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Rank #91 in History category

History

History of Japan

Updated 6 days ago

Rank #91 in History category

History
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This podcast, assembled by a former PhD student in History at the University of Washington, covers the entire span of Japanese history. Each week we'll tackle a new topic, ranging from prehistoric Japan to the modern day.

Read more

This podcast, assembled by a former PhD student in History at the University of Washington, covers the entire span of Japanese history. Each week we'll tackle a new topic, ranging from prehistoric Japan to the modern day.

iTunes Ratings

329 Ratings
Average Ratings
282
25
9
5
8

A new History of Japan is always the first thing I listen to,

By Marc_Whitaker - Sep 19 2019
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Thoroughly researched, Isaac fits a boatload of story in every episode.

Great show

By Derlemke - Sep 06 2019
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It’s a five star show, plain and simple.

iTunes Ratings

329 Ratings
Average Ratings
282
25
9
5
8

A new History of Japan is always the first thing I listen to,

By Marc_Whitaker - Sep 19 2019
Read more
Thoroughly researched, Isaac fits a boatload of story in every episode.

Great show

By Derlemke - Sep 06 2019
Read more
It’s a five star show, plain and simple.

Listen to:

Cover image of History of Japan

History of Japan

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

This podcast, assembled by a former PhD student in History at the University of Washington, covers the entire span of Japanese history. Each week we'll tackle a new topic, ranging from prehistoric Japan to the modern day.

Episode 98 - The Comfort Women

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This week, we're going to discuss one of the most reprehensible aspects of a war littered with horrible acts; the system of mass sexual slavery of women euphemistically dubbed "comfort women". We'll talk about the origins and nature of the system, and the reason why it has come back to haunt Japanese politics today.

Apr 25 2015

26mins

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Episode 100 - Taiko

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Toyotomi Hideyoshi rose from the lower ranks of society in just a bit over 30 years; how did he rise so far so fast, and why did the regime he built crumble almost immediately after this death? All that and more this week.

May 09 2015

27mins

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Episode 99 - The Tiger and the Dragon

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This week: what does it take to be part of Japan's most infamous warlord duo? We explore the lives of Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, their relationship with each other, and the ways in which their rivalry has been romanticized over the course of Japanese history.

May 02 2015

24mins

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Episode 91 - The Dragon and the Rising Sun, Part 1

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This week, we're going to start our exploration of the Sino-Japanese relationship with a quick recap of the history of China's last imperial dynasty. How did China find itself in such desperate straits by the turn of the twentieth century that they were being surpassed by a chain of islands that had been irrelevant for centuries? Tune in to find out!

Feb 28 2015

22mins

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Episode 89 - A Day in the Life of Meiji Japan

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This week we'll be going through the basics of daily life for children, women, and men during the Meiji Period. How did the tremendous changes of the Meiji Era change the way people lived and worked? This week, we'll try to sketch an outline of an answer for that question, as we cover themes as varied as compulsory educations and fistfights over the rights of prostitutes! 

Feb 14 2015

29mins

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Episode 93 - The Dragon and the Rising Sun, Part 3

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This week we introduce the man who led China's war against Japan: Chiang Kai-shek. The reluctant military leader wanted no part of a war against the nation where he had trained, but the trends of the time forced him into a conflict that would eventually destroy not only Japan, but his own regime as well.

Mar 14 2015

27mins

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Episode 94 - The Dragon and the Rising Sun, Part 4

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This week we look at the Second Sino-Japanese War from the opposite angle: not those who fought, but those who collaborated. We'll discuss the titular leader of Manchukuo and the head of the "reformed" Chinese regime with an eye towards shedding some light on who collaborated and why.

Mar 28 2015

27mins

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Episode 146 - The Birth of the Samurai, Part 1

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This week, we'll be starting a short series about the advent of the samurai class. First, what came before the samurai, and why did Japan's emperors decide to devolve more and more power to provincial warriors?

Apr 23 2016

27mins

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Episode 105 - A Relic of Another Age

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This week, we cover Japan's doomed attempt to build an undefeatable battleship in a time when battleships were no longer really the key to naval victory. That's right, it's time for the IJN Yamato!

Jun 13 2015

25mins

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Episode 85 - The Way of the Gods, Part 1

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Jan 17 2015

23mins

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Episode 303 - The History of the Geisha

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Finally, a long overdue look at one of the most romanticized and exocitized parts of traditional Japanese culture. What are geisha? Where do they come from? Aren't they basically fancy prostitutes? And haven't I learned everything I need to know about them from reading Memoirs of a Geisha?

Aug 30 2019

42mins

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Episode 107 - The Lair of the Wolves

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How does a nation ruled by warriors descend into over 100 years of civil war? Find out this week as we discuss the causes of the Onin War and the collapse of the authority of the Ashikaga shoguns.

Jun 27 2015

28mins

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Episode 310 - Freedom and People's Rights, Part 1

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This week, we're starting a look at the Jiyu Minken Undo -- the Freedom and People's Rights Movement -- by talking a bit about its ideological origins as well as some of the movement's early leaders.

Oct 18 2019

35mins

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Episode 117 - The Fall of the Samurai, Part 1

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This week, we're starting our new longest ever series on the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate and the birth of modern Japan. This week, we're taking a look at the political situation in the Tokugawa period -- how was the country carved up by Tokugawa Ieyasu? Who ruled what, and what kind of implications did that have in terms of establishing a secure and stable nation?

Sep 05 2015

32mins

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Episode 108 - Rain of Ruin, Part 1

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In our first of six episodes on the atomic bombs, we start to answer an important question; where did the idea for the bomb come from? Where did people get the idea that a sufficiently large bomb would enable them to win wars from the air?

Jul 04 2015

27mins

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Episode 84 - A Day in the Life of Rural Edo Japan

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This week, we go back to address a glaring flaw from episode 10: my total lack of discussion of the countryside. Rural life in the Edo Period involved a lot more than simply farming from dawn to sunset, and this week we'll get into exactly what it meant to be a peasant in the golden age of the samurai.

Jan 10 2015

22mins

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Episode 90 - Fifty Shades of Wordplay

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In the late 17th century, the popular writer Ihara Saikaku produced literature for mass entertainment and consumption. He became immensely popular, and remains widely read even centuries after his heyday. We'll explore his life, career, and legacy as we ask, "just how did a man making entertainment to pay his bills become one of Japan's most celebrated authors?"

Feb 21 2015

24mins

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Episode 287 - The Drunken Demon

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This week, we're taking a look at a specific oni tale, and probably the most famous one; the story of the Demon King of Mt. Oe, Shuten Doji. What's his story? How did he get punked by five of Japan's most famous warriors? And why are we still talking about him so many years later?

May 03 2019

32mins

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Episode 210 - The Scourge of the Gods, Part 1

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This week: where did the Mongol Empire come from, and who was in charge when they decided to come after Japan? Also, why is the Kamakura shogunate the most convoluted form of government in a history of convoluted governments?

Sep 23 2017

27mins

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Episode 22 - The Way of the Warrior

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For our first listener-submitted topic, we're tackling Bushido: the warrior code of the samurai class. We'll discuss the evolution of the bushido ideology, the role it played during the ages of warfare in Japan as well as during the Tokugawa, and its modern legacy in a post-samurai world.

Sep 08 2013

22mins

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Episode 316 - The Entrepreneur

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This week, it's time to talk backroom deals and business trickery, because we're chronicling the rise of Mitsubishi and the rags to riches story of its founder Iwasaki Yataro.

Show notes here.

Dec 06 2019

36mins

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Episode 315 - The World Cast Aside

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This week, we trace the evolution of Noh theater over the course of the careers of its famous founders: the father-son acting duo Kan'ami and Zeami.

Show notes: http://isaacmeyer.net/2019/11/episode-315-the-world-cast-aside/

Nov 22 2019

35mins

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Episode 314 - Responsibility, Accountability, and the Imperial Throne

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Since Japan just got itself a new emperor, this is a good time to go back and look at an incident from the enthronement of the last emperor -- and at a time where one local politician's comment at a council meeting ignited a national firestorm which ended with him being shot.

Show notes here: http://isaacmeyer.net/2019/11/episode-314-resp…-imperial-throne/

Nov 15 2019

35mins

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Episode 313 - The Doctor is In

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This week, we're going to zoom in on the kind of life that doesn't usually make the big picture history of Japan. It's time to look at the story of a single medical student during the final years of the Tokugawa era and explore everything from his education to his drinking habit, and to ask ourselves just what we can learn from such a focused examination of the past.

Show notes here.

Nov 08 2019

33mins

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Episode 312 - Freedom and People's Rights, Part 3

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This week, we look at the violent incidents that eventually undermined the Freedom and People's Rights Movement, and the legacies of the movement for Japan today.

Nov 01 2019

35mins

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Episode 311 - Freedom and People's Rights, Part 2

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How do you talk about a movement without clear leaders? By breaking down its different levels. Plus, a look at how things came to a head between the Freedom and People's Rights Movement and the government.

Oct 25 2019

32mins

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Episode 310 - Freedom and People's Rights, Part 1

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This week, we're starting a look at the Jiyu Minken Undo -- the Freedom and People's Rights Movement -- by talking a bit about its ideological origins as well as some of the movement's early leaders.

Oct 18 2019

35mins

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Episode 309 - Flying High

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This week: the battle against the construction of a new international airport in Chiba prefecture. Who fought against the airport, why, and how did it all go so very wrong?

Oct 11 2019

39mins

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Episode 308 - The Prisoners of Nanbu, Part 3

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This week, the crew of the Breskens is freed at last. Plus some final thoughts on Tokugawa diplomacy.

Oct 04 2019

35mins

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Episode 307 - The Prisoners of Nanbu, Part 2

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The Breskens crew arrive in Edo, with the question of how they are to be treated looming over them. At the same time, another group of very different Europeans arrive there as well. This week, we'll talk about the interwoven fates of both groups, and what they tell us about the concerns of the shogunate and Tokugawa Iemitsu. 

Sep 27 2019

34mins

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Episode 306 - The Prisoners of Nanbu, Part 1

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This week, we're taking a look at the foreign policy of Edo Japan by starting a deep dive into a complex case study: the tale of the 10 prisoners of Nanbu domain!

Sep 20 2019

35mins

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Episode 305 - The American Interlude, Part 2

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This week, we'll cover the end of USCAR and the legacies of 27 years of foreign rule over Okinawa Prefecture. 

Sep 13 2019

37mins

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Episode 304 - The American Outpost, Part 1

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This week, we start off some coverage of the period of American rule over the Ryukyus, and the entwined histories of USCAR - the US Civil Administration for the Ryukyu Islands -- and the GRI, the Government of the Ryukyu Islands. How did this arrangement work? What were the issues between them? And why did so many Okinawans come to despise American rule? 

Sep 06 2019

35mins

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Episode 303 - The History of the Geisha

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Finally, a long overdue look at one of the most romanticized and exocitized parts of traditional Japanese culture. What are geisha? Where do they come from? Aren't they basically fancy prostitutes? And haven't I learned everything I need to know about them from reading Memoirs of a Geisha?

Aug 30 2019

42mins

Play

Episode 302 - Stand Up For Your Rights, Part 2

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This week, we take a look at the peasant uprisings in Aizu domain in 1868 to continue our exploration of the question: where were all the peasants in the Meiji Restoration?

Aug 23 2019

34mins

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Bonus Episode - Sakakibara Seito/"Boy A"

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What's this? Another cross-posted Criminal Records episode?

That's right! Check it out, and if you like it go to criminalrecordspodcast.com for more. 

Aug 19 2019

51mins

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Episode 301 - Stand Up For Your Rights, Part 1

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While the Meiji Restoration was going on, where was everybody else? We'll start trying to answer that question today with a look at an uprising in 1866 in the region of Shindatsu.

Aug 16 2019

35mins

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Episode 300 - The 300th Episode!

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It's a shame you can't embed gifs in the episode descriptions, because otherwise this would just be the Ron Paul It's Happening! gif.

Thank you all for enjoying the show; it would not be what it is without you.

Aug 09 2019

45mins

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Episode 299 - The Rebellion that Never Was

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This week, we cover an obscure bit of samurai history: the Keian Incident, a planned coup against the Tokugawa Shoguns that was foiled by a lucky bit of happenstance. What can we learn from something that, in a certain sense, didn't actually happen?

Aug 02 2019

33mins

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Episode 298 - The Ghost of Japan Past

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This week, we profile one of the great Western interpreters of Japan: Lafcadio Hearn. How did some Anglo-Greek kid end up in Japan by way of New Orleans, and why do we still care about him today?

Jul 26 2019

34mins

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