Online dictionary of history and traditions in Japan: Bakumatsu,Basho,Battle of Dannoura,Battle of Hakusukinoe,Battle of Nagashino,Battle of Sekigahara,Battle of Tsushima,Battleship Yamato,Benzaiten,Bishamonten

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Bakumatsu

bakumatsu
alternative words: Bakumatsu period
keywords: epoch, meiji revolution
related topics: Meiji revolution , Edo shogunate , Sakoku , Commodore Perry , Tokugawa Yoshinobu , Shinsengumi , Boshin war
related web sites: http://www2.plala.or.jp/shyall/ , http://www.sciencevillage.com/House/4-bakumatu.htm , http://m1.aol.com/mhokada/katu/ziten.html
explanation: Literally "end of shogunate", the period spanning between the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853 and the fall of Edo shogunat in 1868. After 2 century old Sakoku, Edo shogunat had to cede before a threat of 4 American ships. Before this weakness of shogunat, some seigniors began to equip their own army with western technology to destabilize it, while Tokugawa regime recruited volunteers (Shinsengumi) to stop its decline. Finally, Tokugawa Yoshinobu returned back the power to Emperor in 1868.

Basho

bashyo
keywords: northern territory, sumo
related topics: Edo period , Ezochi , Sumo , Matsumae domain
explanation: During Edo period, some public places were rent to merchants against a part of the earnings coming from their activity. The most famous example is "Sumo Basho" because sumo tournaments occurred initially on the ground of temples or shrines. The exploitation of Ezochi (Hokkaido) also based on this model: wealthy merchants of Tokyo or Osaka received a lot of lands to exploit it freely such as fishing, forest and mines.

Battle of Dannoura

dannnouranotatakai dannnouranotatakai
alternative words: Battle of Dan no ura, Dannoura, Dan no ura
keywords: war
related topics: Gempei gassen , Heishi , Genji , Minamoto no Yoshitsune , Heike monogatari
related web sites: http://www.tiki.ne.jp/~akama-jingu/
explanation: The last battle of the war between Heishi and Genji in 1185. After the defeat at Yashima, Heishi's feet led by Taira no Munemori fled to their last bastion, Kyushu and awaited Genji's fleet led by Minamoto no Yoshitsune at Dannoura. In the morning the tilde was favorable for Heishi but when its direction was changed, the Genji's assault began. Most of Heishi's dignitaries plunged into the sea, including Emperor Antoku, a grand son of Taira no Kiyomori while Munemori was captured.

Battle of Hakusukinoe

hakusukienotatakai hakusonnkounotatakai
alternative words: Hakusukinoe no tatakai, Hakusonko no tatakai, Hakusukinoe, Hakusonko
keywords: korea, war
related topics: Emperor Tenchi , Paekche , Silla
explanation: In 660, one of 3 Korean kingdoms, Paekche, was conquered by Tang and Silla's troops and its king, captured. Some retainers, fled to Japan, requested its help to restore Paekche's throne. Japan responded positively and sent dozens of thousands soldiers to Korean peninsula. During a great naval battle which took place in 663 near Hakusukinoe river, Japanese fleet was severely beaten. As consequence of this battle, Japan had been definitively excluded from the peninsula.

Battle of Nagashino

nagashinonotatakai nagashinonotatakai
alternative words: Nagashino no tatakai, Nagashino
keywords: war
related topics: Sengoku period , Oda Nobunaga , Tokugawa Ieyasu , Takeda Shingen , Tanegashima rifle
explanation: In 1675, 2 years after the death of Takeda Singen, his son, Katsuyori, raised again a great army to occupy Kyoto. During the siege of Nagashino castle in Aichi prefecture, Nobunaga and Ieyasu's army opposed to an assault of Katsuyori's cavalry with 1000 musketeers (3000 in another source) and severely defeated them. The consequence of this battle are the disappearance of Takeda clan and a radical change of war tactics: the cavalry has become useless against gun fire.

Battle of Sekigahara

sekigaharanotatakai sekigahara
alternative words: Sekigahara no tatakai, Sekigahara war, Sekigahara
keywords: war
related topics: Sengoku period , Toyotomi Hideyoshi , Tokugawa Ieyasu , Ishida Mitsunari , Sanada Yukimura
related web sites: http://www.ginet.or.jp/oke/index.htm , http://www.ginet.or.jp/sekigahara/ , http://www.page.sannet.ne.jp/gutoku2/sekigahara1.html
explanation: After Toyotomi Hideyoshi had died in 1598, leaving a young child behind, a great power struggle took place soon. Tokugawa Ieyasu in east and Ishida Mitsunari in west, each tried to get a maximum number of allied lords by promising a great recompense. The battle took place on September 15, 1600 at Sekigahara between Shiga and Gifu prefectures. Because of a treason of Kobayakawa Hideaki, Ieyasu successfully defeated Mitsunari and opened a route to shogun's title.

Battle of Tsushima

nihonnkaikaisenn tsushimaokikaisenn
alternative words: Battle of Japan sea, Battle of sea of Japan, Naval battle of Tsushima, Tsushima
keywords: russia, war
related topics: Russo-Japanese war , Mikasa , Admiral Togo
related web sites: http://www.z-flag.jp/suigun/naval/tsushima_war.html , http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~nkgw/az0018.htm
explanation: In order to control the naval supremacy around Japan and to isolate Japanese troops in the continent, Russians sent Baltic fleet under the commandment of Admiral Rozhestvenskii. Japanese combined fleet directed by Admiral Togo intercepted it near Tsushima island on May 27, 1905. After a fierce battle which lasted until next day, Japanese succeeded to sink most of Russian ships. With the famous sentence, "the fate of the Empire depends on this battle", the battle began.

Battleship Yamato

sennkannyamato sennkannmusashi yamato musashi
alternative words: Senkan Yamato, Battleship Musashi, Senkan Musashi, Musashi, Yamato
keywords: weapon, world war 2
related web sites: http://www.biwa.ne.jp/~yamato/index.htm , http://www.kcn.ne.jp/~nabeck/250yamato.htm
explanation: The largest battle ship ever built by Japanese imperial navy. Displacement: 64,000 tons, speed: 27 knots, main armament: 9x46 cm, length: 263 m. It was completed at Kure naval shipyard near Hiroshima in 1941 after the abrogation of London naval treaty in 1935. Yamato participated to the battles of Midway, Marianas and Leyte as flag ship. During a kamikaze sailing to Okinawa in April 1945, Yamato was sunk by hundreds of plans. Musashi sunk at battle of Leyte belongs to the same class.

Benzaiten

bennzaitenn bennzaitenn benntenn
alternative words: Benten
keywords: god
related topics: 7 fortune gods
related web sites: http://www.butsuzou.com/jiten/benzai.html , http://www.chikubushima.jp
explanation: Originate from Hindus' river goddess Sarasvati, she has also become a deity of the music and speech by analogy with the river's current. In Japan, she is represented by a woman carrying a lute and confused with Buddhist goddess, Kisshoten or Kichijoten. Being the unique goddess among 7 fortune gods, Benzaiten is widely venerated in many sanctuaries such as at Miyajima, Chikubushima and Enoshima.

Bishamonten

bishyamonntenn tamonntenn bishyamonn
alternative words: Bishamon ten, Bishamon god, Bishamon, Tamonten
keywords: buddhism, god
related topics: 7 fortune gods , Uesugi Kenshin
explanation: One of 4 Buddhism guardians, Shitenno (4 celestial princes) which protect 4 cardinal points. Bishamonten (Vai?vana in Sanskrit) is responsible of the northern direction and his statue is represented by a fiery figure with a halberd at right hand and a miniature pagoda at left hand. Listening well the teach of Buddha, he is also called Tamonten. In Japan, as a member of 7 fortune gods, Bishamonten was especially venerated by samurai warriors: Uesugi Kenshin used his symbol on the flag.

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