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The dictionary of Japanese general terms is available at Online Japanese dictionary.
related topics: Edo period , Daimyo , Toyotomi Hideyoshi
explanation: Old unit to measure the volume of cereals or liquid. 1 koku is about 180 L and it is a merit of Toyotomi Hideyoshi to give a precise definition of this unit. An adult consumes about 1 koku of rice in a year. The rice being the principal food of Japanese, this unit was especially used to quantify the wealth of seigniors (daimyo). For example, Tokugawa shogun owned 8 million koku corresponding to 1 quarter of Japanese rice production at the beginning of Edo period.
alternative words: Kokugaku school, Koku-gaku, Koku gaku, National learning, Japanese national learning
keywords: philosophy, school, shintoism
related topics: Motoori Norinaga , Edo period , Shintoism , Manyoshu , Kojiki
related web sites: http://www3.justnet.ne.jp/~rinri/036.htm
explanation: Beginning with an innocent study of Japanese classics such as Manyoshu and Kojiki by Kamo Mabuchi and Motoori Norinaga, in order to justify a lack of Japanese ideology in face to well structured foreign disciplines such as Confucianism and Buddhism, it became more radical with the works of Hirata Atsutane. It formed a core of ideological arm when Japanese began to feel pressures of westerners at the end of Edo period, especially among samurai of Mito domain.
keywords: office, title
related topics: Ritsuryo system , Heian period , Shoen , Shugo , Kamakura shogunate , Kuni , Kuni no miyatsuko
related web sites: http://www3.town.tatsuruhama.ishikawa.jp/hisbook/rekisi/index3/text07.HTM
explanation: According to Ritsuryo system, Japan was divided to about 60 provinces and each province was governed by an official sent from the capital. He was responsible of the tax collection and the security. Due to a development of shoen and samurai clans during Heian period, Kokushi appealed gradually to a representative without moving from Kyoto. When Kamakura shogunate created "shugo", Kokushi became useless but still remained as a honorific post until Edo period.
alternative words: Komusou, Komuso monk
keywords: buddhism, ninja, title
related topics: Rinzai sect , Shakuhachi , Ninja , Ronin
related web sites: http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~komuken/
explanation: Members of Fukeshu group of Rinzai sect who consists to propagate Zen doctrine by playing Japanese flute (Shakuhachi). With white surplice and straw hat which covers completely the face, they traveled to ask offerings by playing Shakuhachi. Able to trip with hidden face, it was a favorite style of conspirators or antisocial groups such as Ninja and Ronin. Beginning from 16th century, they have disappeared quickly since the ban of Fukeshu in 1871.
alternative words: Juzo Kondo, Kondou Juzou, Juzou Kondou
keywords: explorer, famous person, northern territory
related topics: Edo shogunate , Ezochi
related web sites: http://www.marimo.or.jp/~nmcinfo/mugenko/p05/P043_1.htm
explanation: Born in 1771 at Tokyo in an important family of samurai. After divers official functions of Edo shogunate, he had been nominated to a responsible of Ezochi administration in 1798. After having explored different parts of Hokkaido, he reached Etorofu Island in South Kuril and erected there a Japanese landmark. In advanced age, his life turned to be less glorious. Accused of a murder committed by his son, he was sentenced to a banishment and died in 1829.
alternative words: Konkou rikishi, Kongorikishi, Kongourikishi, Nio, Niou, Benevolent king, Vajrapani, Vajradara
keywords: buddhism, god
related topics: Buddhism , Kamakura period , Unkei
related web sites: http://www5.freeweb.ne.jp/art/kbi/index.files/shurui.html , http://www02.so-net.ne.jp/~segi/trip/199909/favorite.html
explanation: Kongorikishi is a Hindu god who has accepted to become a guardian of Buddhism. He frequently appears 2 angry worriors at the gate of Japanese temples: Mitsushaku Kongo stands on the left and carries a thunderbolt stick while Naraen Kongo on the right with a saber. The statues created by Unkei and Kaikei and located at the south main gate of Todaiji temple are a master piece of Kamakura sculpture. Vajrapani or Vajradara means "thunderbolt stick holder" in Sanskrit.
alternative words: Konishiki, Yasokichi Konishiki
keywords: famous person, foreigner, sumo
related topics: Sumo
related web sites: http://www.infocr.co.jp/koni/
explanation: Born on December 31, 1963 in Hawaii, he is the first foreign born sumo wrestler who has reached the rank of ozeki. Though, he won 3 times championships in the national tournaments, because of repeated wounds, he has near missed the title of a great sumo champion, i.e. yokozuna. Having belonged to the stable of Azumazeki alias Takamiyama, another Hawaii born sumo wrestler, he has retired from sumo wrestler in November 1997 and become an actor.
alternative words: Tales of times now past, Konjakumonogatari, Konjakumonogatarishu, Konjaku monogatari shu
keywords: book, tale
related topics: Heian period , Abe no Seimei , Koropokkuru , Sakata no Kintaro
related web sites: http://ddb.libnet.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/metaphor/konjaku/kjframe.htm , http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~wx7s-yngd/q3/q3.html
explanation: Collection of short novels written by Minamoto no Takakuni at the end of Heian period from the popular oral tales of that epoch. It contains more than 1000 tales divided onto 31 volumes and covers the histories of Japan, China and India (mostly Buddhist sources for the latter). Being of excellent literature, many modern writers have inspired from it like Rashomon of Akutagawa Ryunosuke, adapted to a movie by Kurosawa Akira.
alternative words: Kor pok kur, Koro pokkuru, Korobokkuru, Koro bokkuru
keywords: minority, northern territory
related topics: Ezo , Konjaku monogatari
related web sites: http://doo.hak.hokkyodai.ac.jp/museum/hakodate/kikaku/jyomon/402crobk.htm
explanation: Pygmies who appeared in Ainu's legend. They coexisted peacefully with Ainu but one day, their relation deteriorated and Koropokkuru went further to the north. Konjaku monogatari written during Heian period mentioned also the discovery of a tiny unmanned ship with a great number of oars like centipede on the shore of Niigata. Man has discovered rice fields of Jomon period with tiny foot prints in north Japan so such pygmies should really have existed. Koropokkuru means "those living under butterbur".
alternative words: Japanese zither, Sou, So, Zither
keywords: china, music
related topics: Nara period
related web sites: http://kiuchi.jpn.org/souhome.htm
explanation: A zither imported from China during Nara period. Initially having small size (about 1 m long) as an ordinary zither with 5 cords, it has evolved to become longer (about 1.8 m) with 13 cords. Laying horizontally, the note is controlled by tiny moving bridges set under each cord. The musician puts small picks on her thumb and first two fingers of the right hand and the left hand is used to control the note.
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