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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Machi bugyo

alternative words: Machi bugyou, Machibugyo, City commissioner
keywords: title
related topics: Edo period , Daimyo , Bugyo , Hatamoto
explanation: Town administrators of Edo period. They dealt also criminal or judicial affairs of chonin (merchants and craftsmen) but not samurai. Though each Daimyo had own machi bugyo, those of Edo shogunate were by far the most important due to the size of towns. For example, Tokyo was divided into 2 sectors, Minami machi (south town) and Kita machi (north town) and each sector has 2 machi bugyo who worked in rotation per month. They were chosen among high ranked Hatamoto.

Maeda Toshiie

前田利家 犬千代
alternative words: Toshie Maeda, Inuchiyo
keywords: famous person, war lord
related topics: Oda Nobunaga , Toyotomi Hideyoshi
related web sites: ,
explanation: Born in 1538 near Nagoya. Since childhood, he served Oda Nobunaga. Once banished then pardoned, he contributed greatly to Nobunaga's victories. In 1575 he became a castle owner in Fukui prefecture. During the battle of Shizugadake in 1583, he betrayed his friend Shibata Katsuie and allied to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. After the battle, his fief was moved to Kanazawa. He was appointed one of 5 tairos (go tairo) and tutor of Toyotomi Hideyori, a son of Hideyoshi. He died in 1599.

Mamiya Rinzo

alternative words: Rinzo Mamiya, Mamiya Rinzou, Rinzou Mamiya
keywords: explorer, famous person, northern territory
related topics: Edo shogunate , Ezochi , Ino Tadataka , Siebold
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Born in 1775 in Ibaraki prefecture. Being very clever at mathematics, he went to Tokyo to learn the surveying technique from Ino Tadataka. After repeated incursions of Russians to "Ezochi", Edo shogunate gave him an order to explore the northern part of Sakhalin island. In 1809, he reached the north Sakhalin and showed that it is an island separated by a narrow channel. In 1828, he denounced a plan to export secretly a detailed Japanese map by von Siebold. He died in 1844.

Manchurian incident

alternative words: Manshu incident, Manshujihen, Manshu jihen
keywords: china, colony, event, war
related topics: Manshukoku , Guandong army
related web sites: , ,
explanation: In order to recover Japan from a severe economic crisis, the general stuff of Japanese Guandong army, Ishiwara Kanji and Itagaki Seishiro had planed to make Manchuria as Japanese colony. First, they blew up Manchurian railroad on 18 September, 1931 (Ryujoko incident) without authorization of the central government, then they conquered the whole Manchuria in 3 months by pretending to protect Japanese interests against China. Then, Manshukoku was created with Puyi as emperor.


alternative words: Manshu koku, Manchukuo, Manchoukuo, Manchu kuo, Manchou kuo
keywords: china, colony, russia
related topics: Guandong army , Manchurian incident , Nomonhan incident
related web sites: , ,
explanation: After Manchurian incident in September 1931, Japanese Guandong army conquered quickly all the Manchuria and created a puppet state by putting the last Chinese emperor Puyi (Fugi) to the throne and Changchun (Shinkyo) as capital. The League of nations sent Lytton commission and condemned it but Japan preferred to leave the League of nations. The country was industrialized by a Japanese trust, Manchuria Heavy Industry Company (Manshu Jukogyo Kaihatsu Kaisha) and existed until August 1945.


alternative words: Manyo-shu, Manyo shu, Manyoushuu, Manyou-shuu, Manyou shuu, Anthology of Manyo
keywords: book, poesy
related topics: Otomo no Yakamochi , Nara period , Waka , Azumauta
related web sites: , , ,
explanation: The oldest extant anthology of Japanese poems. It was published at the end of Nara period and contains about 4500 poems from the 5th to the 7th centuries compiled by the famous poet, Otomo no Yakamochi. Not only it is an inappreciable source from the artistic view point but linguistically: by reading this book, man has discovered that Japanese language should have 8 vowels at that time.


正宗 五郎正宗 五郎入道正宗
alternative words: Goro Masamune, Goronyudo Masamune, Goro nyudo Masamune
keywords: art, craft, famous person, weapon
related topics: Kamakura period , Oda Nobunaga , Sengoku period , Japanese sword
related web sites:
explanation: Sword smith of the late Kamakura period but few is known about him because sword smiths were not considered as established artists at that period. According to a source, he was a disciple of Kunimitsu and lived at Kamakura. His swords were also called Masamune and characterized by a wide blade and gorgeous wave motifs which would be highly appreciated by war lords of sengoku period such as Oda Nobunaga. Due to its oldness, only some examples have survived until now.

Matsumae domain

alternative words: Matsumae han, Matsumaehan, Seignory of Matsumae, Matsumae
keywords: northern territory, state
related topics: Muromachi period , Toyotomi Hideyoshi , Tokugawa Ieyasu , Edo shogunate , Ezochi , Basho , Kushunkotan , Hakodate bugyo
related web sites:
explanation: Domain located in Hokkaido and controlled by Matsumae family until the end of Edo shogunate. From Muromaichi period, Japanese began to immigrate to Hokkaido. Matsumae unified this chaotic movement and Toyotomi Hideyosu as well as Tokugawa Ieyasu granted their domain. Sparsely populated, Matsume let exploit it to wealthy Tokyo and Osaka's merchants. When Russian incursions began in the 18th century, Edo shogunate put the domain to direct administration.

Matsuo Basho

松尾芭蕉 芭蕉
alternative words: Basho Matsuo, Matsuo Bashou, Bashou Matsuo, Basho, Bashou
keywords: artist, famous person, poesy, writer
related topics: Haiku , Edo period
related web sites: , , ,
explanation: Poet and travel writer of the early Edo period. Born in a samurai family of Mie prefecture in 1644, he learned Haiku first at Kyoto then Tokyo. There, he established gradually his own style and became a popular Haiku teacher. Unsatisfied with his fame, he spent the most of his advance ages in journeys. Nozarashi kiko (1684) related his journey in Kinki region, while Okuno hosomich (1689), in Tohoku region. He died in 1694 at Osaka when ready to depart to western Japan.

Matsuura Takeshiro

alternative words: Takeshiro Matsuura, Matsuura Takeshirou, Takeshirou Matsuura
keywords: explorer, famous person, northern territory, statesman
related topics: Edo period , Meiji period , Ezochi
explanation: Explorer of the late Edo period and the beginning of Meiji period. Born in 1818 in Mie prefecture. First he became an itinerant Buddhist monk to travel all over Japan. He was then engaged by Edo shogunate to explore all the regions of Ezochi and gave the name of Hokkaido to it. In 1868, he was nominated to an administrator of Hokkaido by the newly created Meiji government but quickly quit the post. He spent the remaining of his life with travel and writing. He died in 1888.

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