DiscoverJapan Explained
Japan Explained

Japan Explained

Author: Stray Toki

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Discover Japanese culture, history, food, crafts, architecture, people and more one topic at a time. Made by a former tour guide tired of old myths overstaying their welcome.I believe in research. And if you do too, we have a lot to talk about ;)

29 Episodes
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Nanso Satomi Hakkenden or Eight Dog Warriors of the Satomi Clan is a masterpiece of Edo period literature. The book was not only hugely popular in its own time but has gone on to become one of the most influential Japanese novels ever written. And today, together with scholar and translator of Hakkenden Glynne Walley we'll try to find out how that happened. Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support More info on https://japanexplained.com/hakkenden-en/ Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
This time, let's take a look at what Saigo did, aspired to and dreamed of in the new era. And what he regretted or was angry about. And, most importantly, what earned him the title of the last samurai, which still inspires not only the Japanese but people all over the world. Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support More info on https://japanexplained.com/saigo-takamori-en/ Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Saigo has returned from exile, and in Kyoto his lord, Hisamistu, fights daily with Hitoshubashi Keiki. How did Japan get into this mess, and how can it be saved? Let's take a step-by-step look at the Forbiden Gate incident, the SatCho alliance, the abdication of the last Shogun, the Battle of Toba'Fushimi and finally the arrival of the Meiji era. Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support More info on https://japanexplained.com/saigo-takamori/ Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Saigo Takamori, the Great Saigo or the Last Samurai is the ideal Japanese man and one of Japan's most beloved historical characters. In popular imagination, Saigo is THE perfect samurai. His image is so heavily embellished that it is sometimes hard to see where reality meets fiction. But let's try to separate them anyway.  Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Cover art: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Tanuki Explained

Tanuki Explained

2022-10-3126:08

Happy Halloween everyone! We started this October with kitsune, and I thought it would be great to finish it with tanuki. So let's see how tanuki and kitsune influenced each other, what tanuki has to do with the 150th anniversary of Japan Railways and how this powerful yokai ended up as a chubby sake-loving goody of today. Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support More info on https://japanexplained.com/tanuki/ Cover art: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Kitsune Explained

Kitsune Explained

2022-10-0339:36

Kitsune – Japanese foxes, who are they? Multi-tailed shapeshifters, companions of the god Inari, animals that bring good luck or beasts that inflict madness? Let's find out! Bonus episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/72879450 Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support More info on https://japanexplained.com/kitsune/ Cover art: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Ikebana Explained

Ikebana Explained

2022-09-0526:36

This time let's have a look at the Japanese art of flower arrangement also known as Ikebana. When did the first flower compositions appear in Japan? How did it evolve into complex art with sets of rules and artistic competitions? And which styles of ikebana are there to try your hands on? Let's figure it out.   More info on https://japanexplained.com/ikebana/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Cover art: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
To help me break down the many myths about sake, this time I am joined by Dick Stegewerns, the founder of Yoigokochi Sake Importers. We talked about how sake came to Europe and America, how to choose and drink sake, what are the similarities between sake and other alcoholic beverages, how come sake is still mostly produced in tiny breweries, and which sake can be rightfully called the most unusual. More info on https://japanexplained.com/sake/ Yoigokochi Sake Importers: https://yoigokochi.eu/ Bonus episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/66208266 Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Continuing to uncover the truth about sake, let's see how this beverage is made, which types of sake you can find in the shop and how to drink it properly. Or maybe there are no rules at all? More info on https://japanexplained.com/sake/ Bonus episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/66208266 Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Few things in Japanese culture are covered by so many myths as sake. For example, sake is not rice vodka and not even rice wine, but in essence it is rice beer. And it is far from being the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan. Starting the 3 part series on sake, let's look into the past, present and future of this traditional Japanese beverage. More info on https://japanexplained.com/sake/ Bonus episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/66208266 Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
This time let's take a look at different types of travellers using the road in the 17th-19th centuries. From foreigners who loved Tokaido to an elephant who absolutely hated the journey, there is a full range of opinions about travelling in Japan and the Tokaido road in particular. And that's exactly what we need to understand the life of this famous road. More info on https://japanexplained.com/tokaido/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Bonus Episodes on Patreon: Shukuba Post Stations (https://www.patreon.com/posts/tokaido-bonus-63490475) & River crossings and Sekisho checkpoints (https://www.patreon.com/posts/tokaido-bonus-63490838) Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Have you ever heard about Tokaido? If you live in Japan, I bet yes. If you’ve ever visited, I’m positive you took Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. And if you love art, you’ve probably seen some of the prints from the Tokaido series by Hiroshige. Tokaido road has a history of more than 1000 years, and this time I suggest diving into it together. More info on https://japanexplained.com/tokaido/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Bonus Episodes on Patreon: Shukuba Post Stations (https://www.patreon.com/posts/tokaido-bonus-63490475) & River crossings and Sekisho checkpoints (https://www.patreon.com/posts/tokaido-bonus-63490838) Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Ramen Explained

Ramen Explained

2022-02-1630:46

You asked for it, so this time let's look deep into the bowl of ramen and try to figure out why Japan (and now the whole world) is absolutely obsessed with this seemingly simple dish. More info on https://japanexplained.com/ramen/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Bonus Episode on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/61675837 Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
In the previous episode, we looked at the origins of ukiyo-e, the development of printing techniques and the classical period in the history of ukiyo-e. We followed the works of a few brilliant artists such as Harunobu, Sharaku and Utamaro and ended up in the late 18th century. So definitely check it out if you haven’t listened to it yet. This time let’s look at ukiyo-e in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lots of things are going to happen in Japan, affecting all aspects of daily life and culture. And ukiyo-e won’t be left aside. Check episode notes and support the podcast on japanexplained.com/ukiyo-e Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
This time let‘s talk about art. And speaking of Japanese art, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I bet most of us thought of ukiyo-e. These colourful prints represent Japan to the world, but what do we know about them? Not much. What is ukiyo? When did these prints appear? Who made them? Were they always as expensive as now? Let‘s follow the history of ukiyo-e and find the answers. Say hi, learn more and support the show at japanexplained.com Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Karaoke Explained

Karaoke Explained

2021-10-2026:42

Why do people go to karaoke? Why in the West people prefer karaoke bars while the East is all about karaoke boxes? Was karaoke really invented in Japan? How old is it? Why karaoke songs sound so different from the original ones? The list goes on and on. My friends asked me so many questions about karaoke that I decided to make an episode about it to answer them all at once. More information at japanexplained.com/karaoke/ Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
This time let‘s talk about Japanese curry that has a rather short 150-year long history yet managed to become one of the national dishes of Japan. Lets‘s see how it climbed to fame and how many varieties of the dish we have now in case you want to cook one. Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
Perry promised to come back the next year. And so he did. Now, let's check out what happened next. More info on https://japanexplained.com/kurofune/Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#supportInstagram: @japanexplainedCover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
In 1853 Commodore Perry came to the shores of Japan and "opened" it to the world. Or did he? Let's see what actually happened when four black ships appeared one summer day near the shore of Uraga. More info on https://japanexplained.com/kurofune/ Support the show: https://japanexplained.com/#support Instagram: @japanexplained Cover design: @justlavi Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
In the second part of Yokai Explained, I‘ll tell you how strict censorship made yokai superstars of the Edo period, which Japanese monster made a big fuss in 19th century London and New York and why in the 21st century we are still fascinated by yokai, creating more and more of them all the time. Learn more on japanexplained.com/yokai Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/japan-explained/exclusive-content Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands Privacy & Opt-Out: https://redcircle.com/privacy
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