Zuihoden: Honoring Sendai’s Date Daimyo

Sendai became the Tohoku region's premier city under Daimyo (feudal lord) Date Masamune (1567-1636) at the beginning of the Japan's historical Edo Period (1603-1867). Images of Date, and especially his iconic samurai helmet with its ornamental crescent moon, are ubiquitous across the city, which well remembers its founding father. Another way in which Sendai honors … Continue reading Zuihoden: Honoring Sendai’s Date Daimyo

Stepping back in time: the Meiji Village Museum of Miyagi

The Meiji Period (1868-1912) is perhaps my favorite period of Japanese history. It is the time when Japan, which had stagnated from being closed to the outside world since early in the 17th century, leapt forward, grafting new governmental structures to its traditional emperor system and adopting various new technologies to allow it to fend … Continue reading Stepping back in time: the Meiji Village Museum of Miyagi

Cherries in Japan: more than a springtime blossom

Every spring Japan celebrates the pale pink petal of the cherry blossom. And justifiably. But there is much more to cherries than just the delicate springtime blossom. In early summer, Yamagata Prefecture is popping with the fruit itself, little red balls of sweet juiciness. Further north, in Akita Prefecture, the bark of the mountain cherry, … Continue reading Cherries in Japan: more than a springtime blossom