Minamoto no Yorimasa
Minamoto no Yorimasa was a prominent Japanese poet whose works appeared in various anthologies. He served eight different emperors in holding posts such as hyōgo no kami, he was a warrior, leading the Minamoto armies at the beginning of the Genpei War. In the clashes between the Minamoto and Taira clans that had gone on for decades, Yorimasa had tried to stay out of politics, avoided taking sides, he did participate in the Hogen Rebellion in 1156. For a time, he was friends with Taira no Kiyomori. During the Heiji Rebellion of 1160, he leaned just enough in favor of the Taira that it allowed them to overthrow the Minamoto. However, by the time he retired from military service in Kiyomori's army in 1179, Yorimasa had changed his mind about opposing his own clan, he entered. In May 1180, he sent out an appeal to other Minamoto leaders, to temples and monasteries that Kiyomori had offended; the Genpei War began with the Battle of Uji in 1180. Yorimasa led Minamoto forces, in defending Byōdō-in. Despite the monks' having torn up the planks of the bridge leading to the temple, the Taira managed to break through the defenses, take the temple.
Suffering defeat at Uji, he committed suicide at Byōdō-in. Minamoto no Yorimasa's ritual suicide by seppuku may be the earliest recorded instance of a samurai's suicide in the face of defeat, although Minamoto no Tametomo, who died in 1170, ten years before Yorimasa, may hold this distinction. According to legend, after his death a retainer took Yorimasa's head to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Taira, he fastened it to a rock and threw it into the Uji River so it could not be found. Yorimasa's daughter was the poet Nijōin no Sanuki. In a famous episode in the Taiheiki: "So, Yorimasa not only added to his reputation as an archer by shooting down a nue.
Saitō Musashibō Benkei, popularly called Benkei, was a Japanese warrior monk who lived in the latter years of the Heian Period. Benkei led a varied life, first becoming a monk a mountain ascetic, a rogue warrior, he came to respect and serve the famous warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune. He is depicted as a man of great strength and loyalty, a popular subject of Japanese folklore, showcased in many ancient and modern literature and productions. Stories about Benkei's birth vary considerably. One tells how his father was the head of a temple shrine who had raped his mother, the daughter of a blacksmith. Another, sees him as the offspring of a temple god. Many give him the attributes of a monster child with wild hair and long teeth. In his youth, Benkei may have been called Oniwaka —"demon/ogre child", there are many famous ukiyo-e works themed on Oniwakamaru and his adventures, he is said to have defeated 200 men in each battle he was involved in. Benkei chose to join the monastic establishment at an early age and traveled among the Buddhist monasteries of Japan.
During this period, monasteries were not only important centers of administration and culture, but military powers in their own right, similar to the Roman Legions. Like many other monks, Benkei was trained in the use of the naginata, the half-moon spear. At the age of seventeen, Benkei was said to have been 2 metres tall. At this point, he left the monasteries, became a yamabushi, a member of a sect of mountain ascetics. Benkei was depicted wearing a black cap, a signature theme of such mountain ascetics. Benkei armed himself with seven weapons, is depicted carrying these on his back. In addition to his sword, he carried a broad axe, a rake, a sickle, a wooden mallet, a saw, an iron staff, a Japanese glaive. Benkei was said to have wandered around Kyoto every night on a personal quest to take 1000 swords from samurai warriors, who he believed were arrogant and unworthy. After collecting 999 swords through duels and looking for his final prize, he met a young man playing a flute at Gojotenjin Shrine in Kyoto.
The much shorter man carried a gilded sword around his waist. Instead of dueling at the shrine itself, the two walked to Gojo Bridge in the city where the bigger Benkei lost to the smaller warrior, who happened to be Minamoto no Yoshitsune, a son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo; some sources claim that the fight took place not at the Gojo Bridge, but instead at Matsubara Bridge. Not long after the duel, Benkei and looking for revenge, waited for Yoshitsune at the Buddhist temple of Kiyomizu, where he lost yet again. Henceforth, he became Yoshitsune's retainer and fought with him in the Genpei War against the Taira clan. From 1185 until his death in 1189, Benkei accompanied Yoshitsune as an outlaw. In the end and Yoshitsune were encircled in the castle of Koromogawa no tate; as Yoshitsune retired to the inner keep of the castle to commit ritual suicide on his own, Benkei stood guard on the bridge in front of the main gate to protect Yoshitsune. It is said that the soldiers were afraid to cross the bridge to confront him, all that did met swift death at the hands of the gigantic man, who killed in excess of 300 trained soldiers.
Realizing that close combat would mean suicide, the warriors following Minamoto no Yoritomo decided to shoot and kill Benkei with arrows instead. Long after the battle should have been over, the soldiers noticed that the arrow-riddled, wound-covered Benkei was still standing; when the soldiers dared to cross the bridge and take a closer look, the giant man fell to the ground, having died standing upright. This is known as the "Standing Death of Benkei". Benkei died at the age of 34. Atago-do, now called Benkei-do, features a statue of Benkei six feet two inches in height in the posture he stood in when he died at Koromogawa, it was built in the era of Shotoku. In olden times the Benkei-do was at the foot of Chusonji hill; the ruins and a single pine tree still remain. Benkei's loyalty and honour makes him most attractive in Japanese folklore. There is a silent and white movie adaptation of Benkei's story titled Benkei. One kabuki play places Benkei in a moral dilemma, caught between lying and protecting his lord in order to cross a bridge.
The critical moment of the drama is its climax, where the monk realises his situation and vows to do what he must. In another play, Benkei slays his own child to save the daughter of a lord. In the Noh play Ataka, Benkei must beat his own master. Ataka is adapted as the kabuki play Kanjinchō, filmed by Akira Kurosawa as The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail. In the manga and anime series One Piece, there is an Ushi-oni-themed warrior monk and highwayman named Gyukimaru who resides in the country of Wano, based on Feudal Japan. Like Benkei, he was depicted as an expert in using the naginata and steals weapons from samurai he believed arrogant and unworthy; the duel at the Gojo Bridge was re-enacted between him and Roronoa Zoro, a member of the Straw Hat Pirates. Aside from Gyukimaru, there are a number of other characters who have shared Benkei's attributes; these include Edward Newgate of the Whitebeard Pirates and the Four Emperors who wielded a naginata and died standing, Big Mom Pirates commander Charlotte Katakuri, who never fell on his back prior to his battle against the protagonist Monkey D. Luffy.
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Japanese names in modern times consist of a family name, followed by a given name. More than one given name is not used. Japanese names are written in kanji, which are characters Chinese in origin but Japanese in pronunciation; the kanji for a name may have a variety of possible Japanese pronunciations, hence parents might use hiragana or katakana when giving a birth name to their newborn child. Names written in hiragana or katakana are phonetic renderings, so lack the visual meaning of names expressed in the logographic kanji. Japanese family names are varied: according to estimates, there are over 100,000 different surnames in use today in Japan; the three most common family names in Japan are Satō, Takahashi. This diversity is in stark contrast to the situation in other nations of the East Asian cultural sphere, which reflects a different history: while Chinese surnames have been in use for millennia and were reflective of an entire clan or adopted from nobles and were thence transferred to Korea and Vietnam via noble names, the vast majority of modern Japanese family names date only to the 19th century, following the Meiji restoration, were chosen at will.
The recent introduction of surnames has two additional effects: Japanese names became widespread when the country had a large population instead of dating to ancient times, since little time has passed, Japanese names have not experienced as significant a surname extinction as has occurred in the much longer history in China. Surnames occur with varying frequency in different regions. Many Japanese family names derive from features of the rural landscape. While family names follow consistent rules, given names are much more diverse in pronunciation and character usage. While many common names can be spelled or pronounced, many parents choose names with unusual characters or pronunciations, such names cannot in general be spelled or pronounced unless both the spelling and pronunciation are given. Unusual pronunciations have become common, with this trend having increased since the 1990s. For example, the popular masculine name 大翔 is traditionally pronounced "Hiroto", but in recent years alternative pronunciations "Haruto", "Yamato", "Taiga", "Sora", "Taito", "Daito", "Masato" have all entered use.
Male names end in -rō -ta or -o, or contain ichi, kazu, ji, or dai. Female names end in -ko or -mi. Other popular endings for female names include -ka and -na; the majority of Japanese people have one surname and one given name with no other names, except for the Japanese imperial family, whose members bear no surname. The family name – myōji, uji or sei – precedes the given name, called the "name" – or "lower name"; the given name may be referred to as the "lower name" because, in vertically written Japanese, the given name appears under the family name. People with mixed Japanese and foreign parentage may have middle names. Myōji, uji and sei had different meanings. Sei was the patrilineal surname, why up until now it has only been granted by the emperor as a title of male rank; the lower form of the name sei being tei, a common name in Japanese men, although there was a male ancestor in ancient Japan from whom the name'Sei' came. There were few sei, most of the medieval noble clans trace their lineage either directly to these sei or to the courtiers of these sei.
Uji was another name used to designate patrilineal descent, but merged with myōji around the same time. Myōji was what a family chooses to call itself, as opposed to the sei granted by the emperor. While it was passed on patrilineally in male ancestors including in male ancestors called haku, one had a certain degree of freedom in changing one's myōji. See Kabane. Multiple Japanese characters have the same pronunciations, so several Japanese names have multiple meanings. A particular kanji itself can have multiple meanings and pronunciations. In some names, Japanese characters phonetically "spell" a name and have no intended meaning behind them. Many Japanese personal names use puns. Few names can serve either as surnames or as given names. Therefore, to those familiar with Japanese names, which name is the surname and, the given name is apparent, no matter which order the names are presented in; this thus makes it unlikely that the two names will be confused, for example, when writing in English while using the family name-given name naming order.
However, due to the variety of pronuncia
Kamakura is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan, the nation's most populous settlement from 1200 to 1300 AD, as the seat of the shogunate and of the Regency during the Kamakura period. Kamakura was designated as a city on November 3, 1939; as of September 1, 2016, the modern city has an estimated population of 172,302, a population density of 4,358.77 persons per km2. The total area is 39.53 km2. As a coastal city with a high number of seasonal festivals, as well as ancient Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples, Kamakura is a popular tourist destination within Japan. Surrounded to the north and west by hills and to the south by the open water of Sagami Bay, Kamakura is a natural fortress. Before the construction of several tunnels and modern roads that now connect it to Fujisawa and Zushi, on land it could be entered only through narrow artificial passes, among which the seven most important were called Kamakura's Seven Entrances, a name sometimes translated as "Kamakura's Seven Mouths".
The natural fortification made Kamakura an defensible stronghold. Before the opening of the Entrances, access on land was so difficult that the Azuma Kagami reports that Hōjō Masako came back to Kamakura from a visit to Sōtōzan temple in Izu bypassing by boat the impassable Inamuragasaki cape and arriving in Yuigahama. Again according to the Azuma Kagami, the first of the Kamakura shōguns, Minamoto no Yoritomo, chose it as a base because it was his ancestors' land because of these physical characteristics. To the north of the city stands Mt. Genji, which passes behind the Daibutsu and reaches Inamuragasaki and the sea. From the north to the east Kamakura is surrounded by Mt. Rokkokuken, Mt. Ōhira, Mt. Jubu, Mt. Tendai, Mt. Kinubari, which extend all the way to Iijimagasaki and Wakae Island, on the border with Kotsubo and Zushi. From Kamakura's alluvional plain branch off numerous narrow valleys like the Urigayatsu, Shakadōgayatsu, Ōgigayatsu, Kamegayatsu and Matsubagayatsu valleys.. Kamakura is crossed by the Namerigawa river, which goes from the Asaina Pass in northern Kamakura to the beach in Yuigahama for a total length of about 8 kilometres.
The river marks the border between Yuigahama. In administrative terms, the municipality of Kamakura borders with Yokohama to the north, with Zushi to the east, with Fujisawa to the west, it includes many areas outside the Seven Entrances as Yamanouchi, Koshigoe and Ofuna, is the result of the fusion of Kamakura proper with the cities of Koshigoe, absorbed in 1939, absorbed in 1948, with the village of Fukasawa, absorbed in 1948. North-west of Kamakura lies Yamanouchi called Kita-Kamakura because of the presence of East Japan Railway Company's Kita-Kamakura Station. Yamanouchi, was technically never a part of historical Kamakura since it is outside the Seven Entrances. Yamanouchi was the northern border of the city during the shogunate, the important Kobukorozaka and Kamegayatsu Passes, two of Kamakura's Seven Entrances, led directly to it, its name at the time used to be Sakado-gō. The border post used to lie about a hundred meters past today's Kita-Kamakura train station in Ofuna's direction.
Although small, Yamanouchi is famous for its traditional atmosphere and the presence, among others, of three of the five highest-ranking Rinzai Zen temples in Kamakura, the Kamakura Gozan. These three great temples were built here because Yamanouchi was the home territory of the Hōjō clan, a branch of the Taira clan which ruled Japan for 150 years. Among Kita-Kamakura's most illustrious citizens were artist Isamu Noguchi and movie director Yasujirō Ozu. Ozu is buried at Engaku-ji. Kamakura's defining feature is a Shinto shrine in the center of the city. A 1.8-kilometre road runs from Sagami Bay directly to the shrine. This road is known as the city's main street. Built by Minamoto no Yoritomo as an imitation of Kyoto's Suzaku Ōji, Wakamiya Ōji used to be much wider, delimited on both sides by a 3 metre deep canal and flanked by pine trees. Walking from the beach toward the shrine, one passes through three torii, or Shinto gates, called Ichi no Torii, Ni no Torii and San no Torii. Between the first and the second lies Geba Yotsukado which, as the name indicates, was the place where riders had to get off their horses in deference to Hachiman and his shrine.
100 metres after the second torii, the dankazura, a raised pathway flanked by cherry trees that marks the center of Kamakura, begins. The dankazura becomes wider so that it will look longer than it is when viewed from the shrine, its entire length is under the direct administration of the shrine. Minamoto no Yoritomo made his father-in-law Hōjō Tokimasa and his men carry by hand the stones to build it to pray for the safe delivery of his son Yoriie; the dankazura used to go all the way to Geba, but it was drastically shortened during the 19th century to make way for the newly constructed Yokosuka railroad line. In Kamakura, wide streets are called Ōji 、narrower ones Kōji, the small streets that connect the two are called zushi, intersections tsuji. Komachi Ōji and Ima Kōji run east and west of Wakamiya Ōji, while Yoko Ōji, the roa
Emperor Sutoku was the 75th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Sutoku's reign spanned the years from 1123 through 1142. Before his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne, his personal name was Akihito. Note: Although the Roman alphabet-spelling of the name of this twelfth-century emperor is the same as that of the personal name of the current sovereign of Japan, the kanji are dissimilar. Emperor Sutoku Prince Akihito His Imperial Majesty Prince Akihito Sutoku was the eldest son of Emperor Toba; some old texts say he was the son of Toba's grandfather, Emperor Shirakawa. Chūgū: Fujiwara no Kiyoko Kōkamon'in, Fujiwara Tadamichi’s daughter Hyounosuke-no-Tsubone, Minamoto Masamune's adopted daughter First son: Imperial Prince Shigehito. Mikawa-dono, Minamoto Morotsune's daughter Fifth Son: Kakue Karasuma-no-Tsubone February 25, 1123: In the 16th year of Emperor Toba's reign, he abdicated. Hōan 4, in the 2nd month: Emperor Sutoku is said to have acceded to the throne.
1124: Former-Emperor Shirakawa and former-Emperor Toba went in carriages to outside the city where they could all together enjoy contemplating the flowers. Taiken-mon'in, Toba's empress and Sutoku's mother, joined the procession along with many other women of the court, their cortege was colorful. A great many men of the court in hunting clothes followed the ladies in this parade. Fujiwara Tadamichi followed in a carriage, accompanied by bands of musicians and women who were to sing for the emperors. 1124: Shirakawa visited Mount Kōya. 1125: The emperor visited Iwashimizu Shrine and the Kamo Shrines. 1128: Taiken-mon'in ordered the construction of Enshō-ji in fulfillment of a sacred vow. This was one in a series of "sacred vow temples" built by imperial command following a precedent established by Emperor Shirakawa's Hosshō-ji. 1128: Fujiwara Tadamichi is relieved of his responsibilities and duties as sesshō. August 17, 1135: Former-Emperor Shirakawa died at the age of 77. 1141: The former emperor Toba accepted the tonsure in becoming a monk at the age of 39.
In 1151, Sutoko ordered Waka imperial anthology Shika Wakashū. In 1156, after failing to put down the Hōgen Rebellion, he was exiled to Sanuki Province. Emperor Sutoku's reign lasted for 19 years: 2 years in the nengō Tenji, 5 years in Daiji, 1 year in'Tenshō, 3 years in Chōshō, 6 years in Hōen, 1 year in Eiji; the site of Sutoku's grave is settled. This emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at Kagawa, he was enshrined in Shiramine shrine and Kotohira-gū in Kagawa Prefecture. The former is associated with the god of football, worshipped by Kuge clan Asukai in times of yore, while the latter enshrined Ō-mono-nushi-no-mikoto, a god known to have restaured harmony in Yamato in exchange for worship and nepotism; the Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Sutoku's mausoleum. It is formally named Shiramine no misasagi. Kugyō is a collective term for the few most powerful men attached to the court of the Emperor of Japan in pre-Meiji eras. In general, this elite group included only three to four men at a time.
These were hereditary courtiers whose experience and background would have brought them to the pinnacle of a life's career. During Sutoku's reign, this apex of the Daijō-kan included: Sesshō, Fujiwara Tadamichi, 1097–1164. Daijō-daijin, Fujiwara Tadamichi. Sadaijin Udaijin Nadaijin, Fujiwara Yorinaga, 1120–1156. Dainagon The years of Sutoku's reign are more identified by more than one era name or nengō. Hōan Tenji Daiji Tenshō Chōshō Hōen Eiji After Sutoku's abdication and exile, he devoted himself to monastic life, he offered them to the court. Fearing that the scriptures were cursed, the court refused to accept them. Snubbed, Sutoku was said to have resented the court and, upon his death, became an onryō. Everything from the subsequent fall in fortune of the Imperial court, the rise of the samurai powers and internal unrests were blamed on his haunting. Along with Sugawara no Michizane and Taira no Masakado, he is called one of the “Three Great Onryō of Japan.”. Emperor of Japan List of Emperors of Japan Imperial cult Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds..
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