Online dictionary of history and traditions in Japan: Takeda Shingen,Tanabata,Tanegashima rifle,Tango no sekku,Tanuma Okitsugu,Taoism,Tatami,Tea ceremony,Tempura,Tendai sect

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Takeda Shingen

takedashinngenn
alternative words: Shingen Takeda, Shingen, Takeda Singen
keywords: famous person, war lord
related topics: Sengoku period , Tokugawa Ieyasu , Uesugi Kenshin , Imagawa Yoshimoto
related web sites: http://www.interq.or.jp/pure/miyatate/ , http://shingen3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/
explanation: Born in 1521 as the eldest son of Nobutora in Yamanashi prefecture. In 1541 he inherited the father's feud by expelling him from the country. He tried first to expand his territory toward the north and entered a conflict with another strong war lord, Uesugi Kensin. Both being good tacticians, the battle of Kawanakajima ended in a draw. After the death of Imagawa Yoshimoto, he raised a big army to occupy Kyoto and died due to illness during a battle against Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1573.

Tanabata

tanabata tanabatamatsuri
alternative words: Tanabata festival, Star festival, Tanabatamatsuri, Tanabata matsuri, Tanabata no sekku, Tanabata sekku
keywords: china, festival
related topics: Sekku , Nebuta
related web sites: http://www.tanabata.net , http://www.senganen.jp/event/tanabata/
explanation: It comes from a Chines legend: the 2 lovers symbolized by Weaver Star (Vega) and Cowherd Star (Altair) are allowed to meet each other on July 7 of each year. The celebration of this legend has become popular because other festivals like Sekku (festival of seasonal change) and Bon (festival of ancestors) fall approximately on the same season. Some regions observe Tanabata in the early August following the old lunar calendar, such as Nebuta festival in Aomori and Tanabata festival in Sendai.

Tanegashima rifle

tanegashimajyuu hinawajyuu
alternative words: Tanegashima gun, Tanegashimaju, Tanegashima ju, Tanegashima teppo, Tanegashima, Rifle, Teppo
keywords: weapon
related topics: Sengoku period , Oda nobunaga , Battle of Nagashino
related web sites: http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~kaze_k/special-02.htm
explanation: In 1543, a Chinese ship carrying Portuguese had wrecked on Tanegashima island. Local seignior, Tanegashima Tokitaka bought 2 rifles from Portuguese and asked a blacksmith to imitate them. Japan being at a civil war period (Sengoku jidai), this new weapon had spread quickly all over Japan. At the famous battle of Nagashino in 1575 near Nagoya, Oda Nobunaga eliminated redoubtable Takeda's cavalry troops by aligning more than 1000 rifles (world's record of that period).

Tango no sekku

tanngonosekku shyoubunosekku gogatsunosekku kodomonohi
alternative words: Tangono sekku, Tango festival, Shobu no sekku, Gogatsu no sekku, Children's day, Boy's day, Kodomo no hi, Kodomono hi
keywords: festival
related topics: Sekku , Momo no sekku , Edo period , Japanese doll
related web sites: http://www.sekku.com
explanation: One of 5 sekku. It is celebrated on May 5 of each year. Man taking bath with iris's leave because of its medicinal effect, it is called "Shobu no sekku" (shobu = iris), too. "Bu" of shobu being synonymous to "samurai", it has been transformed gradually to "boy's festival" with decorations of samurai dolls and their objects like armors and flags since Edo period, while farmers have introduced flying carps (Koi nobori): carp being considered a strong fish. It is now a national holiday.

Tanuma Okitsugu

tanumaokitsugu
alternative words: Okitsugu Tanuma
keywords: northern territory, statesman
related topics: Edo period , Hatamoto , Daimyo , Roju
related web sites: http://village.infoweb.ne.jp/~tanuma/010intro/okitsugu.htm , http://homepage2.nifty.com/haduki/jidaihaikei.htm
explanation: Born in 1719 in a hatomoto family and engaged as a page by Tokugawa Ieshige who would become later the 9th shogun. So he entered Edo castle and gradually rise his position to become a daimyo and a roju. His policy is characterized by active economic plans such as promotion of guilds, patents and exploitation of new rice fields and mines. He planed also to exploit Hokkaido but never realized because he lost the power after the scandal due to a bribery. He died in 1788.

Taoism

doukyou
alternative words: Dokyo, Doukyou
keywords: china, religion
related topics: Sennin , Buddhism , Motoori Norinaga , Heian period
related web sites: http://www.geocities.co.jp/HeartLand-Poplar/9843/contents.htm , http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~xianxue/
explanation: Taoism is one of the 3 most popular religions in China with Buddhism and Confucianism. According to Motoori Norinaga of Kokugaku school, it has never been implemented officially in Japan but it gave some influences through Buddhism and Confucianism which had interacted with Taoism before arriving to Japan. In spite of a ban of Taoism, the concept of "Sennin" who promises a long or eternal life had been popular until Heian period but declined with the arrival of more comprehensible new Buddhism.

Tatami

tatami
alternative words: Japanese mat
keywords: architecture, thing
related topics: Muromachi period
related web sites: http://www1.coralnet.or.jp/taro/tatami.html , http://www.inh.co.jp/~yuichiro/100kaisetu001.html
explanation: Mats to cover the floor of Japanese traditional houses. A block of nested straws is covered by igusa plant (a kind of reed) When Tatami is worn, you exchange only igusa cover. Initially laid only at the sleeping place like a bed, its usage had been extended everywhere since Muromachi period in upper class houses, and also to middle class ones since Edo period. A tatami has about 90cm width and 180cm height and this surface (Jo) is used as the unit of a room size in Japan.

Tea ceremony

chyadou sadou chyanoyu
alternative words: Chado, Chadou, Cha do, Sado, Sadou, Sa do, Sadoo, Chanoyu, Cha no yu
keywords: art
related topics: Sen no Rikyu , Zen , Urasenke , Omotesenke
related web sites: http://www.teahyakka.com , http://www.ochakaido.com
explanation: Drinking tea had been popular among Buddhist monks but it is the Buddhist priest, Eisai (1141-1215) pf Zen school who brought from China the correct manner to drink it in the 12th century. This manner spread gradually among the public and especially among samurai clans, but it is Sen no Rikyu (1522-91) of Sengoku period who perfected it to create an art by inventing sober tea houses and tools. The manner practiced nowadays in Japan comes directly from his school.

Tempura

tennpura
alternative words: Tenpura, Ten pura
keywords: food
related topics: Sengoku period
related web sites: http://members.tripod.co.jp/Hanayoshi/ , http://www.hageten.com
explanation: Japanese dish made by frying with soy or sesame oil, fishes or vegetables covered with a mixture of wheat powder, fresh water and eggs. You can eat it with a special dipping sauce (tentsuyu), a mixture of soy sauce and sweet sake (mirin) and stock (dashi). Its etymological origin is a Portuguese word, "tempora" a cooking method introduced in Japan during Sengoku period.

Tendai sect

tenndaishyuu
alternative words: Tendaishu sect, Tendaishu, Tendai-shu, Tendai shu, Tendai
keywords: buddhism, china, sect
related topics: Saicho , Buddhism , Esoteric Buddhism , Heian period , Kamakura period , Sengoku period , Oda Nobunaga
related web sites: http://www.tendai.or.jp
explanation: One of the esoteric Buddhism sects brought from China by Saicho. He was authorized to found Japanese branch in 806 at Mt Hiei near Kyoto. It had been especially popular among Heian nobility but its popularity decreased in Kamakura period due to a concurrence of new Buddhism sects, though it continued to keep a political power thanks to innumerable monk soldiers. During Sengoku period, after an attack of Oda Nobunaga, its power was virtually annihilated.

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