Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Meiji era’

Book Review: Samurai Assassins: “Dark Murder” And The Meiji Restoration 1853-1868 By Romulus Hillsborough

June 25, 2017 2 comments

This first-ever account in English of the assassins who drove the revolution details one of the most volatile periods in Japanese history!

Samurai Assassins coverHillsborough refers to this, his latest book, as ‘a study of the ideology and psychology behind the “samurai revolution”’ and that it certainly is. Thankfully for once, it is not a book that focuses on or sensationalises the assassinations of ‘foreign barbarians’ in a period in Japan when political assassinations flourished, not least of which were those of the foreigners residing in Japan. This a fact attested to by the British Legation’s interpreter Thomas McClatchie, himself a student of Kenjutsu under Sakikabara Kenkichi, in his 1879 letter to Morita Kan’ya’s invitation to visit the Kabuki theatre – ‘In Japan people like the so called rōnin with their katana swords have long been in Read more…

Review: The Newly Refurbished Toshiba Gallery At The Victoria And Albert Museum

December 16, 2015 Leave a comment

‘Design is not for philosophy, it’s for life’ (Issey Miyake)

The Mazarin Chest, Japanese c.1640 (c)After the post Second World War attempt by the Allies in occupied Japan to disband the zaibatsu business conglomerates, which was partially successful, Japanese industry began setting itself strategies at regular intervals for the development and manufacture of products. Each revolved around particular group of five facets of design and manufacture – for instance a single strategic phase might involve something like: Read more…

Sumo: The Traditional National Sport Of Japan

October 8, 2015 Leave a comment

An introduction into the world of Japan’s oldest martial art!

Sumo sept 2013The Founding of Sumo

Nomi no Sukune was a potter from Izumo and ancestor of Sugawara no Michizane. His famous fight with Taima no Kehaya under the patronage of Emperor Suinin resulted in the death of Taima no Kehaya and the founding of Sumo, the traditional national sport of Japan. An influential figure Nomi no Sukune also proposed to Emperor Read more…

Theatre Review: Ninagawa Company – ‘Hamlet’ (Hamuretto) By William Shakespeare

June 10, 2015 1 comment

Yukio Ninagawa directs his best-loved play!

Ninagawa Hamlet May 2015Ninagawa Company – ‘Hamlet’ (Hamuretto) by William Shakespeare 21-24 May 2015 at the Barbican, supported by Thelma Holt Ltd., Saitama Arts Foundation and HoriPro Inc.

Inspired as a celebration and appreciation of his involvement in International Relations, Ninagawa’s 80th birthday this year is being celebrated under the banner Read more…

An English translation of ‘Meiji Gekidan: Ranpu No Moto Ni Te’ (Talks On Meiji Era Theatre: Under The Lamp) By Okamoto Kidō

April 14, 2014 2 comments

Translation was undertaken for Kabuki fans who are unable to read Japanese!

Okamoto KidoBorn October 15th 1872 to Okamoto Keinosuke (a samurai retainer of the Tokugawa Shōgunate who, after the Meiji Restoration, went to work for the British Legation as an interpreter) Okamoto Kidō is best known outside of Japan for his mystery novel ‘The Curious Casebook of Inspector Hanshichi’. His family were avid Kabuki fans and well-connected in the theatre world. Though Kidō announced his intention at an early age to become a Kabuki playwright as a consequence of his father’s bankruptcy he had to skip University and Read more…

Kabukiza Monthly Kabuki Review Number 12 Part One

November 21, 2012 4 comments

First in a two-part series by kabuki collector Trevor Skingle!

歌舞伎座劇評集 No. 64 – 昭和5年 4月15日 – 昭和5年 5月1日 (Shōwa 5 nen, 15th April – 1st May 1930)

Sugi ni shi Monogatari (Rampu no moto ni te) A Past Story (Under the Lamp) Series Part 12, Okamoto Kidō. page 60

The entire series was published as “Meiji Gekidan Ranpu no moto ni te” (On the Theatre of the Meiji Period – Under the Lamp) published by Read more…