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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alternative words: Archery on horseback, Mounted archery
keywords: sport
related topics: Heian period , Meiji period , Samurai
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Sport that consists in shooting successively 3 targets from a horse in a full gallop. According to a legend, it was started in the 6th century by Kinmei emperor in order to pray for a peace but Yabusame became really popular from the late Heian period when Samurai took power. It declined once during Meiji period with the disappearance of Samurai but has revived as tourist attraction in many shrines such as Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura. The most famous schools are Takeda and Ogasawara.

Yagyu Munenori

alternative words: Munenori Yagyu, Munenori
keywords: famous person, swordsman, war lord
related topics: Sengoku period , Toyotomi Hideyoshi , Tokugawa Ieyasu , Battle of Sekigahara
related web sites:
explanation: Bon in 1571 as son of Yagyu Muneyoshi, a local seignior near Nara but they lost soon the feud because of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. By showing how to grip the opponent's sword with bear hands, he was accepted along with his father in Tokugawa Ieyasu's troops. Thanks to a contribution in Sekigahara's battle, he got back the old fief. He was not only a sword instructor of Ieyasu's child, Hidetada and grandchild, Iemitsu but a general inspector (Ometsuke) of Tokugawa regime. He died in 1646.


alternative words: Nuhi
keywords: title
related topics: Edo period , Ritsuryo system , Daimyo , Hatamoto , Gokenin
explanation: Phonetic deformation of Iekko, i.e. "house children ", it designated initially house servants of a nobility and called "nuhi" in Ritsuryo system. With a rise of samurai clans, they became servants of high ranking samurai and transported their weapons and personal affairs. During Edo period, they walked at the top of a daimyo's cortege in order to free the street, by crying and dancing (Yakko odori). Hatamoto yakko designated a group of ruffians, prot訩 of hatamoto or gokenin.


やくざ 暴力団
alternative words: Organized crime, Gangster, Mafia
keywords: title
related topics: Edo period , Samurai , Bushido
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Yakuza appeared first during Edo period in Kanto area where farmers could get easily other jobs due to a development of money based economy. Yakuza's law has been strongly influenced by samurai code (Bushido) of that period such as "oyabun-kobun" (suzerain and vassal) and "giri-ninjo" (owed and sympathy). Recently, yakuza's activity is switching to economic crime and drug distribution from gambling and prostitution. Yakuza means "8-9-3", a popular card game of Edo period.


山伏 山臥
alternative words: Yama-bushi, Yama bushi
keywords: ninja, religion
related topics: Shugendo , Heian period , Ninja
explanation: Literally those who sleep in mountains, they belong to Shugendo order which consists to practice austerities in mountains in order to get magic power. They are easily recognizable by their dress: a small black cap (tokin), a checkered kimono (suzukake), a Buddhist rosary (nenju), a conch-shell trumpet (horagai), a staff with rings (shakujo). During middle ages, Yamabushi became one of ninja's preferred disguise methods because it allowed them to move freely without provoking any suspicion.

Yamagata Aritomo

alternative words: Aritomo Yamagata
keywords: famous person, meiji revolution, military man, statesman
related topics: Yoshida Shoin , Choshu domain , Meiji revolution , Ito Hirobumi , Sino-Japanese war , Russo-Japanese war , Genro
related web sites: ,
explanation: Born in 1837 in a samurai family of Choshu. After having studied from Yoshida Shoin, he organized Kiheitai to control Choshu domain then to repel the 2e attack of Edo shogunate. After Meiji restoration in 1868, he was sent to Europe to study the military institution. After a death or fall of great contributors of Meiji revolution, he shared the power with Ito Hirobumi and led the wars against China in 1895 and Russia in 1905. He always hated political parties. He died in 1922.

Yamamoto Isoroku

山本五十六 山本元帥 山本提督
alternative words: Isoroku Yamamoto, Admiral Yamamoto, Yamamoto
keywords: famous person, military man, world war 2
related topics: Russo-Japanese war , Mikasa , Karo
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Born in 1884 at Nagaoka as son of a Confucianist, Takano Sadakichi and adopted later by ex Karo, Yamamoto Tatewaki. Graduated at Naval University, he lost 2 fingers by an explosion on board of Mikasa during Russo Japanese war. After having studied at Harvard university in 1919-1920, he led a newly created air naval division. In 1939, he became the chief commander of combined fleet and elaborated an attack on Pearl harbor. He died in 1943, during an inspection flight on Solomon Archipelagos.

Yamata no orochi

alternative words: 8 headed giant snake
keywords: mythology
related topics: Susano , Izumo dynasty
explanation: After a banishment from Takamagahara, Susano came to Izumo where he found an old couple weeping because an 8 headed giant snake is coming to eat his last daughter, prince Kushiinada. By preparing 8 jars full of alcohol, he drunk the snake and killed it. A saber (Amakumo no tsurugi) found inside the snake's queue would become an imperial treasure. Susano married Kushiinada and founded Izumo dynasty. This anecdote symbolizes a battle of agricultural people against invaders coming from the north.


alternative words: Yamatai State, Yamataikoku State, Yamatai-koku, Yamatai koku
keywords: state
related topics: Gishiwajinden , Himiko , Yamato dynasty , Mimana
related web sites: , , ,
explanation: One of Japanese states appeared in an old Chinese history book, Gishiwajinden written in the late 3th century. According to it, the queen of this state, Himiko, should have unified Japan but its position has created a great controversy among Japanese historians (Kyushu vs. Kinki). Nevertheless, they are nearly sure that Chinese characters which spell this name should have been pronounced "Yamato" instead of "Yamatai" because double vowels had not existed at that epoch.

Yamato dynasty

大和王朝 大和朝廷
alternative words: Yamato court, Yamato ocho, Yamato ouchou, Tenno dynasty, Imperial court, Yamato
keywords: family, mythology, state
related topics: Yayoi period , Kofun period , Amaterasu , Nihonshoki , Emperor Jimmu , Emperor Sujin , Empress Jingu , Shintoism , Tenno
related web sites:
explanation: Dynasty who has perpetuated in Japan since 27 centuries and its fief had been in Kinki region. According to Nihonshoki, Sun Goddess Amaterasu should have asked Prince Ninigi to go down at Mt. Takachiho of Kyushu. His grand grandson, Jimmu conquered Kinki region to become the first Emperor of Japan. Gradually his descendants conquered more lands and in Jingu era, their influence had reached even Korean peninsula. The actual Emperor is his 125th descendent.

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Last update: 27/07/20 17:27