Online dictionary of history and traditions in Japan: Hanami,Hanamichi,Hanetsuki,Haniwa,Haori,Hara Takashi,Harakiri,Hasekura Tsunenaga,Hashimoto Gaho,Hatamoto

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Hanami

hanami
alternative words: Hanami party, Hanami festival, Ohanami, O hanami, Flower viewing, Cherry-blossom viewing
keywords: festival
related topics: Heian period , Toyotomi Hideyoshi , Edo period , Sake
related web sites: http://www.ffortune.net/calen/hana/index.htm
explanation: Literally "flower viewing" but in reality "cherry-blossom viewing", picnicking under cherry trees is one of the most popular spring festivals in Japan and has an old history because hanami was already popular among the Kyoto's aristocracy during Heian period. Gigantic hanami party carried out by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at Daigo in Kyoto is well known, but it is since Edo period that hanami has become a festival of everybody by eating cakes and drinking sake under cherry-blossom trees.

Hanamichi

hanamichi
alternative words: Flower road, Flower path, Hanamichi ramp, Hana-michi, Hana michi
keywords: kabuki
related topics: Kabuki
explanation: Ramp used by Kabuki theater. It connects the stage and the back of auditorium and allows the actors to appear from behind of the spectators and even serves as an extra stage. Its normal position is slightly left from the median line of the auditorium but sometimes the second hanamichi is added on the right.

Hanetsuki

hanetsuki hanetsuki
alternative words: Hanetsuki game, Battledore, Japanese badminton
keywords: game
related topics: New year , Muromachi period , Edo period , Hagoita
related web sites: http://www.pref.hiroshima.jp/kyouiku/bunka/chuusei/21-2.htm
explanation: Game which consists to strike mutually a shuttlecock (hane) by 2 persons or 2 groups and those who miss it become a looser. It looks like a badminton but there is no net and racket is a wooden paddle (hagoita) while shuttlecock is made with soapberry seed and feathers. The game was already played by aristocrats during Muromachi period but has been generalized among population since the end of Edo period. Hanetsuki was greatly played during a new year festival until recently.

Haniwa

haniwa
alternative words: Clay ring
keywords: thing
related topics: Kofun period , Tumulus , Nihonshoki
related web sites: http://www.mediajoy.com/chikatsu/cs/cs10.html , http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hao/egg/top.htm
explanation: Unglazed earthenware put around the tumulus during Kofun period. According to Nihonshoki, they may be invented during the reign of Emperor Suinin in order to avoid a human sacrifice by replicating the human figure and put them around the tumulus. But for some scholars, they should have been invented in order to avoid the collapse of a tumulus. Anyway, with a diversity of their forms such as warrior, horse, ship, house etc. they are excellent objects to study the habit of that period.

Haori

haori
alternative words: Kimono jacket
keywords: craft
related topics: Kimono , Edo period , Meiji period
related web sites: http://www1.sphere.ne.jp/hoteiya/turedurebn11.html , http://www.3ac.co.jp/sun/kogire/08g4c001.html
explanation: Literally "to wear by throwing", it may have originated from "jitsutoku", a jacket for servants or "jinbaori" a jacket worn by samurai over an armory, it became a casual clothing for men while banned for women because it was too manly. Since Meiji period it has become a formal costume for both men and women as street wear.

Hara Takashi

haratakashi
alternative words: Hara Kei, Hara Satoshi, Takashi Hara, Kei Hara, Satoshi Hara
keywords: famous person, statesman
related topics: Meiji period , Taisho period , Siberian intervention
related web sites: http://www.sangiin.go.jp/japanese/ayumi/history/html/h10680.htm
explanation: Born in 1856 in a high ranked samurai family of Iwate prefecture. After studied at law and missionary schools, he became first a journalist then a diplomat thanks to supports of Inoue Kaoru and Mutsu Munemitsu. In 1900, he participated to the creation of Rikken Seiyukai party. After diverse ministerial posts, he became the first prime minister issued from a political party in 1918. Due to Siberian intervention and the opposition to an universal suffrage, his popularity declined and was assassinated in 1921.

Harakiri

seppuku harakiri
alternative words: Seppuku, Hara kiri
keywords: law
related topics: Sengoku period , Edo period , Bushido
related web sites: http://www.mm-taiga.com/genrock/service/taiga/top/g_club/daigaku/20/fu20_15.htm , http://members.tripod.co.jp/yanparayanyanyan/index-5.html
explanation: Suicide method practiced by samurai, which consists to cut off his own abdominal. During Sengoku period, harakiri was considered a way to show the courage when his lost a battle. When a peace arrived with Edo period, it was formalized and became a kind of punishment for samurai. In this case, the jailer cut off the head of a condemned, when the latter began just a gesture. The last famous harakiri is committed by a Japanese novelist Mishima Yukio in November 1970.

Hasekura Tsunenaga

hasekuratsunenaga
alternative words: Tsunenaga Hasekura
keywords: explorer, famous person
related topics: Date Masamune
related web sites: http://www.town.osato.miyagi.jp/introduce/kanko/memorial.htm , http://www.city.sendai.jp/kyouiku/museum/hasekura/
explanation: Born a high ranked samurai family and vassal of Date clan near Sendai in 1571, Hasekura Tsunenaga was the first Japanese who reached Europe to meet the Pope in the 17th century by passing through Pacific Ocean, Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. After he had returned back to Japan, he was confined in a secret place because Christianity became forbidden in Japan during his voyage. He died in 1622 in obscurity. The replica of San Juan Bautista, the ship used by him to cross the Pacific is moored at Ishinomaki harbor.

Hashimoto Gaho

hashimotogahou
alternative words: Hashimoto Gahou, Gaho Hashimoto, Gahou Hashimoto
keywords: artist, famous person
related topics: Okakura Tenshin , Kano school , Meiji revolution , Yokoyama Taikan
related web sites: http://www.t3.rim.or.jp/~nichiren/hoke/hoke06.html , http://www4.ocn.ne.jp/~fujibi/Curator_konoippinn_hashimotogahou.htm
explanation: Born in 1835 in a painter family of Tokyo. He studied at Kano school. Along with Kano Hogai, he introduced western style painting into Kano school but during Meiji revolution, he became extremely poor due to a lack of support for Japanese painting. After having won silver medals in a painting contest in 1879, he got a recognition of Okakura Tenshin. He became a professor at Tokyo bijutsu gakko in 1889 and formed new Japanese painters such as Yokoyama Taikan and Kawai Gyokudo. He died in 1908.

Hatamoto

hatamoto
keywords: title
related topics: Edo shogunate , Koku , Bugyo , Gokenin , Enomoto Takeaki , Katsu Kaishu
explanation: Direct Edo shogun's retainers. They were frequently descendants of warriors who helped Tokugawa family to become shogun. They were allowed to meet the shogun and received the annual salary of more than 260 koku. Their number was about 5,000. Lower ranked retainers were called "Gokenin". If Hatamoto was appointed to an official post such as Bugyo, he received a supplementary salary (Yaku buchi). Enomoto Takeaki and Katsu Kaishu were Hatamoto.

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