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The dictionary of Japanese general terms is available at Online Japanese dictionary.
alternative words: Kurofune, Kuro fune, Kurofune ship
related topics: Commodore Perry , Kanagawa treaty , Edo period
related web sites: http://www.izu.co.jp/~p-boo/blackship.html , http://www.izu.co.jp/~ryosenji/
explanation: The term used by Japanese to qualify western ships at the end of Edo period. In order to increase the water tightness, their hulls were frequently covered with coal tar at that epoch. The ships used by Commodore Perry during the negotiation of Kanagawa treaty in 1853-1854 were the most famous examples.
alternative words: Bonji character
related topics: Buddhism
related web sites: http://www.mirokudo.com/bonji_n.html , http://www.tctv.ne.jp/tobifudo/bonzisyo/bindex.html , http://www.horigin.com/bonji/bonji.html
explanation: Bonji is Sanskrit characters used essentially by Buddhism monks to write down prayer, for Buddhism having originated from India. Bonji means Brahmi scripts, ancestor of Devanagari scripts. Brahmi was imported to India from Phoenician scripts at 8th century B.C., before reaching China then Japan. You can find example of Bonji scripts on wooden sticks surrounding tombs in Japan, called Sotoba, i.e. Stupa in Sanskrit.
alternative words: potted plant, dwarf tree, miniature tree
keywords: art, china, craft
related topics: Kamakura period , Zen
related web sites: http://www.bonsai.co.jp , http://www.mini-bonsai.com , http://www.nsknet.or.jp/~ja2br/ , http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~zh6m-nsi/
explanation: The art of cultivating dwarfing trees and means " tray planting". It appeared initially in China during Tang dynasty more than 1000 years ago and introduced into Japan during Kamakura period with Zen. It had developed then quickly in Japan because it answered perfectly needs of Samurai clans who seeked a rest between 2 battles. This art having declined in China, it has been exported and loved all over the world with the Japanese name of Bonsai.
alternative words: Bodhissatva
keywords: buddhism, god
related topics: Kannon , Jizo , Buddhism
explanation: Deity ranked just below a Buddha. In order to save those who are suffering, they prefer to remain on the earth, instead of becoming a Buddha. The most popular Bosatsu in Japan are Kannon and Jiso.
alternative words: Boshin civil war, Boshinsensou, Boshin sensou, Boshinsenso, Boshin senso
keywords: meiji revolution, war
related topics: Bakumatsu , Edo shogunate , Meiji revolution , Tokugawa Yoshinobu , Enomoto Takeaki
related web sites: http://haruna.on.arena.ne.jp/military/travelogue/kyouto/tobafusimi.html , http://www.city.aizuwakamatsu.fukushima.jp
explanation: Small conflicts and political negotiations between pro and anti Edo shogunate were degenerated to a civil war. After a defeat in battle of Toba Fushimi near Kyoto in January 1868, Tokugawa's army led by Yoshinobu withdrew to Tokyo and finally opened the city without resistance. But, unhappy with this sudden capitulation, many individual initiatives appeared in the northern Japan. After a fall of Aizu castle in October then Goryokaku in June 1869, all the resistance stopped.
牡丹餅 ボタモチ 御萩 オハギ
alternative words: Bota mochi, Ohagi
related topics: Wagashi , Mochi , Edo period
related web sites: http://tsukiusagi.exblog.jp/3373993/
explanation: Japanese confections made with steamed glutinous rice (mochigome), the same ingredient as mochi but is struck for a shorter time. It will then be rolled up to a ball of about 5 cm diameter and covered with "kinako" (sweetened soybean powder) or "an" (sweet bean paste). The first is consumed at the spring equinox and called "botamochi" while the second, at the autumn equinox and called "ohagi". This custom has appeared during Edo period.
alternative words: Japanese Buddhism, Bukkyo, Bukkyou
keywords: buddhism, religion
related topics: Nihonshoki , Nara period , Heian period , Kamakura period , Esoteric Buddhism , Shintoism , Zen
related web sites: http://www.kotobuki-p.co.jp , http://ss4.inet-osaka.or.jp/~kissyo/ , http://www.geisya.or.jp/~tf109/hotoke/ , http://www.janis.or.jp/users/sairyuta/tera/jiten.html
explanation: Nihonshoki says that it arrived to Japan in 552. According to the advent epoch, there exist 3 groups of sects. Nara Buddhism from Nara period was a national religion and their temples are around the ancient capitals. Esoteric Buddhism was introduced from China during Heian period and their temples are located in mountains like Koyasan and Hieisan. Kamakura Buddhism appeared in Kamakura period as a popular movement and their temples are located mostly in province.
alternative words: Bugyou, Commissioner, Magistrate, Magistracy
keywords: office, title
related topics: Toyotomi Hideyoshi , Edo shogunate , Hakodate bugyo , Machi bugyo
explanation: A high ranking official of samirai, the name appeared first during Kamakura period and the function had changed with the epochs. The most well known examples are 5 Bugyo of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and different bugyos of Edo shogunate. For the latter case, bugyo is virtually equivalent to a government minister, a big city's mayor or a regional governor. For example: Kanjo bugyo = finance minister, Edo-machi bugyo = Tokyo's mayor, Hakodate bugyo = Hokkaido's governor.
alternative words: Bukeshohatto, Bukesyohatto, Law for daimyo, Law for military houses
related topics: Sankinkotai , Edo shogunate , Edo , Daimyo , Kaieki , Siege of Osaka castle
related web sites: http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~k-hina/bukesyohatto.htm , http://www.lint.ne.jp/~meirokun/masanori.htm
explanation: In 1615, after the fall of Toyotomi family, Tokugawa Hidetada assembled all the daimyo at Fushimi castle and dictated Buke shohatto law. Composed of 13 articles, the content was as followings: ban to hide traitors, ban to build or repair castles without authorization, ban to marry among them without authorization, sankinkotai (bi annual trip between Edo and their feud) etc. The number of articles became 19 during the reign of Tokugawa Iemitsu by restricting the tonnage of ships.
alternative words: Bun raku, Bunrak, Japanese puppet theater, Bunraku drama, Bunraku theater, Bunrake play
related topics: Edo period , Chikamatsu Monzaemon
related web sites: http://www.lares.dti.ne.jp/~bunraku/
explanation: Puppet theater developed during Edo period. Contrary to western puppet theaters, it has not been destined to children but rather well cultivated urban citizens. Bunraku is in reality the name of the unique troop which has survived the culture upheaval of the end of Edo period, but now it has become a generic term.