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The dictionary of Japanese general terms is available at Online Japanese dictionary.
alternative words: Nagaoka-kyo, Nagaoka kyo, Capital Nagaoka, Nagaoka
related topics: Heijokyo , Heiankyo , Emperor Kanmu
related web sites: http://www.city.nagaokakyo.kyoto.jp , http://www.hi-ho.ne.jp/kyoto/nagaokakyo.html
explanation: When Emperor Kanmu surprisingly decided to leave Nara in spite of an opposition, he chose Nagaoka because 3 rivers joining there, it seemed an ideal place to build a capital. But after the move to Nagaoka in 784, a flood demolished the main gate of his palace and Nagaoka's weak point was discovered. In order to avoid a discontent of the people which might ask the return back to Nara, Kanmu immediately gave up Nagaoka-kyo and moved the capital to Kyoto in 794.
alternative words: Nagi nata, Japanese halberd, Halberd
keywords: martial art, weapon
related topics: Kamakura period , Edo period
related web sites: http://homepage1.nifty.com/sira/taiheiki/moriyosi.html , http://www.jttk.zaq.ne.jp/nihontou/toukenkobugu/yarinaginatalist.htm
explanation: Weapon composed of a long shaft and a curved blade of 1 or 2 feet length attached at the top. It had been a favorite weapon of Japanese infantrymen until Kamakura period especially Buddhist monk soldiers. It was then gradually replaced by spears and rifles. During Edo period, it was taught as a defensive weapon for samurai's women and continued to be taught as a woman's sport nowadays. Naginata means "mowing sword".
alternative words: Manjiro Nakahama, Manjiro, Manjirou, John Manjiro, John Manjirou
keywords: explorer, famous person, meiji revolution
related topics: Tosa domain , Edo shogunate , Meiji revolution
related web sites: http://www.city.tosashimizu.kochi.jp/john/ , http://www2.netwave.or.jp/~okadas/dan/jonman.htm
explanation: Born in 1827 in a fisher family of Tosa domain. In 1841, his ships was wrecked and drifted but saved a half year later by an American whaler. He went then to USA and learnt English , navigation and mining techniques. After having worked in a gold mine and whaling, he returned back to Japan in 1851. Edo shogunate engaged him as a translator of foreign books. He taught also navigation and whaling techniques. After Meiji revolution, he became an English teacher. He died in 1898.
Nakatomi no Kamatari
alternative words: Nakatomino Kamatari, Fujiwara no Kamatari, Fujiwarano Kamatari, Kamatari
keywords: famous person, statesman
related topics: Asuka period , Taika reform , Emperor Tenchi , Soga no Iruka , Fujiwara no Fuhito , Fujiwara family
explanation: Born in 614 in a shinto priest family. Furious with the arrogance of Soga clan, he approached Prince Nakano ooe (later Emperor Tenchi) and plotted a coup d'?t against them. After the elimination of Soga clan in 645, he became the prime minister (Nai Daijin) and strove for the success of Taika reform with Prince Nakano ooe. Juste before his death in 669, Emperor Tench offered him the name of "Fujiwara" who would become later the most influential nobility in Japan.
alternative words: South barbarian, Southern barbarian
keywords: art, foreigner
related topics: Sengoku period
explanation: Literally "southern barbarian", this term was used first by Chinese to designate the people living in south China such as Vietnamese. Japanese took this term to designated Portuguese and Spanish during Sengoku period because, arriving always from south-east Asia, they sought to live there. In a broader sense, it designated also everything related to Europe or influenced by Europe, such as Nanban art, Nanban literature (Nanban bungaku), Nanban screen (Nanban byobu), etc.
alternative words: Southern and northern courts, South and north courts, Nanbokucho, Nanbokucho schism, Nanbokucho jidai, Nanbokucho era
related topics: Kamakura shogunate , Muromachi shogunate , Emperor Godaigo , Ashikaga Takauji , Kusunoki Masashige , Taiheiki
related web sites: http://www.anotoki.com/top/ , http://www.nara.isp.ntt-west.co.jp/wnnc/theme/9908/map01.html , http://accord.tripod.co.jp/BIGLOBE/seijun.htm , http://homepage1.nifty.com/satouno/kuma/rekisi/tyusei3/nanboku.htm
explanation: First, Emperor Godaigo successfully threw out Kamakura shogunate in 1333 with an aid of Nitta Yoshisada and Ashikaga Takauji. But soon Godaigo had to flee to Yoshino mountains to establish the southern court, due to a treason of Takauji who nominated Emperor Komei to form the northern court at Kyoto in 1337. Though the supporters of the southern court had been decimated, the division subsisted until 1392 due to an internal conflict of Muromachi shogunate.
alternative words: Narajidai, Nara-jidai, Nara jidai, Nara, Tenpyo period, Tenpyojidai, Tenpyo-jidai, Tenpyo jidai
related topics: Ritsuryo system , Manyoshu , Heijokyo , Rebellion of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu
related web sites: http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~ntomo/ , http://www.sol.dti.ne.jp/~hiromi/kansei/ , http://www1.sphere.ne.jp/kakinoha/naranara/heijyoukyou/nennpyou.html , http://www.narahaku.go.jp
explanation: Period corresponding to the epoch when Nara was the capital of Japan between 710 and 794. It is characterized by a power concentration into the hand of Emperor and his court members (Ritsuryo system), and a strong influence of Chinese civilization such as the capital Nara, built following her architecture style. Though there had been natural calamities and power straggles among court members, the period was relatively calm in Japanese history.
alternative words: Nattou
related topics: Soy sauce
related web sites: http://www.marumiya-g.co.jp/index1.html
explanation: Japanese food coming from a fermentation of soybeans enveloped with rice straws and maintained in the temperature around 40d Celsius. Though the straws contain naturally the necessary bacteria, now people use bred ones. It is popular only in the eastern Japan and the main center of fabrication is at Mito city in Ibaraki prefecture. Usually it is consumed by mixing with soy sauce.
alternative words: Nebuta festival, Nebuta matsuri
related topics: Tanabata
related web sites: http://www.jomon.ne.jp/~kegani/ , http://www.hikyaku.com/gallery/english/nebuta.html
explanation: Nebuta is a kind of old tanabata festivals practiced in Tohoku region and it is a variation of the purification ceremony which consists to flow away paper lanterns with everything evil by waters. Nebuta festival which occurs at the beginning of every August in Aomori region is an enlargement of these lanterns. But in order to avoid the pollution of sea and rivers, nowadays they are no more flow away but demolished on the place.
keywords: craft, thing
related topics: Edo period
related web sites: http://www.netsuke.org , http://www.netsuke.com , http://www.netsuke.co.jp , http://www.kousei-s.com
explanation: Kimono having no pocket to carry things such as tobacco pouches or seal cases, Japanese were hanging them to the belt (Obi). In order to avoid losing them inopportunely, people attached a small toggle (netsuke) at the cord of pouches. This custom has been expanded since the middle of Edo period and netsuke became a real artistic product. Its size is about 3cm and made with ivory, jade or metal. The preferred motifs are legendary figures, animals and birds. Anei Kaigyokusai is the most famous netsuke artist.
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