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According to one Britannica website, 46% of its articles were revised over the past three years. The alphabetization of articles in the Micropædia and Macropædia follows strict rules. Diacritical marks and non-English letters are ignored, while numerical entries such as "1812, War of" are alphabetized as if the number had been written out. Articles with identical names are ordered first by persons by places by things. Rulers with identical names are organized first alphabetically by country and by chronology. Places that share names are
Minamoto no Yoshitsune
Minamoto no Yoshitsune was a military commander of the Minamoto clan of Japan in the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. During the Genpei War, he led a series of battles which toppled the Ise-Heishi branch of the Taira clan, helping his half-brother Yoritomo consolidate power, he is considered one of the greatest and the most popular warriors of his era, one of the most famous samurai fighters in the history of Japan. Yoshitsune perished after being betrayed by the son of a trusted ally. Yoshitsune was the ninth son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, the third and final son and child that Yoshitomo would father with Tokiwa Gozen. Yoshitsune's older half-brother Minamoto. Yoshitsune's name in childhood was Ushiwakamaru, he was born just before the Heiji Rebellion of early 1160 in which his father and two oldest brothers were killed. He survived this incident by fleeing the capital with his mother, while his half-brother Yoritomo was banished to Izu Province. At age 10, Yoshitsune was placed in the care of the monks of Kurama Temple, nestled in the Hiei Mountains near the capital of Kyoto.
Not wanting to become a monk, Yoshitsune left by way of a gold merchant who knew his father, in 1174 relocated to Hiraizumi, Mutsu Province, where he was put under the protection of Fujiwara no Hidehira, head of the powerful regional Northern Fujiwara clan. A skillful swordsman, Yoshitsune defeated. From on, Benkei became Yoshitsune's retainer dying with him at the Siege of Koromogawa. In 1180, Yoshitsune heard that Yoritomo, now head of the Minamoto clan, had raised an army at the request of Prince Mochihito to fight against the Taira clan which had usurped the power of the emperor. In the ensuing war between the rival Minamoto and Taira samurai clans, known as the Genpei War, Yoshitsune joined Yoritomo, along with Minamoto no Noriyori, all brothers who had not met. Yoshitsune, together with his brother Noriyori, defeated the Taira in several key battles, in early 1184, on the orders of Yoritomo and killed his cousin Minamoto no Yoshinaka, a rival for control of the Minamoto clan, at the Battle of Awazu in Ōmi Province.
Yoshitsune, who had by been given the rank of general, went on to defeat the Taira at the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani in present-day Kobe in March 1184, again at the Battle of Yashima in Shikoku in March 1185. He destroyed them one month at the Battle of Dan-no-ura in present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture. Following the Genpei War, Yoshitsune was appointed as Governor of Iyo and awarded other titles by cloistered emperor Go-Shirakawa, his suspicious brother Yoritomo, opposed the presentation of these titles, nullified them. Yoshitsune secured imperial authorization to ally with his uncle Minamoto no Yukiie in opposing Yoritomo. Incurring Yoritomo's wrath, Yoshitsune fled Kyoto in 1185, his faithful mistress, Shizuka Gozen, carrying his unborn child, fled with him at first, but was left behind, soon taken into custody by forces loyal to Yoritomo. Yoshitsune made his way to Hiraizumi, once again to the protection of Fujiwara no Hidehira, lived undisturbed for a time. Hidehira's son Fujiwara no Yasuhira had promised upon Hidehira's death to honor his father's wishes and continue to shelter Yoshitsune, giving in to pressure from Yoritomo, betrayed Yoshitsune, surrounding his Koromogawa-no-tachi residence with his troops, defeating Yoshitsune's retainers, including Benkei, forcing Yoshitsune to commit seppuku.
Yasuhira had Yoshitsune's head preserved in sake, placed in a black-lacquered chest, sent to Yoritomo as proof of his death. Historical sources differ as to the fate of their son. Yoshitsune is enshrined in a Shinto shrine in the city of Fujisawa; the death of Yoshitsune has been elusive. According to Ainu historical accounts, he did not commit seppuku, but instead escaped the siege at Koromogawa, fleeing to Hokkaido and assuming the name Okikurumi/Oinakamui. In Hokkaido, the Yoshitsune Shrine is erected in his honor in the town of Biratori. An alternate and discredited theory states that after evading death, Yoshitsune made his way past Hokkaido and sailed to the mainland of Asia, re-surfacing as Genghis Khan; the "Koshigoe Letter" was written by Yoshitsune on 6 May 1185 as he waited in Koshigoe for approval from Yoritomo to enter Kamakura. This letter was Yoshitsune's "final appeal" to Yoritomo of his loyalty; the letter is a "mixture of bravado and an masochistic indulgence in misfortune." An excerpt: So here I remain, vainly shedding crimson tears....
I have not been permitted to refute the accusations of my slanderers or to set foot in Kamakura, but have been obliged to languish idly these many days with no possibility of declaring the sincerity of my intentions. It is now so long since I have set eyes on His Lordship's compassionate countenance that the bond of our blood brotherhood seems to have vanished. Yoshitsune has long been a popular figure in Japanese literature and culture due to his appearance as the main character in the third section of the Japanese literary classic Heike Monogatari; the Japanese term for "sympathy for a tragic hero", Hōgan-biiki, comes from Yoshitsune's title Kurō Hōgan, which he received from the Imperial Court. Many of the literary pieces that Yoshitsune appears in are legend rather than historical fact. Legends pertaining to Yoshitsune first began to appear in the fourteenth century. In early works at that time, Yoshitsune was described as a sh
Hiraizumi is a town located in Nishiiwai District, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. As of 31 July 2017, the town had an estimated population of 7,803 and a population density of 123 persons per km² in 2,648 households; the total area of the town was 63.39 km². It is noted for the Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi, which achieved UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2011. Hiraizumi is the smallest municipality in Iwate Prefecture in terms of area. Located in a basin in south-central Iwate Prefecture in the Tōhoku region of northern Honshu, the town is surrounded by the Kitakami Mountains. Iwate Prefecture Ichinoseki Ōshū Hiraizumi has a humid climate characterized by mild summers and cold winters; the average annual temperature in Hiraizumi is 10.8 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1265 mm with September as the wettest month and February as the driest month; the temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 24.4 °C, lowest in January, at around -1.9 °C. Per Japanese census data, the population of Hiraizumi has declined over the past 40 years.
The area of present-day Hiraizumi was part of ancient Mutsu Province. It was the home of the Northern Fujiwara clan for about 100 years in the late Heian era, during which time it served as the de facto capital of Ōshū, an area containing nearly a third of the Japanese land area. At its height the population of Hiraizumi reached 50,000 or more than 100,000, rivaling Kyoto in size and splendor; the first structure built in Hiraizumi may have been Hakusan Shrine on top of Mount Kanzan. A writer in 1334 recorded that the shrine was 700 years old. Although rebuilt many times, the same shrine is still standing in the same location. In about 1100, Fujiwara no Kiyohira moved his home from Fort Toyoda in present-day Esashi, in the city of Ōshū to Mount Kanzan in Hiraizumi; this location was significant for several reasons. Kanzan is situated at the junction of the Kitakami and the Koromo. Traditionally the Koromo River served as the boundary between Japan to the south and the Emishi peoples to the north.
By building his home south of the Koromo, Kiyohira demonstrated his intention to rule Ōshū without official sanction from the court in Kyoto. Kanzan was directly on the Ōshū Kaidō, the main road leading from Kyoto to the northern lands as they opened up. Kanzan was seen as the exact center of Ōshū which stretched from the Shirakawa Barrier in the south to Sotogahama in present-day Aomori Prefecture. Kiyohira built the large temple complex known as Chūson-ji; the first structure was a large pagoda at the top of the mountain. In conjunction with this, he placed small umbrella reliquaries every hundred meters along the Ōshū kaidō decorated with placards depicting Amida Buddha painted in gold. Other pagodas and gardens followed including the Konjiki-dō, a jewel box of a building intended to represent the Buddhist Pure Land and the final resting place of the Fujiwara lords. Hiraizumi's golden age lasted for nearly 100 years, it was destroyed in 1189, after the fall of the Fujiwara clan, the town sank back into relative obscurity, most of the buildings that gave the town its cultural prominence were destroyed.
When the poet Matsuo Bashō saw the state of the town in 1689 he penned a famous haiku about the impermanence of human glory: Natsukusa ya! / Tsuwamono-domo ga / yume no ato Ah, summer grasses! / All that remains / Of the warriors' dreams. Modern Hiraizumi village was created on April 1, 1889 with the establishment of the post-Meiji restoration municipality system. Hiraizumi was raised to town status on October 1, 1953, it annexed neighboring Nagashima village on April 15, 1955. The town lost some land to the city of Ichinoseki on September 1, 1956, again on May 1, 1964; the local economy is based on tourism. Hiraizumi has two public elementary schools and one public middle school operated by the town government; the town does not have a high school. East Japan Railway Company - Tōhoku Main Line Hiraizumi Tōhoku Expressway – Chusonji PA – Hiraizumi-Maezawa IC Japan National Route 4 China – Tiantai County, Zhejiang Province, China – friendship city since 2010 Hiraizumi has a number of listed National Treasures and other culturally or notable sites.
Chūson-ji, including the Konjikidō Golden Hall Mōtsū-ji with a'Pure Land' style Jōdo Garden The ruins of Kanjizaiō-in with its'Pure Land' style Jōdo Garden The ruins of Muryōkō-in Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamon chapel Takadachi Gikeidō Yanagi-no-Gosho Palace Site Media related to Hiraizumi, Iwate at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Sake spelled saké referred to as Japanese rice wine, is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice, polished to remove the bran. Despite the name, unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar, present in fruit, sake is produced by a brewing process more akin to that of beer, where starch is converted into sugars, which ferment into alcohol; the brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer, where the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two distinct steps. Like other rice wines, when sake is brewed, these conversions occur simultaneously. Furthermore, the alcohol content differs between sake and beer. In Japanese, the word "sake" can refer to any alcoholic drink, while the beverage called "sake" in English is termed nihonshu. Under Japanese liquor laws, sake is labelled with the word "seishu", a synonym not used in conversation. In Japan, where it is the national beverage, sake is served with special ceremony, where it is warmed in a small earthenware or porcelain bottle and sipped from a small porcelain cup called a sakazuki.
As with wine, the recommended serving temperature of sake varies by type. The origin of sake is unclear, the earliest reference to the use of alcohol in Japan is recorded in the Book of Wei in the Records of the Three Kingdoms; this 3rd-century Chinese text speaks of dancing. Alcoholic beverages are mentioned several times in the Kojiki, Japan's first written history, compiled in 712. Bamforth places the probable origin of true sake (which is made from rice, kōji mold in the Nara period. In the Heian period, sake was used for religious ceremonies, court festivals, drinking games. Sake production was a government monopoly for a long time, but in the 10th century and shrines began to brew sake, they became the main centers of production for the next 500 years; the Tamon-in Diary, written by abbots of Tamon-in from 1478 to 1618, records many details of brewing in the temple. The diary shows that pasteurization and the process of adding ingredients to the main fermentation mash in three stages were established practices by that time.
In the 16th century, the technique of distillation was introduced into the Kyushu district from Ryukyu. The brewing of shōchū, called "Imo—sake" started, was sold at the central market in Kyoto. In the 18th century, Engelbert Kaempfer and Isaac Titsingh published accounts identifying sake as a popular alcoholic beverage in Japan; the work of both writers was disseminated throughout Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. During the Meiji Restoration, laws were written that allowed anybody with the money and know-how to construct and operate their own sake breweries. Around 30,000 breweries sprang up around the country within a year. However, as the years went by, the government levied more and more taxes on the sake industry and the number of breweries dwindled to 8,000. Most of the breweries that grew and survived this period were set up by wealthy landowners. Landowners who grew rice crops would have rice left over at the end of the season and, rather than letting these leftovers go to waste, would ship it to their breweries.
The most successful of these family breweries still operate today. During the 20th century, sake-brewing technology grew by bounds; the government opened the sake-brewing research institute in 1904, in 1907 the first government-run sake-tasting competition was held. Yeast strains selected for their brewing properties were isolated and enamel-coated steel tanks arrived; the government started hailing the use of enamel tanks as easy to clean, lasting forever, being devoid of bacterial problems. Although these things are true, the government wanted more tax money from breweries, as using wooden barrels means that a significant amount of sake is lost to evaporation, which could have otherwise been taxed; this was the end of the wooden-barrel age of sake and the use of wooden barrels in brewing was eliminated. In Japan, sake has long been taxed by the national government. In 1898, this tax brought in about ¥5 million out of a total of about ¥120 million, about 4.6% of the government's total direct tax income.
During the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905, the government banned the home brewing of sake. At the time, sake still made up an astonishing 30% of Japan's tax revenue. Since home-brewed sake is tax-free sake, the logic was that by banning the home brewing of sake, sales would go up, more tax money would be collected; this was the end of home-brewed sake, the law remains in effect today though sake sales now make up only 2% of government income. When World War II brought rice shortages, the sake-brewing industry was dealt a hefty blow as the government clamped down on the use of rice for brewing; as early as the late 17th century, it had been discovered that small amounts of alcohol could be added to sake before pressing to extract aromas and flavors from the rice solids, but during the war, pure alcohol and glucose were added to small quantities of rice mash, increasing the yield by
Fujiwara no Motohira
Fujiwara no Motohira was the second ruler of Northern Fujiwara in Mutsu Province, the son of Fujiwara no Kiyohira and the father of Fujiwara no Hidehira. Fujiwara no Motohira is credited with expansion of the residence of Northern Fujiwara. In particular, he founded Mōtsū-ji, his wife built Kanjizaiō-in, adjacent to Motsu-ji. Both sites survived, though all the buildings from the Heian period were lost, are listed as constituents of a World Heritage Site, Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi, he expanded Chūson-ji, where he was buried, along with his father and his son
Fujiwara no Kiyohira
Fujiwara no Kiyohira was a samurai of mixed Japanese-Emishi parentage of the late Heian period, the founder of the Hiraizumi or Northern Fujiwara dynasty that ruled Northern Japan from about 1100 to 1189. Kiyohira was the son of Fujiwara no Tsunekiyo and a daughter of Abe no Yoritoki whose name is not known, he was born somewhere in the Kitakami Basin in 1056. His father was of the Hidesato branch of the Fujiwara clan, known for their fighting ability. So, Tsunekiyo was a mid-level bureaucrat at Fort Taga in present-day Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture when he married his Emishi wife, left his position and went to live with his wife's family in present-day Iwate Prefecture. Thus, Kiyohira was born in an Emishi household in Emishi territory to a father, considered a traitor by the Japanese authorities. Much of his early life was spent in a community at war with the Japanese central authorities; the Earlier Nine Years' War was fought on and off from 1050 to 1062 while the Latter Three Years War ran from 1083 to 1087.
He lost his grandfather, Abe no Yoritoki, in battle in 1057, his uncle Sadato in 1062 and all of his mother's brothers were deported to Kyūshū in the same year. His own father was beheaded by Minamoto no Yoriyoshi with a blunt sword; these are the events which would influence his decisions as long as he lived. After he lost his father in The Earlier Nine Wars, his mother became the concubine of his enemy, Kiyohara no Takehira, who had helped Minamoto no Yoriyoshi in the last war. Kiyohira was brought up in this enemy clan as Kiyohara no Kiyohira, with his elder stepbrother Sanehira and younger half-brother Iehira; the Later Three Years War involved a struggle among the three brothers in this complex relationship. Kiyohira won the final victory in the war in 1087, with the aid of Minamoto no Yoshiie, the son of another of his old enemies, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi. Kiyohira, lost his wife and son during the war, killed by his half-brother Iehira. Victorious in the Latter Three Years War, Kiyohira returned to his home at Fort Toyota, in present-day Esashi Ward, Ōshū City, Iwate prefecture, to plan his future.
Sometime around 1090 to 1100 he built a new home on Mount Kanzan, "Barrier Mountain" in what is now Hiraizumi Town. There appear to be three main reasons for his choice of site. First was its location directly on the Frontier Way, the main highway leading south to the capital and other major cities and north to the lands he controlled. Secondly it was determined to be the center of their realm, Ōshū, as measured from the Shirakawa Barrier in the south to Sotogahama in present-day Aomori Prefecture in the north. Thirdly this location is on the South side of the Koromo River, in what had traditionally been Japanese territory. Emishi forts were always built on the North side of East or West flowing rivers. There is evidence that Kiyohira did not use the name Fujiwara but the name Kiyohara until 1117, when he was more than 60 years old, but he passed it on to his children. Kiyohira had several wives and consorts including a Taira wife from Kyoto, called the mother of his six children, she seems to have tired of life on the remote frontier, returned to Kyoto, married a policeman and never returned.
He is known to have had two Emishi wives, a Kiyohara and an Abe. His eldest son and rightful heir was Koretsune, his second son and eventual successor was Motohira, born about 1105 to one of Kiyohira's Emishi wives. After setting up house in Hiraizumi, Kiyohira began an ambitious Buddhist temple building program on the top of Mount Kanzan, Chūson-ji; this complex of temples, pagodas and gardens was to be his legacy, the embodiment of his vision for himself, his family and his domain for all time