In 1603, Ieyasu Tokugawa (徳川家康）ruled Japan and started the Tokugawa Shogunate (Tokugawa bakufu /徳川幕府) at the Edo Castle (Edo-jo / 江戸城) in Tokyo. The successive Tokugawa Shoguns ruled Japan until 1868. This period is called the Edo Era (Edo-jidai/江戸時代). In 1639, roughly speaking, the Tokugawa Shogunate closed Japan to foreign commerce. This national isolation policy lasted until the Treaty of Amity and Commerce (or the Harris Treaty) between Japan and the US was signed in 1854. Around this time, Japan was turbulent and chaotic because samurais, Japanese warriors, had differing opinions over the issue of how to deal with pressures put by some Western countries on Japan to open up the nation. Eventually, the Meiji Restoration, Meiji-Ishin revolution, happened in 1868. Although the revolution enabled Japan to shift to a modern nation status, ordinary people of the time saw it as a just shift of power from Tokugawa Shoguns to samurais from Satsuma (薩摩, which is currently Kagoshima Prefecture) and Choshu (長州, which is currently Yamaguchi Prefecture). After the revolution, the Emperor Meiji moved the aforementioned Edo Castle in Tokyo from Kyoto which had been the imperial capital for more than a thousand years. Now, the place is referred to as the Imperial Palace (Koukyo/皇居), and the Emperor and Empress reside there. On top of that, various ceremonies are held there. Some areas of the Palace are open to all people.
Recently, I've been reading some books related to the times around 1868 since I have been having this times in my mind. As I expected, the more I learn about this times, the more deeply I can understand the current situation in Japan.
By the way, the Imperial Palace is well known as a great site to view sakura (cherry blossoms). When I went there on the 8th and 13th of April, I took pictures of sakura. Please see pictures in the link below from top left to bottom right.
From the first to the forth: Somei-Yoshino, a popular kind of sakura, were in full bloom on the 8th of April.
The fifth: Sakura and the Tokyo Tower (the red one).
The sixth: Somei-Yoshino, a popular kind of sakura, were falling and scattering on the 13th of April.
From seventh to the last: Yaezakura, another popular kind of Sakura, were in full bloom.
|Feb 10 kathrynoh|
|Feb 9 nneuteufel|
|Oct 28 kathrynoh|
|Oct 14 Takky （タッキ）|
Entries by Month
Report this entry as spam
Since the 3/11 earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima incident happened last year, I've often heard that now is the third turning point for Japan in the past 150 years. The second one was when Japan lost the Second World War. The first one was the Meiji Restoration (Meiji-ishin /明治維新 in Japa