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着物 和服
alternative words: Wafuku, Japanese clothes, Japanese clothing
keywords: art, craft
related topics: Heian period , Samurai , Edo period , Haori , Obi , Hakama
related web sites: ,
explanation: Initially an imitation of Chinese style, Japanese clothes were born in the middle of Heian period when the newly-risen samurai class adopted "Kariginu", literally "clothes for hunts", of the court's aristocrats because of its commodity for moves. This samurai style clothes, "Hitatare", spread to other population during Kamakura and Muromachi periods. The main change which occurred in Edo period is the appearance of a wide belt (Obi) and an over clothes (Haori).

Kiso Yoshinaka

木曽義仲 源義仲
alternative words: Minamoto no Yoshinaka
keywords: famous person, war lord
related topics: Genji , Heishi , Heian period , Minamoto no Yoritomo , Minamoto no Yoshitsune
explanation: Born in 1154 in Genji family. After the assassination of his father, he was raised by the husband of his nurse in Kiso region of Nagano. For this reason, he had been nicknamed "Kiso Yoshinaka". Unhappy with the arrogance of Heike family, the retired emperor, Goshirakawa, ordered to drive away Heike family. He responded first to enter the capital to beat them. But being rude, he was quickly hated by the court members and killed in turn by Yoshitsune sent by Yoritomo in 1184.

Kitagawa Utamaro

喜多川歌麿 歌麿
alternative words: Utamaro Kitagawa, Utamaro
keywords: artist, famous person, ukiyoe
related topics: Edo period , Ukiyoe
related web sites: ,
explanation: Ukiyoe artist. Born in 1753 but his birth place unknown. He learned first drawing techniques from Toriyama Sekien and began his career as an illustrator for cheap popular books. His talent was soon recognized by a great ukiyoe publisher of that epoch, Tsutaya Juzaburo. Utamaro had been excelled in beauty portrait by zooming maximum women's face. After a condemnation by Edo shogunate to 3 days of jail for one of his drawings, his artist talent shrank. He died a few years later in 1806.

Kobayashi Issa

小林一茶 一茶
alternative words: Issa Kobayashi, Issa
keywords: famous person, poesy, writer
related topics: Edo period , Haiku
related web sites: ,
explanation: Born in 1763 in a farmer of north Nagano. After the death of his mother, unable to live with the stepmother, he was sent by father to Tokyo at the age 15 for an apprenticeship. There, he learnt haiku poems from Nirokuan Chikua. After the death of Chikua, he inherited his school and traveled the western Japan to master his haiku. After the death of his father, he disputed the heritage with the stepmother and her children. His main haiku anthology is Oragaharu (my spring). He died in 1827.

Kodama Gentaro

alternative words: Kodama Gentarou, Gentaro Kodama, Gentarou Kodama
keywords: military man, russia, war
related topics: Choshu domain , Boshin war , Seinan war , Sino-Japanese war , Russo-Japanese war , Oyama Iwao
related web sites: ,
explanation: Born in 1852 in a samurai family of Choshu domain. He first participated in Boshin war of 1868 then in Seinan war of 1877 to get a good reputation. Appointed as director of Japanese military academy in 1887, he was eager for introducing German army tactics. He participated in Sino-Japanese war of 1895 as stuff officer, then became Army minister in 1900. During Russo-Japanese war of 1905, as chief of stuff of Manchurian army led by Oyama Iwao, he brought a victory to Japan. He died in 1906.

Kofun period

alternative words: Kofunjidai, Kofun-jidai, Kofun jidai, Tumulus period
keywords: epoch
related topics: Tumulus , Prince Yamatotakeru , Emperor Ojin , Emperor Nintoku , 5 Japanese kings
related web sites: ,
explanation: Period spanning between the 4th and 7th centuries and corresponding to the time of a creation of Japan as a country: starting from Kinki region, Yamato court had conquered gradually eastward up to the south of Tohoku region and westward up to Kyushu island and even the southern part of Korean peninsula by crossing over a sea. This period is so named because many great tumulus for Emperors and local seigniors had been built all over Japan.


高句麗 高麗
alternative words: Koguryo kingdom, Koma, Kokuri, Koukuri
keywords: korea, state
related topics: Silla , Paekche , Empress Jingu
related web sites: ,
explanation: One of 3 Korean kingdoms which appeared around 30 BC in south-east Manchuria. By expelling Chinese from the region, it extended the territory to north Korea. 19th King, Kwanggaet successfully pushed away Japanese attack. His successors snatched lands from Silla and Paekche and moved the capital to Pyongyang in 586. In 668, suffering a simultaneous attack of Silla and Chinese Tang, Koguryo surrendered and many aristocrats fled to the north to found Bohai kingdom.


keywords: book
related topics: Nihonshoki , Emperor Jimmu , Prince Yamatotakeru , Prince Shotoku , Motoori Norinaga
related web sites: , ,
explanation: The oldest Japanese history book. Written by Oono Yasumaro from the speech of an imperial storyteller, Hiedano Are and finished in 712, it should have remained as an internal document but discovered later by chance. Embracing the mythological era until the reign of Empress Suiko and prince Shotoku, its style seems more primitive than its contemporary book, Nihonshoki. Kojiki-den published in 1798 by Motoori Norinaga has been a starting point of the modern Kojiki study.


こけし 小芥子
alternative words: Kokeshi doll
keywords: art, craft, thing
related topics: Japanese doll , Kimono
related web sites: ,
explanation: Wooden Japanese female doll, composed of a cylindrical body with motif of polychrome Japanese robe (Kimono) and a round head attached at the top. The fabrication began in Meiji period as a tourist gift of hot springs in Tohoku region (north western region) where farmers had many free time during long winter. According to manufacturing towns there exist a dozen of styles and old kokeshi is an object of collection.


古今和歌集 古今集
alternative words: Kokin-wakashu, Kokin wakashu, Kokinshu
keywords: book, poesy
related topics: Ki no Tsurayuki , Heian period , Waka
related web sites:
explanation: Anthology of Japanese poems (waka) of the middle of Heian period. Created by an order of Emperor Daigo, it became the first of the imperial poem anthologies (Chokusen wakashu). The compilers were: Ki no Tsurayuki, Ki no Tomonori (cousin of the former), Oshikochi no Mitsune, Mibu no Tadamine. Containing about 1100 poems on 20 volumes and separated to 13 sections following the season and subject, its gracious and simple style has become a reference of the successive anthologies.

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Last update: 27/07/20 17:27