The Edo period or Tokugawa period is the period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan, when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate and the countrys 300 regional daimyō. The period was characterized by growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies. The shogunate was established in Edo on March 24,1603. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 3,1868, instrumental in the rise of the new bakufu was Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main beneficiary of the achievements of Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Already powerful, Ieyasu profited by his transfer to the rich Kantō area, after Hideyoshis death, Ieyasu moved quickly to seize control from the Toyotomi family. Ieyasus victory over the western daimyōs at the Battle of Sekigahara gave him control of all Japan. He rapidly abolished numerous enemy daimyō houses, reduced others, such as that of the Toyotomi, Ieyasu still failed to achieve complete control of the western daimyōs, but his assumption of the title of shogun helped consolidate the alliance system.
After further strengthening his base, Ieyasu installed his son Hidetada as shogun. The Toyotomi were still a significant threat, and Ieyasu devoted the next decade to their eradication, in 1615, the Tokugawa army destroyed the Toyotomi stronghold at Osaka. The Tokugawa period brought 250 years of stability to Japan, the political system evolved into what historians call bakuhan, a combination of the terms bakufu and han to describe the government and society of the period. In the bakuhan, the shogun had national authority and the daimyōs had regional authority and this represented a new unity in the feudal structure, which featured an increasingly large bureaucracy to administer the mixture of centralized and decentralized authorities. The feudal hierarchy was completed by the classes of daimyō. Closest to the Tokugawa house were the shinpan, or related houses and they were twenty-three daimyōs on the borders of Tokugawa lands, all directly related to Ieyasu. The shinpan held mostly honorary titles and advisory posts in the bakufu, the second class of the hierarchy were the fudai, or house daimyōs, rewarded with lands close to the Tokugawa holdings for their faithful service.
By the 18th century,145 fudai controlled such smaller han, members of the fudai class staffed most of the major bakufu offices. Ninety-seven han formed the group, the tozama, former opponents or new allies. The tozama were located mostly on the peripheries of the archipelago, because the tozama were least trusted of the daimyō, they were the most cautiously managed and generously treated, although they were excluded from central government positions. The Tokugawa not only consolidated their control over a reunified Japan, they had unprecedented power over the emperor, the court, all daimyōs and the religious orders
Sugoroku refers to two different forms of a Japanese board game, one similar to western backgammon, called ban-sugoroku, and the other similar to western Snakes and Ladders, called e-sugoroku. Ban-sugoroku plays identically to backgammon, except for the differences, Doubles are not special. If a player rolls doubles, each die still counts only once, the goal is to move all of ones men to within the last six spaces of the board. Closing out, that is forming a prime of six points with one or more of opponents men on the bar, is an automatic win. The game is thought to have been introduced from China into Japan in the sixth century and it is known that in the centuries following the games introduction into Japan it was made illegal several times, most prominently in 689 and 754. This is because the simple and luck-based nature of sugoroku made it a gambling game. This version of sugoroku and records of playing for gambling continuously appeared until early Edo era, in early Edo-era, a new and quick gambling game called Chō-han appeared and using sugoroku for gambling quickly dwindled.
This variant of the family has died out in Japan and most other countries. Thousands of variations of boards were made with pictures and themes from religion, actors, in the Meiji and periods, this variation of the game remained popular and was often included in child-oriented magazines. With ban-sugoroku being obsolete, today the word sugoroku almost always means e-sugoroku, Hello Kitty, Minna de Sugoroku, Gotouchi Hello Kitty Sugoroku Monogatari, Yu-Gi-Oh. Sugorokus Board Game, Okiraku Sugoroku Wii, Hidamari Sketch, Doko Demo Sugoroku x 365, the video game Samurai Warriors 2 features a mini-game named Sugoroku, but it bears very little resemblance to the above described games. By landing on a space, the player is able to buy that space for a set amount of money. If one player lands on a space purchased by another, they must pay a fee to that player, present on the board are Shrine spaces, which are roughly analogious to Monopolys Chance and Community Chest spaces. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol.1, No, monumenta Nipponica, Vol.43, No.4
Utagawa Kuniyoshi was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting. He was a member of the Utagawa school, the range of Kuniyoshis subjects included many genres, beautiful women, Kabuki actors and mythical animals. He is known for depictions of the battles of legendary samurai heroes and his artwork incorporated aspects of Western representation in landscape painting and caricature. Kuniyoshi was born on January 1,1798, the son of a silk-dyer, Yanagiya Kichiyemon, apparently he assisted his fathers business as a pattern designer, and some have suggested that this experience influenced his rich use of color and textile patterns in prints. Yoshisaburō proved his drawing talents at age 12, quickly attracting the attention of the famous ukiyo-e print master Utagawa Toyokuni and he was officially admitted to Toyokunis studio in 1811, and became one of his chief pupils. He remained an apprentice until 1814, at time he was given the name Kuniyoshi. During this year he produced his first published work, the illustrations for the kusazōshi gōkan Gobuji Chūshingura, between 1815 and 1817 he created a number of book illustrations for yomihon, kokkeibon, gōkan and hanashibon, and printed his stand-alone full color prints of kabuki actors and warriors.
His economic situation turned desperate at one point when he was forced to sell used tatami mats, a chance encounter with his prosperous fellow pupil Kunisada, to whom he felt that he was superior in artistic talent, led him to redouble his efforts. During the 1820s, Kuniyoshi produced a number of heroic triptychs that show the first signs of an individual style. In 1827 he received his first major commission for the series, One hundred and eight heroes of the popular Suikoden all told, based on the incredibly popular Chinese tale, the Shuihu Zhuan. In this series Kuniyoshi illustrated individual heroes on single-sheets, drawing tattoos on his heroes, the Suikoden series became extremely popular in Edo, and the demand for Kuniyoshi’s warrior prints increased, gaining him entrance into the major ukiyo-e and literary circles. He continued to produce prints, drawing much of his subjects from war tales such as Tale of the Heike and The rise and fall of the Minamoto. His warrior prints were unique in that they depicted legendary popular figures with a stress on dreams, ghostly apparitions, omens.
These new thematic styles satisfied the public’s interest in the ghastly and this may have had some influence on Kuniyoshis production of caricature prints or comic pictures, which were used to disguise actual actors and courtesans. Many of these symbolically and humorously criticized the shogunate and became popular among the politically dissatisfied public, Timothy Clark, curator of Japanese art at the British Museum, asserts that the repressive conventions of the day produced unintended consequences. Kuniyoshi produced during this time works of purely natural subject matter, notably of animals, here he creatively used elementary, childlike script sloppily written in kana under the actor faces. Reflecting his love for felines, Kuniyoshi began to use cats in the place of humans in kabuki and he is known during this time to have experimented with wide composition, magnifying visual elements in the image for a dramatic, exaggerated effect. In 1856 Kuniyoshi suffered from palsy, which caused him difficulty in moving his limbs
Unbreakable Machine-Doll, is a Japanese light novel series written by Reiji Kaitō and illustrated by Ruroo. Media Factory has published fifteen volumes under their MF Bunko J imprint since November 2009, a manga adaptation by Hakaru Takagi began serialization in Media Factorys Monthly Comic Alive magazine in 2010. A 12-episode anime television adaptation aired in Japan between October 7 and December 23,2013. These Automatons were developed as a weapon and spread throughout the world. A puppeteer named Raishin Akabane comes from Japan to Liverpool to study at Walpurgis Royal Academy of Machinart, once every four years, the Academy holds the Night Party, a competition where puppeteers use their automatons to fight in hopes of obtaining the title of Wiseman. Raishin, enters the school and the competition in order to get revenge on a genius who killed the other members of Raishins family. Unbreakable Machine-Doll began as a novel series, written by Reiji Kaitō. The first volume was published by Media Factory under their MF Bunko J imprint on November 21,2009, the latest, fifteenth volume was published on September 25,2015. A drama CD was released with an edition of the fourth volume.
Its first tankōbon volumes was released on November 22,2010, a drama CD was released with a special edition of the first volume. Its first tankōbon volume was released on September 27,2013, the series appeared first on AT-X and on Tokyo MX, ytv, TV Aichi and BS11. Funimation simulcasted the series on their video portal, the series is directed by Kinji Yoshimoto and written by Yūko Kakihara, with character designs by Atsuko Watanabe and music by Masaru Yokoyama. The series covers the first three novels, the series opening theme is Anicca by Hitomi Harada and its ending theme is Maware. The Radio Unbreakable Machine-Doll Main cast, Web radio program that had been delivered up to February 25,2014, from September 3,2013, at animate TV, hiro Shimono, Hitomi Harada, and Megumi Takamoto. Unbreakable Machine-Doll Facing “Burnt Red” was released for Android and iOS on December 6,2013, 3D Battle-type flick a new sense optimized operation of the smartphone and reproduced in full 3D graphics battle scene features.
Game proceeds to the two axis and Battle to advance the story, the make the organization and strengthening of automaton. Expand the original story by Reiji Kaitō supervision of authorship, the game features a new original character named Kaguya, voiced by Nao Touyama, and features the theme song Burnt Red sung by Hitomi Harada. Official anime website Unbreakable Machine-Doll at Anime News Networks encyclopedia
Katsushika Hokusai was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by Sesshū Tōyō and other styles of Chinese painting, born in Edo, Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally iconic print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Hokusai created the Thirty-Six Views both as a response to a travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fine Wind, Clear Morning, as historian Richard Lane concludes, Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusais name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series. While Hokusais work prior to this series is important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition. Hokusais date of birth is unclear, but is stated as the 23rd day of the 9th month of the 10th year of the Hōreki era to an artisan family, in the Katsushika district of Edo.
It is believed his father was the mirror-maker Nakajima Ise, who produced mirrors for the shogun and his father never made Hokusai an heir, so it is possible that his mother was a concubine. Hokusai began painting around the age of six, perhaps learning from his father, Hokusai was known by at least thirty names during his lifetime. While the use of names was a common practice of Japanese artists of the time. Hokusais name changes are so frequent, and so related to changes in his artistic production and style. At 14, he worked as an apprentice to a wood-carver, until the age of 18, Shunshō was an artist of ukiyo-e, a style of wood block prints and paintings that Hokusai would master, and head of the so-called Katsukawa school. Ukiyo-e, as practiced by artists like Shunshō, focused on images of the courtesans, after a year, Hokusais name changed for the first time, when he was dubbed Shunrō by his master. It was under this name that he published his first prints, during the decade he worked in Shunshōs studio, Hokusai was married to his first wife, about whom very little is known except that she died in the early 1790s.
He married again in 1797, although this second wife died after a short time. He fathered two sons and three daughters with two wives, and his youngest daughter Sakae, known as Ōi, eventually became an artist. Upon the death of Shunshō in 1793, Hokusai began exploring other styles of art and he was soon expelled from the Katsukawa school by Shunkō, the chief disciple of Shunshō, possibly due to studies at the rival Kanō school. This event was, in his own words, What really motivated the development of my style was the embarrassment I suffered at Shunkōs hands. Hokusai changed the subjects of his works, moving away from the images of courtesans, his work became focused on landscapes and images of the daily life of Japanese people from a variety of social levels
Bai Juyi was a renowned Chinese poet and Tang dynasty government official. Many of his poems concern his career or observations made about everyday life and he is also, thanks to the translations and biographical studies by Arthur Waley, one of the most accessible to English readers. Bai was influential in the development of Japanese literature. His younger brother Bai Xingjian was a story writer. Bai Juyi often referred to himself in life as Letian, roughly the equivalent of happy-go-lucky, in life, he referred to himself as the Hermit of Xiangshan. Bai Juyi lived during the Middle Tang period and this was a period of rebuilding and recovery for the Tang Empire, following the An Lushan Rebellion, and following the poetically flourishing era famous for Li Bai, Wang Wei, and Du Fu. Bai Juyi lived through the reigns of eight or nine emperors and he had a long and successful career both as a government official and a poet, although these two facets of his career seemed to have come in conflict with each other at certain points.
Bai Juyi was a devoted Chan Buddhist, Bai Juyi was born in 772 in Taiyuan, which was a few miles from location of the modern city, although he was in Zhengyang, Henan for most of his childhood. His family was poor but scholarly, his father being an Assistant Department Magistrate of the second-class. At the age of ten he was sent away from his family to avoid a war broke out in the north of China. Bai Juyis official career was initially successful and he passed the jinshi examinations in 800. Bai Juyi may have taken up residence in the capital city of Changan. Not long after this, Bai Juyi formed a friendship with a scholar Yuan Zhen. Bai Juyis father died in 804, and the young Bai spent the period of retirement mourning the death of his parent. 806, the first full year of the reign of Emperor Xianzong of Tang, was the year when Bai Juyi was appointed to a minor post as a government official, at Zhouzhi and it was not a high-ranking position, but nevertheless one which he was soon to lose. While serving as a palace official in 814, Bai managed to get himself in official trouble.
He made enemies at court and with individuals in other positions. It was partly his written works led him into trouble
Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese novelist and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu is a descriptive name, her personal name is unknown, but she may have been Fujiwara no Takako, who was mentioned in a 1007 court diary as an imperial lady-in-waiting. She married in her late twenties and gave birth to a daughter before her husband died. It is uncertain when she began to write The Tale of Genji, in about 1005, Murasaki was invited to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Empress Shōshi at the Imperial court, probably because of her reputation as a writer. She continued to write during her service, adding scenes from life to her work. After five or six years, she left court and retired with Shōshi to the Lake Biwa region, scholars differ on the year of her death, although most agree on 1014, others have suggested she was alive in 1031. Murasaki wrote The Diary of Lady Murasaki, a volume of poetry, early in the 20th century her work was translated, a six-volume English translation was completed in 1933.
Scholars continue to recognize the importance of her work, which reflects Heian court society at its peak, since the 13th century her works have been illustrated by Japanese artists and well-known ukiyo-e woodblock masters. Murasaki Shikibu was born c.973 in Heian-kyō, into the northern Fujiwara clan descending from Fujiwara no Yoshifusa, the Fujiwara clan dominated court politics until the end of the 11th century through strategic marriages of Fujiwara daughters into the imperial family and the use of regencies. In the late 10th century and early 11th century, Fujiwara no Michinaga arranged his four daughters into marriages with emperors, the lower ranks of the nobility were typically posted away from court to undesirable positions in the provinces, exiled from the centralized power and court in Kyoto. Despite the loss of status, the family had a reputation among the literati through Murasakis paternal great-grandfather and grandfather and her great-grandfather, Fujiwara no Kanesuke, had fifty-six poems included in thirteen of the Twenty-one Imperial Anthologies, the Collections of Thirty-six Poets and the Yamato Monogatari.
Her great-grandfather and grandfather both had been friendly with Ki no Tsurayuki, who became notable for popularizing verse written in Japanese and her father, Fujiwara no Tametoki, attended the State Academy and became a well-respected scholar of Chinese classics and poetry, his own verse was anthologized. He entered public service around 968 as a official and was given a governorship in 996. He stayed in service until about 1018, Murasakis mother was descended from the same branch of northern Fujiwara as Tametoki. The couple had three children, a son and two daughters, in the Heian era the use of names, insofar as they were recorded, did not follow a modern pattern. A court lady, as well as being known by the title of her own position, if any, thus Shikibu is not a modern surname, but refers to Shikibu-shō, the Ministry of Ceremonials where Murasakis father was a functionary. Michinaga mentions the names of several ladies-in-waiting in a 1007 diary entry, Fujiwara no Takako, in Heian-era Japan and wives kept separate households, children were raised with their mothers, although the patrilineal system was still followed.
Murasaki was unconventional because she lived in her fathers household, most likely on Teramachi Street in Kyoto and their mother died, perhaps in childbirth, when the children were quite young
Ono no Komachi
Ono no Komachi was a Japanese waka poet, one of the Rokkasen — the six best waka poets of the early Heian period. She was renowned for her beauty, and Komachi is today a synonym for feminine beauty in Japan. She counts among the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals and she was probably born between 820 and 830, and she was most active in composing poetry around the middle of the ninth century. Extensive study has gone into trying to ascertain her place of birth, her family and so on, the Edo-period scholar Arai Hakuseki advanced the theory that there was more than one woman named Komachi and that the legends about her referred to different people. This theory was expanded to conjecture that there were four Komachis. It has been conjectured that she was a lady-of-the-bedchamber in the service of Emperor Ninmyō, according to one tradition, she was born in what is now Akita Prefecture, daughter of Yoshisada, Lord of Dewa. The Noh play Sotoba Komachi by Kanami describes her as the daughter of Ono no Yoshizane and her social status is uncertain.
She may have been a low-ranking consort or a lady-in-waiting of an emperor, the headnote to poem #938 in the Kokinshū implies she had some sort of connection to Funya no Yasuhide. Legends about Komachi had developed as early as the eleventh century and they were used extensively by the writers of Noh plays. Stories abound of Komachi in love, One of the legends about her is that she was a lover of Ariwara no Narihira, her contemporary poet and a member of the Rokkasen. It has been speculated that this legend may derive from the placement of one her poems next to one of Narihiras. Another group of legends concern her cruel treatment of her lovers, notably Fukakusa no Shōshō, Komachi promised that if he visited her continuously for a hundred nights, she would become his lover. He visited her every night, regardless of the weather, yet another group of legends concern her death, her skull lying in a field, when the wind blows through the skull’s eye socket the sound evokes Komachis anguish. A different categorization system for Komachi legends was given by Masako Nakano and translator Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumi said of her poetry, Her beauty may be legendary but her rank as one of the greatest erotic poets in any language is not.
Her poems begin the extreme verbal complexity which distinguishes the poetry of the Kokinshū Anthology from the immediacy of the Manyōshū. Most of her waka are about anxiety, solitude or passionate love, in the Kokinshū, all but one of her poems—the one that appeared in the Hyakunin Isshu, quoted below—were classified as either love or miscellaneous poems. She is the female poet referred to in the kana preface of the anthology. One of her poems was included as #9 in Fujiwara no Teikas Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, The poem was included in the Kokinshū as #133