s.

A traditional Ainu dress, made from striped co…

A traditional Ainu dress, made from striped cotton.

Circa 1800s, Hokkaido, Japan.

US Marines listening to the news of Japan&rsqu…

US Marines listening to the news of Japan’s surrender on the radio,1945

via reddit

How the original selfie stick was invented in the 1980s.

How the original selfie stick was invented in the 1980s.

The Prime Minister and the Geisha

Sasuke Uno was the prime minister of Japan for just over two months – from early June 1989 to early August 1989. He resigned after it came out that he had kept a geisha as a mistress for a period of five months before becoming prime minister.

The problem was less his extramarital affair, and more how callous and stingy he was with the lady. He offered her money the first night he met her, claimed to have “saved” her with his money, and generally treated her “disdainfully.”

It was the first time that a Japanese politician’s private life was publicized in the media in such a way.

An Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer rescues sai…

An Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer rescues sailors standing on a section of an aircraft elevator blown off the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise after the ship was hit by a kamikaze off Kyushu, Japan, 14 May 1945.

via reddit

The bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. August 9, 1945…

The bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. August 9, 1945.

via reddit