ancient japan culture

“Tomoe Gozen” (1879), Yamazaki Toshinobu (1857-1886)

“ That circle of men fell like autmun leaves, like a rain of petals torn loose by storm winds. Such was my fight, and all the warriors, sorely wounded

fell far back

till I saw them no more

fell far back

till I saw them no more »

From the 14th century Noh play “Tomoe”, anonymous author, translation by Royall Tyler


The best of Ancient Warrior Culture as currently posted by unrepentantwarriorpriest


Kashima-jingu 4 by yoshikazu kuboniwa
Via Flickr:

Enkoji (圓光寺, Enkōji) is a temple of the Rinzai Zen Sect, situated in northern Kyoto close to the Shugakuin Imperial Villa. It is famous for its autumn colors which are usually best in late November. Enkoji was founded in 1601 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the shogun who brought about the Edo Period (1603-1867). The temple also served as a school that was open to the common public. Enkoji’s principal object of worship is a statue of the thousand-armed Kannon Bodhisattva.


Osaka castle by Patrick Foto ;)
Via Flickr:
Osaka castle, Osaka Japan


I always find it hilarious whenever the European nationalist and far right parties start spewing shit about pure “British/French/Italian etc” culture

  • Yo Nigel Farage, you poor fella- how about we deposit you in pre-Roman Britain and you can tell the Celtic-speaking inhabitants about British culture and the mysterious people called the “English”? And after the Roman invasion, you can tell them that apparently they are exactly the same as the invading Anglo-Saxons. Or the Normans later. Because what we think of as “British”- or even just “English culture” is actually an amalgamation of all these influences. And you know what? Far more of us around the world have actually LEARNED English and absorbed British influences due to colonial rule. Shall I mention how, gasp, English is itself a language born from immigrants! The Anglo-Saxons, to be precise. And even so, English back then would sound quite unintelligible to a modern speaker because modern English absorbed huge amounts of French vocabulary.
  • Members of Marine Le Pen’s National Front? You guys can go back 2000 years ago and tell the Gaulish tribes about this pure French culture, which will make no sense to them because they are a people of Celtic origin, and French identity is something that developed when this melded with later Roman influence- when the region was conquered and made into the province called Roman Gaul. French itself is a Romance language not a Celtic language! Now, that’s cultural imperialism. Or you could go to Rome itself during the Roman empire and tell them their emperor Septimius Severus isn’t a real Roman, because why, he was of North African origin! Or that emperor Marcus Julius Philippus isn’t a real Roman too because he was born in the Roman province of Arabia and has Syrian ancestry. Because hey, multi-ethnic empires have been a thing since antiquity, and-despite what far-right nationalists would like to have you think- it didn’t signal their death knell or anything quite so dramatic. They managed just fine.

What is intensely disturbing is that so many nationalist groups around the world love using this notion of cultural purity- which many people swallow when a quick glance at human history easily reveals the truth.  Most modern ethnic identities and national cultures have been formed through absorbing diverse groups of people for thousands of years. Almost noone is “pure anything”. No culture has remained static. The Han Chinese actually absorbed a lot of indigenous groups, Japanese culture absorbed influences from Tang dynasty China, the Persian Empire absorbed influences from various other earlier Iranian civilisations like Media. Before there was Babylon, there was Sumer and so on. Immigrants have always been the norm, in fact. 

And somehow people immigrating to Europe today normally and not through violent invasions that actually involved things like mass killings and forced conversions at the point of the sword are a mortal threat to European cultures. Really. This notion that immigrants are threatening some mythologised “cultural purity"  is nothing but a bold lie because this pure, homogenous culture never existed. Yes sure, it may have taken people years instead of an 8 hour plane trip to get there but human migrations, cultural exchanges, invasions and intermarriages are way older than many people think- way older than written history for that matter.

After all, let’s not forget the mother of all migrations began anytime between 60,000 and 125,000 years ago when this strange new hominid stood upright somewhere in East Africa for the first time and then later began a long trek over thousands of years to colonise the rest of the world- which no other hominid had ever managed. Actually, to extend the irony- the scientific evidence seems to be showing that as a species, we were the immigrants that caused other hominids to go extinct either because we killed them all and/or out-competed them evolutionarily. In Europe? Neanderthals were there long before the first humans arrived around 40,000 years ago, after which they shortly became extinct. 

Map of ancient human migrations, based on the common African origin of humans. The numbers represent the approximate thousands of years ago humans settled these places.

Really puts into perspective what invasive immigration that destroys, erodes cultures and is actually a mortal threat to entire peoples really looks like, no?


Yasaka Pagoda by Patrick Foto ;)
Via Flickr:
Yasaka Pagoda and Sannen Zaka Street in the Morning, Kyoto, Japan

“Police Arresting the Geisha Ohama and Okin for Accidentally Injuring an Old Man While Galloping on Horseback” (circa 1875/ 1876), Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

Print from the series “Postal news”. These prints were designed for the “Yubin Hochi shinbun” or “Postal news” newspaper and depict sensational events of the period. 

“Hanai Oume Killing Minekichi” (1887), Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

From the series “Personalities of Recent Times”

Minekichi was for a time the lover of the geisha Hanai Oume. However, after they ended their affair, the man turned out to be a stalker and the situation escalated quickly, culminating in Hanai Oume murdering him.