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The dictionary of Japanese general terms is available at Online Japanese dictionary.
alternative words: Bokuden Tsukahara, Bokuden
keywords: famous person, swordsman
related topics: Sengoku period
related web sites: http://www.pref.ibaraki.jp/data/people/bokuden.htm
explanation: Famous swordsman of early Sengoku period. Born in 1489 as a son of shintoist priest at Kashima shrine in Ibaraki prefecture. He learned first spear combat from Iizaki Choisai then sword combat from Kamiizumi Nobutsuna to become later an instructor of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru. A legend says that he ridiculed his adversary by leaving him alone on an islet when Bokuden was challenged by him. It was called "Mutecatsu ryu" (how to win without hands). He died in 1571.
alternative words: Moon viewing, Moon festival
keywords: china, festival
related topics: Heian period , Edo period , Waka
related web sites: http://www.sci-museum.kita.osaka.jp/~kazu/tsukimi/newtukimi.html , http://www.onishi-g.co.jp/local9-1.htm , http://www.din.or.jp/~furumaya/masumi/fuukei.html
explanation: A custom coming from China and had become popular first among Heian nobility (they made many poems on this festival) before popularized among all the class in Edo period. It consists to admire a full moon in autumn (on August 15 or September 13 in old lunar calendar) on verandah by putting "susuki" (eulalia) and "dango" (flour made dumplings) as offerings. The well known places to admire the moon are Mt Ubasute in Nagano prefecture and Sayono Nakayama in Shizuoka prefecture.
alternative words: Tsukuyomi no mikoto
keywords: god, mythology
related topics: Izanagi Izanami , Amaterasu , Susano , Kojiki , Nihonshoki
related web sites: http://www.d1.dion.ne.jp/~siwamura/05.htm
explanation: One of 3 Japanese gods created at the same time as Amaterasu and Susano by Izanagi after the death of Izanami. Tsukuyomi is a moon god but contrary to Korean mythology, his role remains minor compared to Sun goddess, Amaterasu. His power base being on Shikoku island, he may have stemmed from south-east Asian folklore, i.e. Malay-Polynesian. Tsukuyomi means "reading the moon" in Japanese.
alternative words: Kofun, Tomb mounds
related topics: Kofun period , Emperor Ojin , Emperor Nintoku , Haniwa
related web sites: http://www.wnn.or.jp/wnn-history/ , http://www.mediajoy.com/chikatsu/cs/
explanation: In the ancient times, all the east Asian countries had got used to build tomb mounds for their kings or aristocrats. Initially square or circular forms as in other countries, Japanese tumulus evolved to a keyhole shape (Zenpo koen fun, i.e. forward-square back-circular tumulus) and sometimes their size is really huge, like Nintoku Tenno ryo of 486m long, built in the 5 century near Osaka. But in the following centuries they shrank in size because they were too expensive to build.