The History of Yasukuni Shrine

I wrote this thing to be posted on as part of this series of articles on Yasukuni. When the Japanese document I was half-translating, half-simply-eyeballing as I put this together got tossed in the reject bin, the English went along with it . . . so here I am with a big thing to […]

Japan Echo on the Edo period

In 2003 Tokyo celebrated the four-hundredth anniversary of its designation as Japan’s political capital. In that year and the next, Japan Echo magazine commissioned a series of articles by Edo-period specialists outlining interesting and little-known details of life in and one of the world’s greatest cities of that age. They’re still available online, in all […]

Chinese characters through time

This Chinese Etymology website looks pretty amazing. Input a single hanzi (kanji input with a Japanese IME work just fine) and the site gives you lists of older variants—the versions of the characters used in seals, old oracle carvings, on and on. Click the image to see what it gives you when you search for […]

Prewar maps of Asia

The 外邦図デジタルアーカイブ (digital archive of gaihōzu, “maps of foreign lands”) on the Tōhoku University library website looks like a great resource for students of wartime history, cartography buffs, or people interested in Asian geography in general. Some of the maps are Japanese productions, but others were taken (stolen?) from other sources. The maps of Guam, […]

A child custody story to watch?

My company gets lots of unsolicited messages from people around the world looking to get something published. Today as I was cleaning out our catch-all address, erasing several hundred spam notes and forwarding or responding to the two or three messages that actually needed attention, I saw this press release from someone at Turkey’s Dogan […]