medieval-japan

if leo met niles cause niles robbed his home then im gonna make up my own story on how takumi met hinata

>ryoma opens a sword fighting tournament
>whoever wins gets to be takumi’s retainer
>hinata wins but he’s not interested in becoming takumi’s retainer at all
>ryoma asks him what greater feeling is there than dying for his liege
>hinata cries out he would much rather die for Lord Deez of Nestra
>ryoma yells and asks just who is this Lord Deez who would cause such insolence in his kingdom
>hinata yells out “DEEZ NUTS”
>takumi stops ryoma from ordering the guards to hang hinata from the gallows

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Martial artists must possess humility and selflessly serve others…. Bushido devoid of this spirit of humility is nothing more than violence.” -Shihan Ōtake Risuke

He is the master of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu -  Japan’s oldest and most traditional sword school - considered the pinnacle of classic Japanese martial arts. It was founded in the Muromachi era (1336-1573).
It is an amazing privilege that warriors can learn from centuries of unbroken Japanese tradition, and also that they have opened their doors to share with the rest of us.

The clip is from a full movie called ‘Art of the Japanese Sword’ by Empty Mind Films, that came out in 2010- available to watch on Youtube for under $5.

Thanks so much to Marc S. for sharing this with me!

I think any dissatisfaction I have with the Samurai Jack finale is that Jack didn’t learn anything. The series started out with him already being perfect. Becoming a master of all trades with a will of iron and unfaltering moral code was a montage in the prologue. He didn’t grow, he didn’t change, he had no character arc except for season 5 where he overcame ennui that came about offscreen and was not intrinsic to his character. Jack’s superstitiousness and sense of traditionalism where he assumed cars and cities were Aku’s creations, and Jack’s single-minded belief that he NEEDED to get back to the past that he held even after 50 long years, those were things that could have been part of his grander quest of self. A man from medieval Japan stuck up his nose at modern society, became depressed that he was stuck there, and went home without a second of hesitation. It was a riveting tale all things considered, but Jack didn’t grow as a person. He never sought knowledge that wasn’t known in his time, and he saw no value in this world he spent decades in and amassed a cult following of allies in. And while he resisted change and adaptation at all costs, His quest lasted 50 years. When you think about it, he’s lived his entire life as a wanderer in the badlands who stopped at the occasional settlement of humans being menaced by a robot. How do you go back from that? It’s not like he spent his whole youth in ancient Japan either, his globetrotting mission to become an Aku-fighting warrior began when he was 8. He was incredibly far-removed from the “home” he idolized. Being plopped back into there should have led to just as much culture shock as when he was flung into the future. It’s just as the little old man from his spirit journey to regain his sword said, his tea tasted awful. He followed the tea ceremony to the letter, but it still turned out terrible. His inner turmoil was that he hated the future and felt everything about the world he was in went against his raison d’etre. So he overcame this turmoil not by learning to accept his circumstances and see past his prejudices to attain inner peace, but by telling a personification of his anger to shut up. And this was apparently good enough for the pantheon of gods to deem him worthy of the enchanted katana again. Ashi had more significant character development than Jack, which really adds fuel to the fire of why it sucks that she died for Jack to feel one last bout of angst. 

His whole life- from the age of 8 to the age of 70ish- was shaped by the mission to slay Aku. He himself needed to heal and return to a semblance of normalcy just as much as the world at large did. But did he stay in the future to help rebuild society so his spirit and the world could both mend and move on from the past into a better future? Nope, there was a deux ex machina where Ashi had Aku’s full array of powers including time portals. He took the easy way out, which is something he avoided doing in the first season with the blind archers, and something that defied the prophecy of The Guardian’s time portal. He completed his mission, but it was cheap and unfulfilling. The final battle between Jack and Aku that we waited 17 years for lasted about one minute.

The Real Afro Samurai — The Story of Yasuke,

In the 16th century a young man was taken from his home in Mozambique and sold into slavery, becoming the property of a Jesuit Priest named Alessandro Velignano.  Velignano was a missionary who made several trips to Asia, especially China and Japan.  In 1579 Velignano went on a missionary trip to Japan, taking his slave with him. 

When the African man arrived in Japan, he caused quite a stir as he was 6’ 2" tall and as a black man, certainly stood out in medieval Japan.  News of the strange man traveled all over Japan, until eventually the most powerful daimyo Lord Oda Nobunaga learned of the large dark skinned man.  Nobunaga requested a personal audience with the man, and upon meeting him had his skin washed to determine if the whole thing was a hoax.  When it was found the darkness of his skin could not be washed away, Nobunaga gave him the name “Yasuke” and ordered he be trained as a samurai.  Afterwards, Yasuke served as a bodyguard to Oda Nobunaga, taking part in the many battles and campaigns in which Nobunaga eventually would unify Japan. He was paid handsomely for his services, even being granted his own estate.

In 1582 one of Nobunaga’s generals, Akechi Mitsuhide, rebelled against him.  The forces of Mitsuhide surround Nobunaga in a shrine, where Nobunaga was either killed in combat or forced to commit suicide.  Yasuke escaped the battle and continued his service to the Oda Clan, serving his son Nobutada.  Nobutada was also surrounded in his castle, where he was either killed or forced to commit suicide.  Yasuke was captured by Akechi’s men and forced to surrender his sword, but he was allowed to live and set free.  After the fall of the Nobunaga and Nobutada, Yasuke returned to the Jesuit Missionary and supposedly took up Holy Orders as a priest.  Details of his life after being a samurai are unknown.

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The Battle of Nagashino and the Musketeers of Oda Nobunaga,

In the late 16th century Oda Nobunaga was a powerful daimyo lord and shogun who sought to conquer and unify Japan under his rule.  In 1575 the forces of Takeda Katsuyori laid siege to Nagashino castle, one of his vassals and territories.  To break the siege Nobunaga along with his one of his followers, Tokugawa Ieyasu, sent an army of 38,000 to Nagashino Castle.  Of the 15,000 troops under Takeda, only 12,000 were sent to drive off Nobunaga’s men.  While outnumbered, Takeda had the advantage as he sent his elite unit of heavy cavalry, a force made up of hardened veterans who could easily ride down any army like grass.  Nobunaga, however, had a brilliant plan.

Among Nobunaga’s forces were a unit of 3,000 infantry armed with matchlock muskets.  Firearms had been introduced to Japan by Portuguese and Dutch traders earlier in the century, and the Japanese warlords quickly incorporated them into their army.  Nobunaga devised a special tactic for his musketeers.  Nobunaga ordered the construction of a wooden stockade that stretched over the battlefield.  50 meters in front of the stockade ran a small river.  Furthermore Nobunaga trained his men to volley fire, with his musketeers divided into three ranks. As one rank fired a volley, they would retreat to the rear and reload as another rank would take up positions and fire.  In case Takeda’s forces made it too close, pikemen were also stationed at the stockade to keep the cavalry at a distance.

Takeda’s forces emerged 400 meters from the stockade and charged.  The river forced them to slow or even halt 50 meters from the stockade, which was most unfortunate because 50 meters is around the optimum range for a matchlock musket.  Nobunaga’s musketeers poured volley after volley into the forces of Takeda, mowing them down with wave after wave of unrelenting musket fire.  Eventually Takeda’s army was forced to flee.  Altogether Takeda lost up to 10,000 men, 54 of whom were his top generals and samurai.  

The Battle of Nagashino is the first documented case of volley fire in history, occurring 25 years before its use in Europe. 

The Tale of Genji

Written by Grace Ibrahim

The Tale of Genji is widely regarded as the fist novel ever written. It is well over thousand pages and has fifty four chapters. However I am only covering the abridged version in this review, which I suggest you read before deciding whether or not you want to take on this work in is entirety. This version was translated and edited by Royall Tyler who recently retired from teaching Japanese and Japanese Literature at the Australian National University.

The Tale of Genji however was written in Japan by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady of the Heian court. She was born around 973 AD and died probably in 1014. Murasaki was already known for her talent in poetry writing when she was called to serve the empress in 1006. The Tale of Genji was completed sometime between 1007-1008 while she was still serving at court.

The Tale of Genji tells the story of a prince born to an Intimate of the emperor. The hierarchy works like so, the emperor and his empress, after the empress was the Mistress of staff in theory she was a court official but she was really more like a junior wife. Then following those two are the consorts who are of noble birth, then after them came the intimates who are of low ranking noble birth or of common birth. The emperor did not have all these women due to enormous sexual appetite but more so because he was expected to make himself available to members of the upper aristocracy.

Genji our hero was born to an intimate who is an orphan an so has no family backing or political support. The emperor however is deeply devoted to her and longs to make Genji his heir apparent. However since he knows this is not possible he instead decides to remove Genji completely from the imperial family by giving him a surname (the imperial family has none) and appointing him as a senior government official.

Genji’s life is full of ups and downs and he eventually becomes the most powerful man in the kingdom however the story is less about this and more about the women he is involved with, who help shape him. From his mother in early childhood to the love of his life whom he raises as a daughter than later marries. Genji’s life though privileged is not without trial and error as a youth he makes many mistakes in love some of which are quite hilarious! He is described as “devastatingly handsome, charming and eloquent”. He also seems to posses unlimited material means eventually even that cannot protect him from the Kokiden consort she is the mother of the heir apparent and is Genji’s political enemy. She succeeds in forcing him in to self-exile when he is caught in bed with her little sister Oborozukiyo by her father! Genji then travels from Kyoto to Suma and since he is in disgrace he must leave his wife Murasaki whom he loves most in the world behind. After he is in the wilds languishing in misery over being separated from Murasaki he is almost killed in a great storm and starts to have strange dreams of supernatural beings and of his late father. However soon after the storms subside a eccentric and very wealthy man called the Akashi Novice arrives by boat to ask Genji to accompany him further up the shore to a his home. Genji goes with him and here we meet the Akashi Lady who is the daughter of the Akashi novice. When Genji is finally called back to the capitol from exile she is pregnant with his child. This child a girl will eventually become empress after the reign of Genji’s secret first born Reizei.

By the end of the book Genji has three children all by different mothers and all of whom go on to greatness. His first son whom he has with his stepmother empress Fujitsubo goes on to become emperor and his second son by his first wife Aoi goes on to be a court official. His daughter by the Akashi Lady goes on to become empress. During his daughter’s reign he receives the title of Grandfather of the emperor the highest title given to a commoner.

After Genji’s triumphant return from exile he is mainly concerned with power and beauty and though still tempted by several women he does not actually start any new relationships. His power and wealth grow to new heights but he is most concerned over Murasaki who is taken very ill and eventually dies leaving Genji now in his 50’s a shell of his former self. After Murasaki’s passing Genji retires to a temple and then dies roughly a year or two later. The last thirteen chapters pick up after a gap of about eight years after Genji’s passing and concern Genji’s grandson Prince Niou and his best friend and rival in love Kaoru these chapters cover there struggle to win the sister’s Oigimi and Naka no Kimi but this like much of the rest of the book also ends in tragedy.

Overall The tale of Genji is a great read and ranks in Japanese Literature on the level of Shakespeare, Homeric epics, Chaucer, and Proust’s Remembrance of things past, in the west.

Another version of the cover illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano.

Buy The Tale of Genji

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things I’m not good at: edits
things i love to fuck around w/at 3 am: edits

hey y'all whats good, as u may or may not know, i am a big fan of oihina & very much enjoy reading fics for this snazzy ship, so heres a collection of some of my fave oihina fics !!!! disclaimer some ft oihina as one of many ships in the fic!

FIC COUNT: 20
key: title | word count | status
**If WIP is bolded, the fic has not be updated in more than three months**

From heaven above | 1,357 | complete

It was love at first sight, Tooru was sure of it.

Of the Sun | 518 | complete

Short drabble without Dialogue.

Oikawa and Hinata sit quietly while watching the sun set…

the beat of my heart | 82, 780 | complete

Hinata didn’t expect for his worries to shift from an ever looming future to how to avoid the camera, but it’s only natural when you befriend the country’s biggest boyband.

Or, how Hinata Shouyou meets his idols seij-OH! and falls into the limelight he never thought to seek, and the love he never thought he’d find.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Headcanons for Hand Soap as a medieval Japanese prince, plzz!

Yess, this was a very fun request to write! I am a big fan of medieval/feudal Japan, so I was kind of waiting for an ask like this hehe. Gave it a bit of my own twist as well, I hope you like it!

- He is the son of the Emperor of Japan and quite the intimidating one at that. The archer would be just as skilled and would have mastered every weapon which the samurai used for themselves in battle as well. He would already be giving out orders to the shōgun of the country because of his impressive talent as a leader, replacing his father and taking on his duties whenever he was not present. Even though the prince was rather stern and as rigid as a rock, he was not in any way cruel or unjust, always coming up with the most calculated orders. Much like usual, Hanzo is a direct man and his followers have grown to know him as such as well, never questioning his judgment, even though they know he is not one for grotesque punishments, his tone alone is enough to silence a crowded room.

- He frequently spars with his brother Genji when he has the time, knowing that the both of them will rule over Japan in the future and thus keeping their power and abilities at a max is a necessity for any possible challengers that could come to the palace. Genji would become his right hand and advisor, while Hanzo would take on the role of his father as lead Emperor. Their clan had gotten the leadership over the country centuries ago, because of their special connection to the spirit dragons, making them a powerful group of people and thus overthrowing all others who dared to take the throne. When the prince is not training himself, he spends his time training others and preparing the strongest and most agile warriors to become samurai and possible daimyō. It may be unusual for an empire to train its own warriors, but since the Shimada clan is a clan of samurai and ninja on its own, they are eligible enough to use their teachings for the rest of the warriors across the country.

- The man has quite a fondness for luxury, especially when it comes to exotic delicacies. He would frequently set up trade arrangements with other countries to restock on his favorite products, being rather picky over his choices in the process. The foreign traders are always happy to do business with him though, as the prince pays them generously. Even though Hanzo is a man of few words and with an appalling aura around him, he knows how to act social and charming in the favor of potential new business partners at the same time. The archer can appear extremely polite and even smiling continuously, if it’s for the sake of benefiting his country. It would be hard to see past his façade for that matter, the only person being able to would be his brother or other close relatives. The prince holds his culture very dear to him as well, often softly looking out over the gardens of his palace to see the cherry blossom trees blooming. This would by far be his favorite activity to do in his leisure time, as it gives him a sense of peace which is scarce in his time as a semi-ruler of an enormous empire.

- He would often ask his servants to bring him some tea while he silently watches the petals fall into the koi pond before him. Be sure not to disturb the prince when he is in a tranquil state though, as he is often a rather stressed person and would not take it too well if he were to be interrupted in his most precious time of the day. The people around the castle would know about this and would always make sure to await in silence in the background if they had an important matter to discuss, until the warrior turns his attention to them. This of course, goes forgotten by his energetic brother Genji, who could not care less about his brother’s melancholic tendencies and would just straight up barge in instead, dragging out a rather deep sigh from his older counterpart.

The signs as old civilizations

Aries: Ancient Egypt

Taurus: The Mayans

Gemini: Ancient Greece

Cancer: Ancient Rome

Leo: Ancient Middle East

Virgo: Ancient China

Libra: Ancient Japan

Scorpio: Medieval Europe

Sagittarius: The Aztecs

Capricorn: The Vikings

Aquarius: Mesopotamia

Pisces: Victorian France

One of those Long Overdue Updates

I’ve made previous complaints about it, but back in September, my innards decided they didn’t like me, or something, and I’ve spent months now being sick off-and-on which puts a cramp in everything, and I still haven’t got a diagnosis. It’s pretty draining, and as a result, tumblr goes to the bottom of the to-do list. But I’m not updating just to complain.

I was browsing Reddit and fell in love with the Ask Historians subreddit, which is the best moderated subreddit I’ve ever seen with really high standards for answers and discussions. (I think it was the question:   How many 16th century French laying hens would be required to feed Gaston his five dozen eggs? that drew me in). I got sucked in, saw a Japanese history question relevant to my interests, and started answering. 

So, I’ve conducted an experiment over the last month, to see if the format and community could kick me back into writing and doing research. Results have been very positive, and last week, I was granted Expert Answer-er Flair for “Late Edo Period/Meiji Restoration” at Ask Historians. (Despite the name, you don’t actually have to be a historian to answer, amateur enthusiasts who can source their answers well are welcomed.) I was planning to see if I could get flair there, then revive this tumblr. So here are the posts I got the flair for:

Inflation in Tokugawa Shogunate Japan ( why samurai aren’t all rich and peasants sometimes are)

How accurate is this popular post about the first Japanese woman to go to college, Sutematsu Oyama?

How were illegitimate children or children of unmarried mothers treated in medieval Japan / during the Edo period? Maybe [NSFW]

When did refined grains (white rice/white wheat flour) replace whole grains in East Asian diets? (The history of white rice and beriberi disease)

To what degree was the Meiji Emperor personally involved in the modernization associated with his name?

and just the other day wrote a post that may interest readers here: 
If the Satcho Alliance hated the West for ending Japan’s isolationism, why did they replace the Shogunate with a Western-style government?

The audience for these answers is kind of small. Japanese history questions aren’t much upvoted on the subreddit, but the subreddit rules and culture really help me to write my best work, so I’ll probably be linking to more stuff I put out there, as well as getting back to posting here. 

On the minus side, my laptop decided it was time to break down, so I’m currently a bit restricted with just a smartphone.