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The dictionary of Japanese general terms is available at Online Japanese dictionary.
Meiji constitution明治憲法 大日本帝国憲法
alternative words: Constitution of Meiji, Japanese imperial constitution, Meiji kenpo, Constitution of the Empire of Japan
related topics: Meiji revolution , Ito Hirobumi
related web sites: http://cgi.psn.ne.jp/~jhc-cebc/s-data/law/jp/old-ken.htm , http://www.normanet.ne.jp/~hourei/ken001R/m220211ken001.htm
explanation: After Meiji revolution, Japan strove to westernize their institution, so Ito Hiromumi and others drafted a constitution following Prussian model. It was promulgated in February 1889 and took effect in November 1890. Though it guaranteed a separation of 3 powers (government, legislation and justice), due to an extra power confined to the Emperor through Sumitsuin (privy council) and army, the government remained unstable. It ended in 1947 with the application of a new constitution.
Meiji period明治時代 明治
alternative words: Meiji era, Meiji reign, Meiji jidai, Meijijidai, Meiji, Meji, Meji period, Meji era, Meji reign
related topics: Emperor Meiji , Ito Hirobumi , Sino-Japanese war , Russo-Japanese war , Edo shogunate , Meiji revolution
related web sites: http://anny.kinjo-u.ac.jp/~nakata/Nakata/Data/Nextstep/Tsusin.htm , http://www.meitetsu.co.jp/meiji-vil/new.html
explanation: Period beginning with the disappearance of Edo shogunate in 1868 and ended with the death of Emperor Meiji in 1912. The first half period is characterized by the fast westernization of Japan and a great number of popular revolts provoked by this reform. Once internal situation had been stabilized, Japan tried to capture colonies as other western powers. This was materialized through 2 great wars: Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895) and Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905).
Meiji revolution明治維新 王政復古
alternative words: Revolution of Meiji, Meiji restoration, Restoration of meiji, Meijiishin, Meiji ishin, Meji ishin
keywords: event, meiji revolution
related topics: Saigo Takamori , Sakamoto Ryoma , Katsu Kaishu , Bakumatsu , Tokugawa Yoshinobu , Edo shogunate , Kanagawa treaty , Meiji period
related web sites: http://homepage1.nifty.com/jshoda/
explanation: The signature of Kanagawa treaty in 1853 provoked a great impact among Japanese nationalists. Initially a struggle between pro and con of the westernization of Japan, it degenerated to a dispute between pro and con of Tokugawa regime. The latter was formed essentially with Shimazu and Mori clans and nobility of Kyoto. Though numerically inferior, but better equipped, they defeated Tokugawa army at the battle of Toba-Fushimi in January 1868 and Tokugawa regime collapsed soon.
alternative words: Battleship Mikasa, Commemorative ship Mikasa
related topics: Russo-Japanese war , Admiral Togo , Battle of Tsushima
related web sites: http://www.city.yokosuka.kanagawa.jp/speed/mypage/m-imajo/jlistown/townguide/folder/mikasa.html , http://www.mindspring.com/~photon/kongo/mikasa.html
explanation: Built by Vickers shipyard in England, November 8,1900, Mikasa was the flag ship of Japanese fleet during the battle of Japan sea on May 27, 1905 near Tsushima. Owing the following characteristics, displacement: 15,140 tons, speed: 18 knots, main armament: 4 x 30 cm, secondary armament: 14 x 15 cm, it was one of the most advanced battleships. After the treaty of Washington in 1922, it was disarmed and became a commemorative ship in 1926: it is now anchored at Yokoshuka harbor.
alternative words: Portable shrine, Portable shinto shrine
keywords: festival, religion, thing
related topics: Heian period , Shintoism
related web sites: http://www.big.or.jp/~haru/
explanation: Originated from a palanquin to transport nobles, it was first used to transport a deity from Hachimangu shrine in Kyushu to Todaiji temple in Nara in 749. During Heian period, it became a popular practice to carry mikoshi to purify the land around a shrine in annual festival. Mikoshi is composed with an altar of about 50cm with a golden phoenix at the top and supported with 2 horizontal wooden bars of about 5m. The whole structure is carried by 20-30 persons, going zigzag and crying "wassho wassho".
alternative words: Kaya
keywords: korea, state
related topics: Yamataikoku , Silla
related web sites: http://www5d.biglobe.ne.jp/~tosikenn/0415b.html
explanation: Southern extremity of Korean peninsula had been inhabited by Japanese. It appeared in the 3th century as one of states composing Yamataikoku with the name of "Kuyakankoku". Due to its strategic position and iron mine, Japan had extended this zone during 4th century then it began to shrink and disappeared in 562: because of an appearance of horse riding battles in Korean peninsula, it became more and more difficult to keep this zone for Japanese. Kaya is the Korean name of Minama.
Minamoto no Yoritomo源頼朝 頼朝
alternative words: Minamoto-no-yoritomo, Minamotono Yoritomo, Yoritomo
keywords: famous person, shogun, war lord
related topics: Kamakura shogunate , Kamakura period , Shogun , Genji , Heishi , Minamoto no Yoshitsune , Hojoshi , Hojo Masako , Gempei gassen
explanation: Born in Genji family as the 3d son of Yoshitomo in 1147. His father having lost Heiji war, had been executed and young Yoritomo, forced to exile in Izu province. 20 years later, thanks to an aid of his father-in-law, Hojo Tokimasa, he had subjugated Kanto region and made Kamakura, his fief. Ingenious politician, he finally succeeded to eliminate Heike family and Oshu Fujiwara together with Yoshitsune. He became shogun in 1192 and died in 1199 after a fall from the horse.
Minamoto no Yoshitsune源義経 義経 牛若丸
alternative words: Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune, Minamotono Yoshitsune, Yoshitsune, Ushiwakamaru, Ushiwaka maru
keywords: famous person, war lord
related topics: Heishi , Genji , Minamoto no Yoritomo , Kiso Yoshinaka , Heian period , Gempei gassen
related web sites: http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~success/yositune.htm
explanation: Born in Genji family as the 9d son of Yoshitomo in 1159. After Heiji war, his father was executed but young Yoshitsune, pardoned. Then, he had been brought up by Oshu Fujiwara family. When his brother, Yoritomo, revolted against Heishi family, Yoshitsune jointed his army and greatly contributed to beat them. But his popularity provoked a jalousie of Yoritomo and forced to exile again to Oshu Fujiwara. He killed himself in 1189 when the troop of Yoritomo arrived.
alternative words: Bean paste
related topics: Muromachi period
related web sites: http://www.miso.or.jp , http://member.nifty.ne.jp/koborisanngyou/ , http://www.san-j.co.jp
explanation: Made by mixing steamed soybeans with salt and a fermenting agent (koji) made of rice, wheat, or soybeans. Together with soy sauce, it has become one of the most important ingredient in traditional cooking since Muromachi period. Eating meat being banned by Buddhist doctrine, it has been widely used in miso soup (Mishoshiru) as a method to compensate protein's deficiency. According to the combination of elements to mix, it takes different colors and tastes.
Miyamoto Musashi宮本武蔵 武蔵 二刀流
alternative words: Musashi Miyamoto, Musashi, Nitoryu, Nitouryu, Nito ryu, Nitou ryu
keywords: famous person, swordsman
related topics: Sengoku period , Edo period , Gorinnosho , Sasaki Kojiro
related web sites: http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/~itoh/musashi01.htm , http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~square_a/musasi/index.htm
explanation: Famous swordsman, lived between Sengoku and early Edo periods. A legend said that he would have fought simultaneously against more than 100 experienced swordsmen and at that moment he invented a method of combat with 2 swords. Finally he had to challenge a duel with another skillful swordsman, Sasaki Kojiro, at Ganryujima island near Shimonoseki. Advanced in years, he left many pictures. He wrote a famous philosophy book, "Gorin no sho", too.