This is the online Japanese dictionary developed by Free Light Software. You can find easily an equivalent Japanese word from English, or send queries to Japanese search engines without knowing Japanese translation, by clicking on a Japanese word. Click on a globe icon to find the position of a locality on Japanese map. The dictionary of Japanese general terms is available at Online Japanese dictionary.
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Iga ninja

伊賀忍者 伊賀物 伊賀流
alternative words: Igamono, Iga mono, Igaryu, Iga ryu, Iga school
keywords: ninja, school
related topics: Ninja , Oda Nobunaga , Tokugawa Ieyasu , Edo shogunate , Hattori Hanzo
related web sites:
explanation: Located between Kinki region which is the old Japanese political center and Nagoya region where all the seigniors of Japanese unification were born, Iga and Koga were an ideal place to recruit ninja because the inhabitants own the perfect accent of Kinki and solid foot proper to mountain folk. Just after the assassination of Nobunaga, Ieyasu successfully fled from the capture thanks to Iga ninja. For that reason, Iga became the privileged place of ninja recruitment for Edo shogunate.

Ihara Saikaku

井原西鶴 西鶴
alternative words: Saikaku Ihara, Saikaku, Iharasaikaku
keywords: famous person, poesy, writer
related topics: Edo period , Haiku
related web sites:
explanation: Born in 1642 in a wealthy merchant family of Osaka. First, he traveled over Japan and wrote many haiku poems. In 1682, by publishing "Koshoku ichidai otoko", a novel about a man who spent his life in erotic activities, he became a popular writer. His other master works are: "Koshoku gonin onna", "Koshoku ichidai onna", "Nihon eidaigura" etc. His novels well described the habits and mentality of rising merchant class who gave a great importance to money and sex. He died in 1693.


生け花 華道 花道
alternative words: Ike-bana, Ike bana, Kado, Kadou, Ka-do, Flower arrangement, Japanese floral art, Floral art
keywords: art, ikebana
related topics: Muromachi period , Sogetsu school , Ikenobo school , Ohara school , Kenzan , Tokonoma
related web sites: ,
explanation: The art of flower arrangement has born during Muromachi period at "tokonoma", a kind of alcove in Japanese traditional house. Since then many schools have appeared under the influence of Buddhist and Chinese philosophies. The most famous ones are Ikenobo and Sogetsu schools. There exist also schools (Zenei) which have separated radically from these traditions.

Ikenobo school

alternative words: Ikenobo, Ikeno bo, Ikenobou
keywords: ikebana, school
related topics: Ikebana , Muromachi period
related web sites:
explanation: The oldest school of flower arrangement (ikebana) in Japan, founded by a Buddhist priest, Ikenobo Senke during Muromachi period. The preferred style is rikka (standing flower) arrangement.

Imagawa Yoshimoto

alternative words: Yoshimoto Imagawa, Yoshimoto
keywords: famous person, war lord
related topics: Sengoku period , Oda Nobunaga , Takeda Shingen , Shugo
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Born in 1519 as son of Imagawa Ujichika, a local governor (Shugo) in Shizuoka prefecture. After the death of the eldest son of Ujichika, he got the house succession. During an incursion into the territory of Oda clan in the west, he suffered an invasion of Hojo clan in the east. So he had to conclude a triple alliance with Takeda Shingen and Hojo Ujiyasu. During the second incursion into the territory of Oda clan in 1560, he was killed by a surprise attack of Nobunaga in the battle of Okehazama.

In-yo go-gyo setsu

alternative words: Inyo gogyo setsu, Inyogogyosetsu, On-yo go-gyo setsu, Onyo gogyo setsu, Onyogogyosetsu
keywords: china, mystery, philosophy
related topics: Onmyodo , Asuka period , Fusui
explanation: Philosophy of Chinese origin. Inyo doctrine (Inyo setsu) interprets every thing with a positive-negative opposition like female-male or day-night, while Gogyo doctrine (Gogyo setsu) considers the Universe made with 5 basic elements (tree, fire, soil, metal and water) and their transitions. These 2 initially distinct doctrines had been merged to form Inyo-gogyo doctrine (Inyo gogyo setsu). It had arrived to Japan as a part of Onmyodo astrology during Asuka period.


keywords: god, shintoism
related topics: Heian period , Edo period
related web sites:
explanation: Initially, Inari had been a god of rice culture ("ina" or "ine" means rice) in shinto rite. During a merger of Bouddhism and Shintoism in Heian period, Inari became a messenger of gods, symbolized by the fox. During Edo period, Inari was widely venerated as a protector of merchants. The main shrine of Inari cult is at Fushimi Inari Taisha located in Kyoto city. There exist also many child shrines of Inari cult.

Ink painting

水墨画 墨絵
alternative words: Suibokuga, Sumie, Sumi-e, Sumi e, Sumie art, Japanese sumie art
keywords: art
related topics: Kamakura period , Zen , Sesshu Toyo , Yokoyama Taikan
related web sites:
explanation: Pictures drawn with Chinese ink, using only the variation of its density and shade. Invented in China during Tang dynasty, it arrived to Japan during Kamakura period. Fit to the taste of samurai who loved the simplicity along with Zen, it became the main stream of Japanese pictures. Initially the religious theme predominating, it shifted gradually to the natural subjects such as mountains and rivers (Sansuiga). Famous painter, Sesshu, has successfully created Japanese own style.

Ino Tadataka

alternative words: Tadataka Ino, Inou Tadataka, Tadataka Inou
keywords: explorer, famous person, northern territory
related topics: Edo shogunate , Mamiya Rinzo
related web sites: , , ,
explanation: Born in 1745 in Chiba prefecture as a rich farmer, but thanks to his generous donation, he became a samurai. After retired at the age of 50, he went to Tokyo to learn astronomy and survey technique from Takahashi Yoshitoki. By his recommendation, Ino had been engaged by Edo shogunate as an official surveyor. He traveled for 17 years the whole Japan on foot to create a detailed map (Dai nihon enkai yochi zenzu) with scientific instruments. He died in 1818.


alternative words: Cloister government
keywords: office
related topics: Fujiwara family , Heian period , Kamakura shogunate , Jokou , Kanpaku , Heishi , Genji , Emperor Gotoba
explanation: Politics carried out by retired emperors, Jouko or Hoou. The second half of Heian period, from Emperor Shirakawa in 1086 to the start of Kamakura shogunate in 1192 was called Insei period. First it opposed to kanpaku policy of Fujiwara family then policy of Heishi and Genji families. After the failure of Shoku rebellion by Gotoba joko against Kamakura shogunate, insei became a symbolic power. When a retired prim minister acts as tutor of the current one, it is also called insei but no legal base.

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Last update: 27/07/20 17:27