Online dictionary of history and traditions in Japan: Chikamatsu Monzaemon,Choshu domain,Chushingura,Commodore Perry

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Chikamatsu Monzaemon

chikamatsumonnzaemonn
alternative words: Monzaemon Chikamatsu
keywords: famous person, kabuki, theater, writer
related topics: Edo period , Kabuki , Bunraku , Ronin
related web sites: http://www.sonoda-u.ac.jp/chikamatsu/ , http://www.kosaiji.org/chikamatsu/ , http://www.kosaiji.org , http://www.d1.dion.ne.jp/~soyama/menu.htm
explanation: Born in 1653 in a samurai family of Fukui prefecture. As his father became a ronin, he worked as servant in a Kyoto's aristocrat and learnt to write. Becoming a popular scenario writer at the age 30, he worked most of time for Takemoto Gidayu's bunraku theater and Sakata Tojuro's kabuki theater. His favorite theme is men and women who suffer from a rigid social structure such as "Sonezaki shinju", "Meido no hikyaku", "Shinju ten no amijima". He died in 1724.

Choshu domain

chyoushyuuhann mourihann
alternative words: Choshuhan, Choshu-han, Choshu han, Choshu, Mouri domain, Mouri han, Mouri
keywords: meiji revolution, state
related topics: Muromachi period , Sengoku period , Mouri Motonari , Battle of Sekigahara , Tokugawa Ieyasu , Meiji revolution , Jito , Omura Masujiro
related web sites: http://www21.big.or.jp/~kirin/
explanation: Nominated as a "Jito" in Hiroshima prefecture during Muromachi period, Mouri family extended their domain to the whole Chugoku region during Sengoku period under the guidance of Motonari. During the battle of Sekigahara, they kept a neutrality but Tokugawa Ieyasu punished them severely and their domain shrank only to one fifth of before the battle, i.e. actual Yamaguchi prefecture. For that reason, they became the most determined enemy of Edo shogunate during Meiji revolution.

Chushingura

chyuushinngura kanatehonnchyuushinngura
alternative words: Chushin gura, Katatehon Chushingura
keywords: event, theater
related topics: Edo period , Muromachi period , Kabuki , Edo , Harakiri , Kaieki
related web sites: http://www.117.ne.jp/~akorosi/siryo/siryo.html , http://www.city.ako.hyogo.jp , http://maru.ube-c.ac.jp/users/maeda/ , http://www.waseda.ac.jp/enpaku/gallery/gallery.html
explanation: Joruri and Kbuki play piece based on a real event: during the preparation of an imperial reception at Edo castle, a dispute broken out but Asano Naganori failed to kill Kira Yoshinaka. The usage of sabers being banned inside the castle, Naganori was condemned to harakiri and his feud suppressed (kaieki). Next year, his followers, led by Oishi Kuranosuke revenged the death of Naganori by killing Yoshinaka. Thought it happened during Edo period, the play was adapted to Muromachi period.

Commodore Perry

periiteitoku
alternative words: Matthew Calbraith Perry, Perry, Matthew Perry
keywords: famous person, foreigner, military man
related topics: Edo shogunate , Kanagawa treaty , Sakoku , Black ship
related web sites: http://www.lint.ne.jp/~meirokun/perry.htm , http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~iwat/zenshi-2/zenshi-2.html
explanation: American marine officer, born in 1794. With the mission to establish a diplomatic relationship with Japan, he arrived on July 8, 1853 at Uraga near Tokyo with 4 battle ships. He asked Edo shogunate to open harbors by giving a credential letter of the American president. He promised to return back next year to get the official answer. So he came back in February 1854. Before his coercive attitude, Japan had to sign Kanakawa treaty by breaking 2 century old seclusion policy. He died in 1858.

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