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JAPAN

 

Recorded Japanese history begins in approximately A.D. 400, when the Yamato clan, eventually based in Kyoto, managed to gain control of other family groups in central and western Japan. Contact with Korea introduced Buddhism to Japan at about this time. Through the 700s Japan was much influenced by China, and the Yamato clan set up an imperial court similar to that of China. In the ensuing centuries, the authority of the imperial court was undermined as powerful gentry families vied for control.
At the same time, warrior clans were rising to prominence as a distinct class known as samurai. In 1192, the Minamoto clan set up a military government under their leader, Yoritomo. He was designated shogun (military dictator). For the following 700 years, shoguns from a succession of clans ruled in Japan, while the imperial court existed in relative obscurity.
First contact with the West came in about 1542, when a Portuguese ship off course arrived in Japanese waters. Portuguese traders, Jesuit missionaries, and Spanish, Dutch, and English traders followed. Suspicious of Christianity and of Portuguese support of a local Japanese revolt, the shoguns of the Tokugawa period (1603–1867) prohibited all trade with foreign countries; only a Dutch trading post at Nagasaki was permitted...

In this section of Cedar Gallery you can see that the contact between the west and Japan has improved considerably. Here you find Japanese stories and haiku, senryu and tanka (poetry). We are still working on the other subjects, so return every now and then to see what's new.
You are also invited to send your contribution on Japanese architecture, art and culture, poetry and religion to us.

 Contact: cedars@live.nl

 

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 Japanese ARCHITECTURE .....    >  

 

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The Takarazuka Revue

The Takarazuka Revue is a Japanese all-female musical Theater in the city of Takarazuka, Japan. Women play both male and female roles in lavish productions, often Western-style musicals, but always with strong Japanese elements.
The all-female Takarazuka Revue Company touches something deep in the Japanese psyche, or at least the female Japanese psyche. Many of the fans are female and most of them are young. And the stars they adore ......

 Japanese ART and CULTURE .....    >  

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Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. It started about 500 BC (or earlier) and derived its name from the Chinese words "shin tao" ("The Way of the Gods") in the 8th century . At that time Shinto established itself as an official religion of Japan, along with Buddhism.
Unlike most other religions, Shinto has no real founder, no written scriptures and a very loosely-organized priesthood.
Shinto creation stories tell of the history and lives of the "Kami" (deities).

 RELIGIONS of Japan .....    >  

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The game of Go           

This is a story of about 600 years ago. There was a feudal lord, a local master, who liked “Go” chess very much. One of his ministers found a nice board for “Go” chess at a shop. He wanted to buy it, but the shop owner did not want to sell it to any one, saying it was only for display. He told the minister that the board was cursed, because two Samurais had played the game on it, they had a quarrel over the game and one Samurai killed the other. Since it had once been stained with human blood, the shop owner did not want to sell it to any customer. But as the board was very beautiful, the minister persuaded the shop owner and bought it.
A few days later, the minister presented the board to his master, a feudal lord. His master rejoiced over getting the beautiful “Go” chess game board. The master told his minister that he wanted to play “Go” chess on it with one of the best “Go” chess players. So, a young Samurai named Mata Ichi Ro was called, and he came to the master’s room in his castle.

In fact, this young man was a son of the man, who had been killed by his friend because of the quarrel over the game...........

 Japanese STORIES  and  FILMS .....    >  

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In castle ruins
the tappings of a hand-drum
so clearly echo,
that in Komachi's dancing
even the moon seemed to smile.
 

HIROKO SEKI

 Japanese POETRY (haiku etc.) .....    >  

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You are invited to help us to create a wonderful site as well. So please contribute your material about Japan to Cedar Gallery: cedars.letters@live.nl mentioning 'Japan'.