National Diet Library
The National Diet Library is the national library of Japan and among the largest libraries in the world. It was established in 1948 for the purpose of assisting members of the National Diet of Japan in researching matters of public policy; the library is similar in scope to the United States Library of Congress. The National Diet Library consists of two main facilities in Tōkyō and Kyōtō, several other branch libraries throughout Japan; the National Diet Library is the successor of three separate libraries: the library of the House of Peers, the library of the House of Representatives, both of which were established at the creation of Japan's Imperial Diet in 1890. The Diet's power in prewar Japan was limited, its need for information was "correspondingly small"; the original Diet libraries "never developed either the collections or the services which might have made them vital adjuncts of genuinely responsible legislative activity". Until Japan's defeat, the executive had controlled all political documents, depriving the people and the Diet of access to vital information.
The U. S. occupation forces under General Douglas MacArthur deemed reform of the Diet library system to be an important part of the democratization of Japan after its defeat in World War II. In 1946, each house of the Diet formed its own National Diet Library Standing Committee. Hani Gorō, a Marxist historian, imprisoned during the war for thought crimes and had been elected to the House of Councillors after the war, spearheaded the reform efforts. Hani envisioned the new body as "both a'citadel of popular sovereignty'", the means of realizing a "peaceful revolution"; the Occupation officers responsible for overseeing library reforms reported that, although the Occupation was a catalyst for change, local initiative pre-existed the Occupation, the successful reforms were due to dedicated Japanese like Hani. The National Diet Library opened in June 1948 in the present-day State Guest-House with an initial collection of 100,000 volumes; the first Librarian of the Diet Library was the politician Tokujirō Kanamori.
The philosopher Masakazu Nakai served as the first Vice Librarian. In 1949, the NDL became the only national library in Japan. At this time the collection gained an additional million volumes housed in the former National Library in Ueno. In 1961, the NDL opened at its present location in Nagatachō, adjacent to the National Diet. In 1986, the NDL's Annex was completed to accommodate a combined total of 12 million books and periodicals; the Kansai-kan, which opened in October 2002 in the Kansai Science City, has a collection of 6 million items. In May 2002, the NDL opened a new branch, the International Library of Children's Literature, in the former building of the Imperial Library in Ueno; this branch contains some 400,000 items of children's literature from around the world. Though the NDL's original mandate was to be a research library for the National Diet, the general public is the largest consumer of the library's services. In the fiscal year ending March 2004, for example, the library reported more than 250,000 reference inquiries.
As Japan's national library, the NDL collects copies of all publications published in Japan. Moreover, because the NDL serves as a research library for Diet members, their staffs, the general public, it maintains an extensive collection of materials published in foreign languages on a wide range of topics; the NDL has eight major specialized collections: Modern Political and Constitutional History. The Modern Political and Constitutional History Collection comprises some 300,000 items related to Japan's political and legal modernization in the 19th century, including the original document archives of important Japanese statesmen from the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century like Itō Hirobumi, Iwakura Tomomi, Sanjō Sanetomi, Mutsu Munemitsu, Terauchi Masatake, other influential figures from the Meiji and Taishō periods; the NDL has an extensive microform collection of some 30 million pages of documents relating to the Occupation of Japan after World War II. This collection include the documents prepared by General Headquarters and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, the Far Eastern Commission, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey Team.
The Laws and Preliminary Records Collection consists of some 170,000 Japanese and 200,000 foreign-language documents concerning proceedings of the National Diet and the legislatures of some 70 foreign countries, the official gazettes, judicial opinions, international treaties pertaining to some 150 foreign countries. The NDL maintains a collection of some 530,000 books and booklets and 2 million microform titles relating to the sciences; these materials include, among other things, foreign doctoral dissertations in the sciences, the proceedings and reports of academic societies, catalogues of technical standards, etc. The NDL has a collection of 440,000 maps of Japan and other countries, including the topographica
Ichiriki Chaya Ichiriki-tei, is an historic ochaya in Kyoto, Japan. It is located at the southeast corner of Shijō Street and Hanami Lane, its entrance right at the heart of the Gion Kobu district), it is considered an high-end establishment. The ninth teahouse proprietor is Jirou-emon Sugiura; the Ichiriki is over 300 years old, has been a major centerpiece of Gion since the beginning of the entertainment district. Like other ochaya in Gion, Ichiriki was a place where men of status and power went to be entertained by Geisha, who distracted guests through dancing and flirtation. Ichiriki has traditionally entertained those of political and business power; the house is run by the Sugiura family, the nameplate on the entrance gate reads Sugiura Jirouemon, the name of the ninth generation head. The noren curtain at the entrance features the characters ichi and riki printed in black on a dark red ground, stacked vertically and touching, so they resemble the character man, it is said that the establishment was called yorozuya, but in the play Kanadehon Chūshingura the name was changed by splitting the character into 一 and 力, disguising the name.
Due to the play being a major success, this was adopted by the house itself, yielding the present name. The Ichiriki plays a part in the events of the Akō vendetta, a historical event described by some scholars as a Japanese "national legend". In brief, its story began near the start of the eighteenth century when a group of samurai found themselves left masterless, rōnins, after their daimyō was forced to commit the ritual suicide of seppuku for the crime of drawing a sword and injuring a man in the Imperial Palace. Kira Yoshinaka had made a series of verbal insults towards the samurai’s master, inciting his attack, but Kira was left unpunished; because of that injustice, the rōnin samurai plotted to assassinate Yoshinaka for over two years. The rōnin, led by Oishi Kuranosuke, realized they would be monitored for signs they were planning to enact an attempt at revenge. Thus, in an effort to dissuade the suspecting parties and Imperial spies, they sent Kuranosuke to Kyoto. Kuranosuke spent many nights in Ichiriki Chaya, earning a reputation as a drunkard.
As Kuranosuke gave the appearance of becoming more and more relaxed and unprepared, Kira became less active in his suspicions and relaxed his security. Because the Ichiriki provided the cover to mount an attack, the rōnin were successful in killing Yoshinaka, but were forced to commit seppuku themselves; this story has been retold numerous times, a genre known as Chūshingura, which has served to increase the fame of Ichiriki Chaya. As modernization spread through Japan during the final years of the Edo period, unrest spread with it. A series of killings of foreigners had led to tension with the western powers, this international pressure led many to question the legitimacy of the shōgun’s rule Much of the plotting to overthrow the Shōgun took place in secretive talks within Ichiriki Chaya, disguised as innocent evenings with friends; the plans came to fruition in 1868 when the last shōgun agreed to dissolve the shogunate at Nijō Castle. Access to the Ichiriki is the height of exclusivity. Relationships to the ochaya can be traced back generations, only these wealthy honored patrons and their guests, with reservations, are allowed in.
For a brief period of only a few nights in 2006, The Ichiriki, along with other ochaya, offered general access to a small number of tourists who were unaccompanied by patrons, as part of a tourism promotion program, at the request of the Kyoto City Tourist Association. Services are as usual at ochaya – maiko and geiko are hired from a geisha house to provide entertainment, consisting of conversation, pouring drinks, traditional games, musical instruments, dancing; the Ichiriki does not prepare food, but customers can order catering à la carte, delivered to the house. Guests can be shown around the house, see various decorations, such as a miniature display of the forty-seven ronin, from circa 1850; the establishment boasts a luxurious interior, such as red lacquered tables, tatami mats and dinnerware as well as a Japanese garden designed to evoke an imperial aesthetic. Guests are scheduled to eat the meals as catered by a nearby luxury restaurant which has its own employees prepare the food in the designated kitchen.
In addition and Maikos perform dances using tools and paraphernalia oftentimes stored by the house. The house operates using the traditional incense burner timer, burns incense to its customers per visit; the proprietor secretly listens to the time spent by the customer, in order to designate the next course of meal or next round of sake. Exclusive patrons of the establishment serving as a patron to a Geiko hired here is afforded first level reservation, permitting two invitations per six months, at the discretion of the proprietor; the house oftentimes serves Japanese politicians, princes of the European courts and resident diplomatic ambassadors staying in Japan. Regardless of background, only current pat
A cherry blossom is a flower of several trees of genus Prunus the Japanese cherry, Prunus serrulata, called sakura after the Japanese. They are distributed in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere including Japan, India, Korea, Mainland China, West Siberia, Iran and Afghanistan. Along with the chrysanthemum, the cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan. All varieties of cherry blossom trees produce edible cherries. Edible cherries come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus. "Hanami" is the centuries-old practice of drinking under a blooming ume tree. The custom is said to have started during the Nara period, when it was ume blossoms that people admired in the beginning, but by the Heian period cherry blossoms came to attract more attention, hanami was synonymous with sakura. From on, in both waka and haiku, "flowers" meant "cherry blossoms"; the custom was limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and, by the Edo period, to the common people as well.
Tokugawa Yoshimune planted areas of cherry blossom trees to encourage this. Under the sakura trees, people had drank sake in cheerful feasts; every year the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the public track the sakura zensen as it moves northward up the archipelago with the approach of warmer weather via nightly forecasts following the weather segment of news programs. The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January, reaches Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March or the beginning of April, it proceeds into areas at the higher altitudes and northward, arriving in Hokkaido a few weeks later. Japanese pay close attention to these forecasts and turn out in large numbers at parks and temples with family and friends to hold flower-viewing parties. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom and for many are a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view; the custom of hanami dates back many centuries in Japan. The eighth-century chronicle Nihon Shoki records hanami festivals being held as early as the third century AD.
Most Japanese schools and public buildings have cherry blossom trees outside of them. Since the fiscal and school year both begin in April, in many parts of Honshu, the first day of work or school coincides with the cherry blossom season; the Japan Cherry Blossom Association developed a list of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots with at least one location in every prefecture. In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition, associated with Buddhist influence, and, embodied in the concept of mono no aware; the association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga. The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has been associated with mortality and graceful and acceptance of destiny and karma. There is at least one popular folk song meant for the shakuhachi, titled "Sakura", several pop songs.
The flower is represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono and dishware. The Sakurakai or Cherry Blossom Society was the name chosen by young officers within the Imperial Japanese Army in September 1930 for their secret society established with the goal of reorganizing the state along totalitarian militaristic lines, via a military coup d'état if necessary. During World War II, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people, to stoke nationalism and militarism among the populace. Prior to the war, they were used in propaganda to inspire "Japanese spirit", as in the "Song of Young Japan", exulting in "warriors" who were "ready like the myriad cherry blossoms to scatter". In 1932, Akiko Yosano's poetry urged Japanese soldiers to endure sufferings in China and compared the dead soldiers to cherry blossoms. Arguments that the plans for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, involving all Japanese ships, would expose Japan to serious danger if they failed, were countered with the plea that the Navy be permitted to "bloom as flowers of death".
The last message of the forces on Peleliu was "Sakura, Sakura" — cherry blossoms. Japanese pilots would paint them on the sides of their planes before embarking on a suicide mission, or take branches of the trees with them on their missions. A cherry blossom painted on the side of the bomber symbolized the intensity and ephemerality of life; the first kamikaze unit had a subunit called wild cherry blossom. The government encouraged the people to believe that the souls of downed warriors were reincarnated in the blossoms. In its colonial enterprises, Imperial Japan planted cherry trees as a means of "claiming occupied territory as Japanese space". Cherry blossoms are a prevalent symbol in Irezumi, the traditional art of Japanese tattoos. In tattoo art, cherry blossoms are combined with other classic Japanese symbols like koi fish, dragons or tigers, it was used for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics mascot Someity. Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms; the following species and varieties are used
Jetavana was one of the most famous of the Buddhist monasteries or viharas in India. It was the second vihara donated to Gautama Buddha after the Venuvana in Rajgir. Jetavana is located just outside the old city of Savatthi. There was an important vihara named Jetavana in Sri Lanka. Jetavana was the place where the Buddha gave the majority of his teachings and discourses, having passed at Jetavana nineteen out of 45 vassas, more than in any other monastery, it is said that after the Migāramātupāsāda, a second vihara erected at Pubbarama, close to Savatthi, came into being, the Buddha would dwell alternately in Jetavana and Migāramātupāsāda spending the day in one and the night in the other. When the Buddha accepted Anāthapindika's invitation to visit Sāvatthi the latter, seeking a suitable place for the Buddha's residence, discovered this park belonging to Jetakumāra; when he asked to be allowed to buy it, Jeta's reply was: "Not if you could cover the whole place with money." Anāthapindika said that he would buy it at that price, when Jeta answered that he had had no intention of making a bargain, the matter was taken before the Lords of Justice, who decided that if the price mentioned were paid, Anāthapindika had the right of purchase.
Anāthapindika had gold brought down in carts and covered Jetavana with pieces laid side by side.. The money brought in the first journey was found insufficient to cover one small spot near the gateway. So Anāthapindika sent his servants back for more, but Jeta, inspired by Anāthapindika's earnestness, asked to be allowed to give this spot. Anāthapindika agreed and Jeta erected there a gateway, with a room over it. Anāthapindika built in the grounds dwelling rooms, retiring rooms, store rooms and service halls, halls with fireplaces, cloisters, halls for exercise, bathrooms, ponds and roofed sheds, etc.. It is said that Anāthapindika paid eighteen crores for the purchase of the site, all of which Jeta spent in the construction of the gateway gifted by him.. Jeta gave, many valuable trees for timber. Anāthapindika himself spent fifty-four crores in connection with the purchase of the park and the buildings erected in it; the ceremony of dedication was one of great splendour. Not only Anāthapindika himself, but his whole family took part: his son with five hundred other youths, his wife with five hundred other noble women, his daughters Mahā Subhaddā and Cūla Subhaddā with five hundred other maidens.
Anāthapindika was attended by five hundred bankers. The festivities in connection with the dedication lasted for nine months; the vihāra is always referred to as Jetavane Anāthapindikassa ārāma. The Commentaries say that this was deliberate, in order that the names of both earlier and owners might be recorded and that people might be reminded of two men, both generous in the cause of the Religion, so that others might follow their example; the vihāra is sometimes referred to as Jetārāma. Some of the chief buildings attached to the Jetavana are mentioned in the books by special names, viz. Mahāgandhakuti, Kaverimandalamāla, Kosambakuti and Candanamāla. SNA.ii.403. Other buildings are mentioned - e.g. the Ambalakotthaka-āsanasālā. According to Tibetan sources the vihāra was built according to a plan sent by the devas of Tusita and contained sixty large halls and sixty small; the Dulva gives details of the decorative scheme of the vihāra. All these were built by Anāthapindika. Over the gateway lived a guardian deity to prevent all evildoers from entering.
Just outside the monastery was a rājayatana-tree, the residence of the god Samiddhisumana. In the grounds there seems to have been a large pond which came to be called the Jetavanapokkharanī.. The grounds themselves were thickly covered with trees. On the outskirts of the monastery was a mango-grove. In front of the gateway was the Bodhi-tree planted by Anāthapindika, which came to be called the Anandabodhi. Not far from the gateway was a cave which became famous as the Kapallapūvapabbhāra on account of an incident connected with Macchariyakosiya. According to the Divyāvadāna, the thūpas of Sāriputta and Moggallāna were in the grounds of Jetavana and existed until the time of Asoka. Both Fa Hien and Houien Thsang give descriptions of other incidents connected with the Buddha, which took place in the neighbourhood of Jetavana - e.g. the murder of Sundarikā, the calumny of Ciñcā, Devadatta's attempt to poison the Buddha, etc. The space covered by the four bedposts of the Buddha's Gandhakuti in Jetavana is one of the four avijahitatthānāni.
For Vipassī Buddha, the setthi Punabbasumitta built a monastery extending for a whole leag
Miyagawa-chō is one of the hanamachi or geisha districts in Kyoto. Miya-gawa means "Shrine River", referring to the nickname of the Kamo River just south of Shijō. During the Gion Festival the mikoshi of Yasaka Shrine used to be purified here in the waters of the river. Chō means "town", "block", "neighborhood". Miyagawa-chō has three interconnected rings as its trademark, symbolizing the unity of the shrine/temples, the townspeople, the teahouses. What is now Miyagawa-chō was a place where entertainers gathered. Kabuki was performed in many small theaters on the banks of the Kamo River; some of the teahouses were boats that operated in the river. As Kabuki was just developing into a mass entertainment spectacle as known today, the area was popular and Miyagawa-chō grew into a full town of teahouses; the association with Kabuki has gone, but the Minami-za kabuki theatre of Kyoto still stands on its historical spot on the east bank of the Kamo River. Today, Miyagawa-chō has its own theater where geisha dances are performed.
Kyoto hanamachi – other districts Gion, other district located just north of Miyagawachō Pontochō, other district on west side of Kamo river and just north Kyo Odori Annual Dance Festival in Miyagawacho Debuted Maiko in Miyagawacho
The Miyako Odori is one of the four great spring shows in the five geisha districts of Kyōto, Japan. The dances and theater productions presented in the framework of the Miyako Odori are performed by the maiko and geiko of the Gion quarter; the motifs draw from classical Japanese culture and incorporate everyday life as well as folkloristic elements, for example from the Tale of Genji. The Miyako Odori takes place four times a day from the 1st to the 30th of April at the Gion Kōbu Kaburen-jo theatre near the Yasaka Shrine, it was celebrated for the first time in 1872. It was a part of the general cultural revival of Kyoto after the court was moved to Tokyo in 1869. Meanwhile, the Miyako Odori is part of the heart of cultural life in Kyoto and attracts many visitors. Media related to Miyako odori at Wikimedia Commons Homepage