Tuesday, 16 May 2017

About Japanese castle

There are many beautiful castles in Japan.In ancient times, the castle was made into military affairs and built in mountain land in many cases. When it becomes the Age of Civil Wars, a castle would also be built more often in important places of traffic, such as a highway and a river. 
Therefore a castle started to be constructed in a plain or hills.
Japanese castles had come to be built for politics or economic activities. 
Unlike Europe or China, the fortress city was seldom made in Japan. 
Because Japan does not have the aggression from the other countries and a massacre was not carried out, there were a few castle towns in Japan.
Another reason why there were few castle towns in Japan is that a castle was often constructed in a mountain as a military base in warlike ages.

There are three types of castle.One is a castle on the mountain,the other is a castle on the hill.The last one is castle on the plain.It was difficult to attack and easy to protect, so a castle was often made on the mountain in the Middle Ages.
But that kind of castle is inconvenient to live, so usually, monarchs lived at the foot.It was the mainstream to build a castle in a hill in warlike ages.When the Age of Civil Wars finished and it became a peaceful time, a castle mainly came to be made by the flat ground. 

The stone wall  of  Japanese castle is unique and interesting.

Please look at the stone wall of the castle if you come to Japan.

There are three types of stone wall.

The incline of the stone walls.
It's getting harder to climb when going up.

Although many dry moats were built at medieval times in modern times a moat with water was mainly built .

Earthworks is a facility with hardened soil.It was made to prevent enemy intrusion and attack. Can be seen in the castle of Kanto and Tohoku. 

Kind of the castle tower

The main tower has various devices for protecting. 
For example, it is protected by the door which stuck a big metal on the entrance.
You can't go up to the top easily because the medium stairs are steep.

There was an arsenal in the castle tower for a sudden fight.In addition, there was the window from which a samurai could attack with a gun.There was also a device from which a stone is dropped on the enemy who has climbed.
There were also a well and a restroom in order to endure confinement for many months.And there was a grid in the window.

A turret is an all-around defense facility.For example a turret was used as the observatory where a food is stored and also used to view the moon and watching enemies.It became the important attack base in wartime.

The gate of castle

I will show the most beautiful Japanese castles below.

Himeji castle (Hyogo prefecture)

Matsumoto castle (Nagano prefecture)

Kumamoto castle (Kumomato prefecture)

Inuyama castle (Aichi prefecture)

Nijyou castle (Kyoto )

Sunday, 26 March 2017

About Katana (Japanese sword,samurai sword)

The feature of the Japanese sword

A Japanese sword has the feature which doesn't break, doesn't bend and  can cut well.The Japanese sword wraps up soft iron with hard iron.Because of this reason,
Japanese sword neither bends nor breaks.Since it will be nicked if too hard, the portion of an edge trains and builds iron independently. A part in a ridge is trained separately, it's combined with a part of a blade.The way to combine 2 parts is uncommon to the world.

cross section of Japanese sword

The good steel which contains uniformly the carbon are called "Tamahagane" "Tamahagane"is made from iron sand. Intensity and stickiness are attached by training Tamahagane.Then swordsmith make every each part individually, and a sword is completed by putting them together.Furthermore, it can cut by smaller power by attaching curvature to it.

Akitomo Akimoto (Japanese sword,Katana,samurai sword)



Doujigiri yasutsuna

Hajano ontachi

Honebami toushirou

Mikaduki munechika

Saturday, 7 January 2017

About Samurai

Men in armor on the battlefield,evading swords that come from directions and cutting down their enemies.They are the Samurai,archetypal Japanese warriors.

Samurai (Edo era)

It's not unusual for Japanese to be describes as ''Samurai'.But how did the people of Japan in general come to associated with Samurai warriors?Let's try to unravel this mystery by taking a look at Japanese history.

Samurai (Edo era)

The word "Samurai"is derived from the word "Saburou"which means "to serve".It's believed that the forerunners of the Samurai were men who served the nobility as guards,roughly 1,000 years ago.

Masayuki Okudaira (Samurai in Edo period)

Some Samurai served the nobility,but other Samurai were farmers who fought to defend their land.The courtier and imperial families didn't have own armed forces, so the Samurai employed for the fight between the imperial families and courtier.Therefore Samurai gained forces gradually.

Samurai (edo era)

At the end of the 12th century, Minamoto no Yoritomo established the Kamakura shogunate,and the reign of the Samurai began.Samurai came to have power rather than the Emperor or the Imperial Court.

Japanese nobility

Normally Samurai wears two swords,one is Katana the other is Wakizashi.
High-ranking Samurai liked to use Katana.  Although those who used a long spear or long sword were able to fight advantageously, it was the Samurai's pride to use a Katana.

Heikurou Shibusawa (Samurai in Edo - Meiji period)

The loyalty to the Lord was absolute thing to follow.Samurai were risking his life on his behavior.If Samurai failed important things they will kill themselves by cutting abdomen.

Samurai (edo era)

During the age of civil war in the 16th century, Samurai warriors fought and died in the battles for land expansion and power.A series of superstar warlords emerged.

Samurai (Edo era)

It was an era when military strength was the key to gaining political power.

The beginning of the 17th century opened a stunning new chapter in the history of the Samurai.

Samurai (Edo era)

The Edo shogunate was established in what is now Tokyo,and thereafter,around 250 years of peaces would reign throughout Japan.

Samurai (Edo era)

Fighters by trade,the Samurai had no choice but to embark on a completely different way of life.

Katana (Samurai sword)

Wakizashi (Samurai short sword)

During the Edo period,the shogunate promoted the teachings of Chu Hsi Confucianism,a school of Chinese philosophy.And the Samurai  incorporated these ideas into everyday life. A strong spiritual backbone became the hallmark of Samurai values.

Samurai (Edo era)

Be loyal to your master.
Observe proper etiquette.
Do what's right without hesitation.
Show compassion for the weak.

Yoroi (Samurai armor )

Samurai spirits is now still exist in Japanese.Meiji government destroyed Tokugawa shogunate and Samurai era ended.Samurai was based on protection of the Tokugawa shogunate, Meiji government took all the privileges of the Samurai.

Samurai (Edo era)

Samurai became ordinary people. They got no salary and could not wear katana.

Nao Sakamoto (Samurai in Edo period)

The general and the samurai were obstructive because a Meiji government wanted to make completely new Japan.So real Samurai disappeared after Meiji era in Japan but Samurai spirits still exist in Japanese heart.

Samurai (Kamakura era)

If you find Samurai in Japan,It's not real Samurai.They're just pretending a samurai.Maybe they are actors or the person who does a performance.Sometimes the man with a traditional Japanese soul is called a samurai.For example,the Japanese representative of baseball is called  "Samurai".

Samurai (Edo-Meiji period)

Hijikata Toshizo (famous Samurai in Edo-Meiji period)

Ryoma Sakamoto (famous Samurai in Edo period)

Takayoshi Kido ( famous Samurai in Edo-Meiji period)