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Discover Japanese culture, history, food, crafts, architecture, people and more one topic at a time. Made by a former tour guide tired of old myths overstaying their welcome.I believe in research. And if you do too, we have a lot to talk about ;)
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Nanso Satomi Hakkenden or Eight Dog Warriors of the Satomi Clan is a masterpiece of Edo period literature. The book was not only hugely popular in its own time but has gone on to become one of the most influential Japanese novels ever written. And today, together with scholar and translator of Hakkenden Glynne Walley we'll try to find out how that …
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This time, let's take a look at what Saigo did, aspired to and dreamed of in the new era. And what he regretted or was angry about. And, most importantly, what earned him the title of the last samurai, which still inspires not only the Japanese but people all over the world. Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support More info on https:/…
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Saigo has returned from exile, and in Kyoto his lord, Hisamistu, fights daily with Hitoshubashi Keiki. How did Japan get into this mess, and how can it be saved? Let's take a step-by-step look at the Forbiden Gate incident, the SatCho alliance, the abdication of the last Shogun, the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and finally the arrival of the Meiji era. S…
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Saigo Takamori, the Great Saigo or the Last Samurai is the ideal Japanese man and one of Japan's most beloved historical characters. In popular imagination, Saigo is THE perfect samurai. His image is so heavily embellished that it is sometimes hard to see where reality meets fiction. But let's try to separate them anyway. Support the show: https://…
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Happy Halloween everyone! We started this October with kitsune, and I thought it would be great to finish it with tanuki. So let's see how tanuki and kitsune influenced each other, what tanuki has to do with the 150th anniversary of Japan Railways and how this powerful yokai ended up as a chubby sake-loving goody of today. Support the show: https:/…
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Kitsune – Japanese foxes, who are they? Multi-tailed shapeshifters, companions of the god Inari, animals that bring good luck or beasts that inflict madness? Let's find out! Bonus episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/72879450 Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support More info on https://japanexplained.com/kitsune/ Cover art: @justlav…
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This time let's have a look at the Japanese art of flower arrangement also known as Ikebana. When did the first flower compositions appear in Japan? How did it evolve into complex art with sets of rules and artistic competitions? And which styles of ikebana are there to try your hands on? Let's figure it out. More info on https://japanexplained.com…
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To help me break down the many myths about sake, this time I am joined by Dick Stegewerns, the founder of Yoigokochi Sake Importers. We talked about how sake came to Europe and America, how to choose and drink sake, what are the similarities between sake and other alcoholic beverages, how come sake is still mostly produced in tiny breweries, and wh…
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Continuing to uncover the truth about sake, let's see how this beverage is made, which types of sake you can find in the shop and how to drink it properly. Or maybe there are no rules at all? More info on https://japanexplained.com/sake/ Bonus episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/66208266 Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Inst…
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Few things in Japanese culture are covered by so many myths as sake. For example, sake is not rice vodka and not even rice wine, but in essence it is rice beer. And it is far from being the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan. Starting the 3 part series on sake, let's look into the past, present and future of this traditional Japanese beverage. M…
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This time let's take a look at different types of travellers using the road in the 17th-19th centuries. From foreigners who loved Tokaido to an elephant who absolutely hated the journey, there is a full range of opinions about travelling in Japan and the Tokaido road in particular. And that's exactly what we need to understand the life of this famo…
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Have you ever heard about Tokaido? If you live in Japan, I bet yes. If you’ve ever visited, I’m positive you took Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. And if you love art, you’ve probably seen some of the prints from the Tokaido series by Hiroshige. Tokaido road has a history of more than 1000 years, and this time I suggest diving int…
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You asked for it, so this time let's look deep into the bowl of ramen and try to figure out why Japan (and now the whole world) is absolutely obsessed with this seemingly simple dish. More info on https://japanexplained.com/ramen/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Bonus Episode on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/61675837 …
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In the previous episode, we looked at the origins of ukiyo-e, the development of printing techniques and the classical period in the history of ukiyo-e. We followed the works of a few brilliant artists such as Harunobu, Sharaku and Utamaro and ended up in the late 18th century. So definitely check it out if you haven’t listened to it yet. This time…
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This time let's talk about art. And speaking of Japanese art, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I bet most of us thought of ukiyo-e. These colourful prints represent Japan to the world, but what do we know about them? Not much. What is ukiyo? When did these prints appear? Who made them? Were they always as expensive as now? Let's fol…
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Why do people go to karaoke? Why in the West people prefer karaoke bars while the East is all about karaoke boxes? Was karaoke really invented in Japan? How old is it? Why karaoke songs sound so different from the original ones?The list goes on and on.My friends asked me so many questions about karaoke that I decided to make an episode about it to …
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This time let's talk about Japanese curry that has a rather short 150-year long history yet managed to become one of the national dishes of Japan. Let's see how it climbed to fame and how many varieties of the dish we have now in case you want to cook one. More info on https://japanexplained.com/japanesecurry/Support the show: https://japanexplaine…
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Perry promised to come back the next year. And so he did. Now, let's check out what happened next. More info on https://japanexplained.com/kurofune/Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#supportInstagram: @japanexplainedCover design: @justlaviStray Toki tarafından oluşturuldu
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In 1853 Commodore Perry came to the shores of Japan and "opened" it to the world. Or did he? Let's see what actually happened when four black ships appeared one summer day near the shore of Uraga. More info on https://japanexplained.com/kurofune/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlav…
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In the second part of Yokai Explained, I'll tell you how strict censorship made yokai superstars of the Edo period, which Japanese monster made a big fuss in 19th century London and New York and why in the 21st century we are still fascinated by yokai, creating more and more of them all the time. More info on https://japanexplained.com/yokai/Suppor…
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We all love something cooling during the summer heat. And what can be more refreshing than a spooky story that makes you shiver.But sorry, I can't handle scary stories. They are, well, scary. Japanese people, on the other hand, are really good at making and retelling them. So this time let me introduce you to the Japanese monsters - yokai, and help…
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You've asked for it, so today let's dive into a long history of nabe hot pot cuisine in Japan, check out millions of its regional varieties and get a few tips on picking the best pot for your nabe (spoiler alert: you can use pretty much anything). More info on https://japanexplained.com/nabe-en/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support…
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The second part of Michizane's story starts with his exile to the island of Kyushu, where he dies. And then the unexpected happens... More info on https://japanexplained.com/sugawaramichizane-en/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Bonus Article on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/sugawara-places-50621270 Instagram: @japanex…
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This time I'll tell you about a scholar and a poet, a spirit, Shinto deity and bodhisattva. A man, worshipped by his enemies, respected by Zen monks, praised by Confucian scholars and loved by high-schoolers. And in Part one we'll look into his life. More info on https://japanexplained.com/sugawaramichizane-en/ Support the show: https://japanexplai…
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The Golden Pavilion also known as Kinkaku-ji is probably one of the most famous places in Japan. It’s shiny and gorgeous, it’s protected by UNESCO and it even has a famous novel written about it. So this time let me explain you the Gorgeous Golden Pavilion. More info on https://japanexplained.com/kinkakuji-en/ Support the show: https://japanexplain…
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There is a rather popular opinion that deer were put to roam streets of Nara as a pure tourist attraction. Well, there is a grain of truth in it. The city does cash out on deer as they drive a constant flow of tourists, but deer have been there way before the first foreign tourist ever set his foot on Japanese land. So, why deer? Why in Nara? Where…
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This time I'll look deep into the history of Japanese soy sauce, walk you through the process of making a traditional Japanese shoyu and tell you all you need to know to pick the perfect bottle. More info on https://japanexplained.com/soysauce-en/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justla…
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In the first episode, I will address the biggest misconception about Japanese culture and tell you the truth about geishas. More info on https://japanexplained.com/geisha-en/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Bonus Article on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/43555972 Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi…
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