related topics: Prince Shotoku , 5 Japanese kings , Himiko , Yamato dynasty
related web sites: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~eh6k-ymgs/book/furuta/furuta.htm
explanation: Old name of Japan used by Chinese and probably by Japanese themselves. When they had discovered that the character used has a bad connotation (it means "small and ugly"), there were pressed to modify the country name to "Nippon". This change occurred during the reign of Prince Shotoku in the 7th century but "Wa" is still used nowadays by Koreans and Chinese as a derogatory term like "Jap" by Americans.
alternative words: Wataiko, Taiko, Japanese drum
related web sites: http://www.asano.jp
explanation: A big wooden drum of about 1m high and it is played with 2 rods. In old times, it had been used during wars to encourage soldiers. It has also been played during different festivals but recently concerts with many taikos played simultaneously are organized in Japan as well as abroad.
alternative words: Japanese confection, Japanese cookie, Japanese cake, Japanese sweet
related topics: Senbei , Mochi
related web sites: http://www.wagashi.or.jp , http://www3.plala.or.jp/wagashi/ , http://mcyy-2.hoops.ne.jp/fan.html , http://kyoto.cool.ne.jp/kyotowagashi/
explanation: Confections proper to Japan but they have been frequently influenced by Chinese (Tougashi) and western (Nanban gashi) techniques. Their ingredients are mostly based on rice and bean jam paste and many express seasonal tastes. There exist 2 categories of Wagashi: Nama gashi (row confections) which should be consumed in the same day and Hoshi gashi (dry confections) but thanks to a development of the packaging technique and refrigerators, the distinction is becoming less important.
alternative words: Tanka, Yamatouta, Japanese poesy, Japanese poem
keywords: art, poesy
related topics: Nara period , Manyoshu , Kokinwakashu , Ki no Tsurayuki , Shin kokinshu , Hyakunin isshu
related web sites: http://www4.justnet.ne.jp/~tokyu/ , http://www.yk.rim.or.jp/~kajin/ , http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/isoiso/
explanation: Initially it had designated all the Japanese poems of different lengths, as opposed to Chinese poems (Karauta). Since Heian period the most shortest form, Tanka with 5-7-5-7-7 syllables, has become predominant so Waka means usually Tanka, i.e. short poem. The anthology of poems written during Nara period, Manyoshyu, contains the most representative verses of this classic art. Anthology of Kokinwakashu compiled by Ki no Tsurayuki and others in Heian period is well known, too.
alternative words: Wamyo ruijishyo, Wamyo ruiji shyo, Wamyoshou, Wamyou ruijishyo, Wamyo ruiji shyou
related topics: Heian period
explanation: Japanese first encyclopedia compiled by Minamoto no Shitagou as chief editor around 934. Containing a great number of animal, plant, food, stellar, geographic names, etc. in Chinese characters and corresponding Japanese pronunciation in manyogana, followed by citations, it forms an inestimable source of Heian period and its linguistic. There exist a short edition with 10 volumes and a long one with 20 volumes but the relationship between them is unclear.