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
Yakuza known as gokudō, are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police, media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan, while the Yakuza call themselves ninkyō dantai; the Western equivalent for the term Yakuza is gangster, meaning an individual involved in a Mafia-like criminal organization. The Yakuza are notorious for their strict codes of conduct, their organized fiefdom nature, several unconventional ritual practices such as "Yubitsume". Yakuza members are described as males with tattooed bodies and slicked hair, yet this group is still regarded as being among "the most sophisticated and wealthiest criminal organizations."At their height, the Yakuza maintained a large presence in the Japanese media and operated internationally. In fact, in the early 1960s police estimated that the Yakuza had a membership of 184,100. However, in recent years their numbers have dwindled with the latest figure from the National Police Agency estimating that as of 2016 the number of members in all 22 designated gangs was 39,100.
This decline is attributed to changing market opportunities and several legal and social developments in Japan which discourage the growth of Yakuza membership. Yet, despite their dwindling numbers, the Yakuza still engage in an array of criminal activities, many Japanese citizens remain fearful of the threat these individuals pose to their safety. However, there remains no strict prohibition on Yakuza membership in Japan today, although much legislation has been passed by the Japanese government aimed at increasing liability for criminal activities and impeding revenue; the name Yakuza originates from the traditional Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu, a game in which the goal is to draw three cards adding up to a score of 9. If the sum of the cards exceeds 10, the second digit is used as the score instead, if the sum is 10, the score is 1. If the three cards drawn are 8-9-3, the sum is 20 and therefore the score is zero, making it the worst possible hand that can be drawn. Despite uncertainty about the single origin of Yakuza organizations, most modern Yakuza derive from two classifications which emerged in the mid-Edo period: tekiya, those who peddled illicit, stolen, or shoddy goods.
Tekiya were considered one of the lowest social groups during the Edo period. As they began to form organizations of their own, they took over some administrative duties relating to commerce, such as stall allocation and protection of their commercial activities. During Shinto festivals, these peddlers opened stalls and some members were hired to act as security; each peddler paid rent in exchange for a stall protection during the fair. The tekiya were a structured and hierarchical group with the oyabun at the top and kobun at the bottom; this hierarchy resembles a structure similar to the family as the oyabun was regarded as a surrogate father, the kobun as surrogate children. During the Edo period, the tekiya were formally recognized by the government. At this time, the oyabun were appointed as supervisors and granted near-samurai status meaning they were allowed the dignity of a surname and two swords. Bakuto had a much lower social standing than traders, as gambling was illegal. Many small gambling houses cropped up in abandoned temples or shrines at the edge of towns and villages all over Japan.
Most of these gambling houses ran loan sharking businesses for clients, they maintained their own security personnel. The places themselves, as well as the bakuto, were regarded with disdain by society at large, much of the undesirable image of the Yakuza originates from bakuto; because of the economic situation during the mid-period and the predominance of the merchant class, developing Yakuza groups were composed of misfits and delinquents that had joined or formed Yakuza groups to extort customers in local markets by selling fake or shoddy goods. The roots of the Yakuza can still be seen today in initiation ceremonies, which incorporate tekiya or bakuto rituals. Although the modern Yakuza has diversified, some gangs still identify with the other. During the formation of the Yakuza, they adopted the traditional Japanese hierarchical structure of oyabun-kobun where kobun owe their allegiance to the oyabun. In a much period, the code of jingi was developed where loyalty and respect are a way of life.
The oyabun-kobun relationship is formalized by ceremonial sharing of sake from a single cup. This ritual is not exclusive to the Yakuza—it is commonly performed in traditional Japanese Shinto weddings, may have been a part of sworn brotherhood relationships. During the World War II period in Japan, the more traditional tekiya/bakuto form of organization declined as the entire population was mobilised to participate in the war effort and society came under strict military government. However, after the war, the Yakuza adapted again. Prospective Yakuza come from all walks of life; the most romantic tales tell how Yakuza accept sons who have been abandoned or exiled by their parents. Many Yakuza start out in junior high school or high school as common street thugs or members of bōsōzoku gangs; because of its lower socio-economic status, numerous Yakuza me
Kazuo Taoka was one of the most prominent yakuza godfathers. Known as the "Godfather of Godfathers", Taoka was third kumicho of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest yakuza organization, from 1946 to 1981. Taoka, an orphan, grew up as a young street fighter in Kobe under the guidance of Noboru Yamaguchi, the Yamaguchi-gumi's boss, he earned his lifelong nickname "Kuma" due to his signature attack of clawing at an opponent's eyes. He was imprisoned for murder from 1937 to 1943, assumed the role of kumicho three years at the age of 33. In 1972, Taoka forged an alliance between the Yamaguchi-gumi and the Inagawa-kai at a sakazuki ceremony at his home, he had survived a 1978 assassination attempt when he was shot in the back of the neck by a member of the Matsuda-gumi, a rival gang to the Yamaguchi-gumi, during a limbo dance exhibition at a nightclub in Kyoto. His attacker was found dead several weeks in some woods near Kobe, he led the Yamaguchi-gumi until his death from a heart attack in 1981. His wife, Fumiko filled the gang's leadership role until a new kumicho, Masahisa Takenaka, was chosen in 1984.
From 1983 until 1990, his daughter, was married to Kitarō, a noted Japanese new-age musician
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. Osaka will host Expo 2025; the current mayor of Osaka is Ichiro Matsui. Some of the earliest signs of human habitation in the Osaka area at the Morinomiya ruins comprise shell mounds, sea oysters and buried human skeletons from the 6th–5th centuries BC, it is believed that what is today the Uehonmachi area consisted of a peninsular land with an inland sea in the east. During the Yayoi period, permanent habitation on the plains grew. By the Kofun period, Osaka developed into a hub port connecting the region to the western part of Japan; the large numbers of larger tomb mounds found in the plains of Osaka are seen as evidence of political-power concentration, leading to the formation of a state. The Kojiki records that during 390–430 AD there was an imperial palace located at Osumi, in what is present day Higashiyodogawa ward, but it may have been a secondary imperial residence rather than a capital.
In 645, Emperor Kōtoku built his Naniwa Nagara-Toyosaki Palace in what is now Osaka, making it the capital of Japan. The city now known as Osaka was at this time referred to as Naniwa, this name and derivations of it are still in use for districts in central Osaka such as Naniwa and Namba. Although the capital was moved to Asuka in 655, Naniwa remained a vital connection, by land and sea, between Yamato and China. Naniwa was declared the capital again in 744 by order of Emperor Shōmu, remained so until 745, when the Imperial Court moved back to Heijō-kyō. By the end of the Nara period, Naniwa's seaport roles had been taken over by neighboring areas, but it remained a lively center of river and land transportation between Heian-kyō and other destinations. In 1496, Jōdo Shinshū Buddhists established their headquarters in the fortified Ishiyama Hongan-ji, located directly on the site of the old Naniwa Imperial Palace. Oda Nobunaga began a decade-long siege campaign on the temple in 1570 which resulted in the surrender of the monks and subsequent razing of the temple.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi constructed Osaka Castle in its place in 1583. Osaka was long considered Japan's primary economic center, with a large percentage of the population belonging to the merchant class. Over the course of the Edo period, Osaka grew into one of Japan's major cities and returned to its ancient role as a lively and important port, its popular culture was related to ukiyo-e depictions of life in Edo. By 1780, Osaka had cultivated a vibrant arts culture, as typified by its famous Kabuki and Bunraku theaters. In 1837, Ōshio Heihachirō, a low-ranking samurai, led a peasant insurrection in response to the city's unwillingness to support the many poor and suffering families in the area. One-quarter of the city was razed before shogunal officials put down the rebellion, after which Ōshio killed himself. Osaka was opened to foreign trade by the government of the Bakufu at the same time as Hyōgo on 1 January 1868, just before the advent of the Boshin War and the Meiji Restoration. Osaka residents were stereotyped in Edo literature from at least the 18th century.
Jippensha Ikku in 1802 depicted Osakans as stingy beyond belief. In 1809, the derogatory term "Kamigata zeeroku" was used by Edo residents to characterize inhabitants of the Osaka region in terms of calculation, lack of civic spirit, the vulgarity of Osaka dialect. Edo writers aspired to samurai culture, saw themselves as poor but generous and public spirited. Edo writers by contrast saw "zeeroku" as obsequious apprentices, greedy and lewd. To some degree, Osaka residents are still stigmatized by Tokyo observers in the same way today in terms of gluttony, evidenced in the phrase, "Residents of Osaka devour their food until they collapse"; the modern municipality was established in 1889 by government ordinance, with an initial area of 15 square kilometres, overlapping today's Chūō and Nishi wards. The city went through three major expansions to reach its current size of 223 square kilometres. Osaka was the industrial center most defined in the development of capitalism in Japan, it became known as the "Manchester of the Orient."The rapid industrialization attracted many Korean immigrants, who set up a life apart for themselves.
The political system was pluralistic, with a strong emphasis on promoting industrialization and modernization. Literacy was high and the educational system expanded producing a middle class with a taste for literature and a willingness to support the arts. In 1927, General Motors operated a factory called Osaka Assembly until 1941, manufacturing Chevrolet, Pontiac and Buick vehicles and staffed by Japanese workers and managers. In the nearby city of Ikeda in Osaka Prefecture is the headquarters office of Daihatsu, one of Japan's oldest automobile manufacturers. Like its European and American counterparts, Osaka displayed slums and poverty. In Japan it was here that municipal government first introduced a comprehensive system of poverty relief, copied in part from British models. Osaka policymakers stressed the importance of family formation and mutual assistance as the best way to combat poverty; this minimized
Himeji is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. As of May 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 534,881, with 213,950 households and a population density of 1,000.84 persons per km². The total area is 534.43 km2. Himeji has been the center of Harima Province since the Nara period. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Ikeda Terumasa received a fief at Harima Province and established the Himeji Domain, he expanded its castle town. Himeji was the capital of Himeji Prefecture since 1871, but the prefecture was merged into Hyōgo Prefecture in 1876; the city of Himeji was established on April 1, 1889. After the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the Japanese government considered moving the nation's capital from Tokyo to Himeji. On March 27, 2006, the town of Yasutomi, the town of Kōdera, the towns of Ieshima and Yumesaki were merged into Himeji. During World War II, Himeji was selected as a target by the United States' XXI Bomber Command because it served as an important rail terminal and contained two large military zones.
On July 3, 1945 at 4:23 PM, 107 Aircraft took off to bomb Himeji. During the raid, 767 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on Himeji, destroying 63.3% of the built up areas of the city. However, the famous Himeji Castle remained remarkably unscathed with one firebomb being dropped on it; this has resulted in many Himeji residents believing. Himeji has a humid subtropical climate with cool winters. Summers are wetter than winters. A castle town, Himeji is home to the Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For over 400 years, Himeji Castle has remained intact throughout the extensive bombing of Himeji in World War II and natural disasters such as the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and various typhoons. Other attractions include the Engyō-ji temple, Mount Seppiko, Himeji Central Park, the Himeji City Tegarayama Botanical Garden in Tegarayama Central Park and the Koko-en Garden. Himeji's education system is similar to other cities in Japan. In the city itself, there are 20-30 foreigners who teach English at the local elementary and junior high schools in the JET program.
The schools range from the islands of Ie all the way north past Yumesaki. A North Korean school, Seiban North Korean Elementary and Middle School, can be found in the city. Himeji is twinned or has sister city relationships with six international cities and two Japanese cities, as well as a sister castle located in France. Himeji has a strong relationship with Phoenix, as teachers from America are able to teach English abroad for 1–2 years. Additionally, the Youth Ambassador Exchange Program allows for both Japanese and American high school students to experience the cultures and languages of their respective countries for 3 weeks. Charleroi, Belgium Phoenix, United States Adelaide, South Australia, Australia Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil Taiyuan, China Changwon, South Gyeongsang, South Korea Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture Tottori, capital city in Tottori Prefecture Château de Chantilly in Chantilly, France Kuroda Kanbei, famed strategist under Toyotomi Hideyoshi Mikinosuke Kawaishi, judoka Aya Matsuura, entertainer Psycho le Cému, visual rock band Kenzō Takada, fashion designer Tetsuro Watsuji and historian Himeji City official website Official tourism 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