This article describes a Tokyo walk from Takebashi to Hongo, exploring many aspects of Japan's educational traditions--including several of its universities founded in the 19th century--as well as some other historical treasures along the way. (Archived article - Originally published by Japan Today.)
In modern day Tokyo, Shinagawa is a neighborhood considered quite central in the city. But during the Edo Period, Shinagawa was outside the Edo city limits. It was a "post-town" on the Tokaido Road that connected Edo (modern Tokyo) to Kyoto. There were 53 such post-towns on the Tokaido--places where travellers on the road could … Continue reading Shinagawa celebrates its Edo Period roots
Pirates! These days the word evokes various images from Captain Hook and Long John Silver to Johnny Depp and Captain Phillips. Asia, too, has its pirates, both ancient and modern. Since September 19 is "International Talk Like A Pirate Day", this seems a good time to talk about pirates in Japan. Oh yes! Japan has … Continue reading Avast! There be pirates in these waters!
Near Shimizu in Shizuoka Prefecture there is a spit of land extending into Suruga Bay that forms Shimizu Harbor. Known as Miho, the end of the spit was once its own island, but over centuries, silt has done its job to connect the island to the mainland and form the spit. On the outside of … Continue reading The Miho pines and the legend of the Hagoromo
Japan has a number of traditional fine arts that have been practiced for centuries and are still going strong today: flower arranging, tea ceremony, poetry and calligraphy, to name a few. This week I had the opportunity to attend a calligraphy demonstration and workshop at Tokyo's National Arts Center, conducted in English, sponsored by the … Continue reading Calligraphy – one of Japan’s “cultured” arts