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Yanagita Kunio

alternative words: Kunio Yanagita, Yanagida Kunio, Kunio Yanagida
keywords: famous person, scholar
related topics: Tengu , Kappa
related web sites: , , ,
explanation: Born in 1875 in Hyogo prefecture. A young literary aspirant, he became gradually interested in ethnology when as a bureaucrat of agriculture minister, he visited many isolated villages. There, he has discovered many interesting tales such as Tengu, Kappa, Yukionna (Snow woman). Excellent writer, he left many books but the most famous one is "Tono monogatari", a collection of local folklore around Tono in Iwate prefecture. Died in 1962, he is considered as father of Japanese ethnology.

Yayoi period

alternative words: Yayoijidai, Yayoi-jidai, Yayoi jidai
keywords: epoch
related topics: Himiko , Jomon period
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Period spanning between 300 BC and 300 AD. This period is characterized by an arrival of new races from the continent who brought new techniques to process metals and an extensive rice culture. The political center had been shifted from the Eastern Japan to the West, especially to the north Kyushu. Yayoi comes from the name of a district in Tokyo, Yayoi-cho where the first remaining of this period was studied. Himiko may be a Japanese queen at the end of this period.

Yokoyama Taikan

横山大観 大観
alternative words: Taikan Yokoyama, Taikan
keywords: artist, famous person
related topics: Okakura Tenshin , Ink painting
related web sites: ,
explanation: Born in 1868 in Ibaraki prefecture. After having studied at Nihon bijutsu gakko created by Okakura Tenshin, he became an assistant professor but left it with Okakura Tenshi in 1898. He then organized Nihon bijutsuin with Tenshin and created a new style of Japanese paint. Initially criticized by traditional Japanese painters as "morotai" (dim style), he gradually won a recognition and was appointed a member of the Imperial Fine Arts Academy in 1935. Age advanced, he turned to Ink painting. He died in 1958.


alternative words: Great sumo champion, Great sumo champion wrestler
keywords: sumo, title
related topics: Sumo , Akebono Taro , Musashimaru Koyo , Shimenawa
explanation: Highest rank of professional sumo wrestlers nowadays, but initially it was not so. During Edo period, when the best sumo wrestlers made a show before shogun, they wore a special champion belt (shimenawa). Yokozuna is the name of this belt. It has become officially a rank of sumo wrestlers since 1909. Contrary to other ranks, Yokuzuna never goes down to a lower rank. The only possibility when he loses too many matches is a retirement from the profession.


keywords: title
related topics: Edo period , Machi bugyo , Gokenin
explanation: Literally "helper", during Kamakura and Muromachi periods, it had designated samurai who assisted daimyo or superior commanders. During Edo period, it designated middle ranked samurai who assisted machi bugyo to deal with each criminal or judicial affairs, something comparable to nowadays police captains or superintendents. In Tokyo, they were chosen among gokenin and there were 50 yoriki. The assistants of yoriki were called "doshin".

Yosa Buson

与謝蕪村 谷口蕪村 蕪村
alternative words: Buson Yosa, Buson, Taniguchi Buson
keywords: artist, famous person, poesy, writer
related topics: Edo period , Haiku
related web sites: ,
explanation: Born in 1716 in Osaka. He went to Tokyo before age 20 to learn haiku from Hayano Hajin. After his death, he traveled Kanto and Tohoku region for 10 years. In 1751, he went back to Kyoto and began to work on Chinese style pictures (Bunjinga) by collaborating with Ikeno Taiga, another master of Bunjinga. In 1766, he returned back to haiku activity, proposing a revival of Basho style, then surpassed it with a modern freshness. He died in 1783. Buson Shichibushu is a compilation of his haiku poems.

Yoshida Shoin

吉田松陰 松陰
alternative words: Shoin Yoshida, Shoin
keywords: famous person, meiji revolution, scholar
related topics: Ito Hirobumi , Kido Takayoshi , Takasugi Shinsaku , Yamagata Aritomo , Choshu domain , Meiji revolution
related web sites: , ,
explanation: Born in 1830 in Choshu domain and adopted by Yoshida family. At the age 9, he became an instructor of Choshu's school, Meirinkan. In 1854, he tried to embark secretly on a American ship from Shimoda harbor but failed and this caused his house arrest during 3 years. After being pardoned, he transformed his house to a private school "Shoka Sonjyuku" to teach military arts and comment the current politics. This provoked an anger of Shogunate and he was executed in 1859.

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Last update: 27/07/20 17:27