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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空手 唐手
keywords: martial art
related topics: Ryukyu
related web sites: ,
explanation: Combat of 2 men without any weapons: they give chops and kicks to the adversary. Originated from China, it has been introduced into Japan via Okinawa island (Ryukyu). Okinawa being a Chinese protectorate state in the old times, this discipline had been very popular there. It has appeared in mainland Japan only since Taisho era. Initially karate had been spelled with kanji characters meaning "Chinese hand" but now it is spelled rather with "bare hand".


alternative words: House elder
keywords: title
related topics: Daimyo , Roju , Edo shogunate , Edo period , Sankinkotai
explanation: Top ranking officials of daimyo, equivalent to roju of Edo shogunate, they were appointed from important retainers or family members. According to the size of daimyo, the quorum varies from 3 to a dozen and they form an inner circle around daimyo to make collectively the important decisions. During Edo period, the head of homeland karo, "jodai karo" (castle substitute) played an important role because half of the time, daimyo with some karo had to live in Tokyo, due to Sankinkotai. Karo means "house elder".

Kato Kiyomasa

alternative words: Kiyomasa Kato
keywords: famous person, war lord
related topics: Sengoku period , Toyotomi Hideyoshi , Invasion of Korea , Ishida Mitsunari , Battle of Sekigahara , Tokugawa Ieyasu
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Born in 1562 in Aichi prefecture in a relative family of Hideyoshi. For that reason, Kiyomasa served him very young and showed a courage on battle fields such as Shizugatake in 1583. During Korean campaign of 1592, his troops went up to Manchuria border. Gradually his relationships with Ishida Mitsunari became chilly. For that reason he was in Ieyasu's side during battle of Sekigahara. He strove in vain for a reconciliation of Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans. He died in 1611.

Katsu Kaishu

alternative words: Kaishu Katsu, Katsu Rintaro, Rintaro Katsu
keywords: famous person, meiji revolution, military man, statesman
related topics: Rangaku , Meiji Revolution , Edo shogunate , Bugyo , Hatamoto
explanation: Born in 1823 at Tokyo in a Hatamoto family. He had become familiar with the western technology by learning Dutch language. For that reason he went by ship to USA as captain of Rinkanmaru to ratify Harris treaty. He was nominated then to "Gunkan bugyo" ( a kind of naval minister) to form Japanese to the western military technology. In 1868, he negotiated a surrender of Tokugawa regime with Saigo Takamori to let his army take over Tokyo without fighting. He died in 1899.

Katsushika Hokusai

葛飾北斎 北斎
alternative words: Hokusai Katsushika, Hokusai
keywords: artist, famous person, ukiyoe
related topics: Ukiyoe , Edo period
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Katsushika Hokusai is an ukiyoe artist of the late Edo period and excels especially in landscapes and beauty portraits. He owned a very strong ego and the composition and the coloration of his pictures show an overflowing talent. The series Fugaku-Sanjyurokkei is his most representative work.


検非違使 検非違使庁
alternative words: Kebiishicho, Kebiishi cho, Kebiishinocho, Kebiishi no cho
keywords: office, title
related topics: Heian period , Heiankyo , Muromachi period
related web sites:
explanation: One of Ryogenokan (extra statutory office) settled in 810. Initially charged with Heiankyo's police affairs, its prerogative increased to judicial affairs by absorbing the powers of Gyobusho (Justice ministry) and Kyobusho (Kyoto's town council). With an increase of the social disorder, it had concentrated all the powers on the police and justice affairs since 910 but declined with a rise of samurai clans since Kamakura period. Muromachi shogunate replaced it with "Samurai dokoro".


alternative words: Kendou, Kenndo, Kenndou
keywords: martial art
related topics: Sengoku period , Edo period
related web sites:
explanation: Combat of 2 men carrying each a bamboo made sward. During Sengoku period, there existed a strong need to form swordsmen but its education was very chaotic because they should fight against any weapons. Once a peaceful period arrived, the combat of 2 swordsmen has been established as a real discipline with an addition of spiritual education. When, in the late Edo period, a protection equipment which allows free beats, was introduced, Kendo has become a true sport.


keywords: ikebana, thing
related topics: Ikebana
explanation: Tool used by ikebana, allowing to plant flowers or stems on a water basin. It looks like a shoe brush but bristles are replaced by needles.

Ki no Tsurayuki

alternative words: Kino Tsurayuki, Tsurayuki Kino, Tsurayuki
keywords: artist, famous person, poesy, writer
related topics: Kokinwakashu , Heian period , Waka
related web sites:
explanation: Poet and bureaucrat of Heian period. Born in a family of middle class bureaucrat in 872. Talented in waka (Japanese poems), he became the leading compiler of Konkinshu in 905 and added Kokinwakashu jo which is the first known critic work on Japanese poems. Then, he was nominated to the governor of Kochi prefecture in 930. The diary written during his return trip to Kyoto in 935, Tosa diary (Tosa nikki), is an initiator of pure Japanese style prose. He died in 945.

Kido Takayoshi

木戸孝允 桂小五郎
alternative words: Takayoshi Kido, Kido Koin, Koin Kido, Katsura Kogoro, Kogoro Katsura
keywords: famous person, meiji revolution, statesman
related topics: Meiji revolution , Edo shogunate , Itagaki Taisuke , Okubo Toshimichi , Choshu domain , Yoshida Shoin
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Born in 1833 as a samurai of Chushu domain and soon adopted by Katsura family. He frequented first the school of Yoshida Shoin then learned the western military technique in Tokyo. Since 1862, he had been in charge of Choshu domain's policy and strove for the suppression of Edo shogunate by allying with Satsuma domain. He participated then to the new Meiji government: his policy was between autocratic Okubo Toshimichi and democratic Itagaki Taisuke. He died in 1877.

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Last update: 27/07/20 17:27