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Portuguese Nagasaki
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Portuguese Nagasaki

Nagasaki, on the northwest coast of Japan’s Kyushu Island, was an important Portuguese trading base from c. 1571 to 1639, and the most eastern outpost of the Portuguese empire. The Portuguese presence transformed Nagasaki from a small fishing...
Samurai
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Samurai

The samurai (also bushi) were a class of warriors that arose in the 10th century in Japan and which performed military service until the 19th century. Elite and highly-trained soldiers adept at using both the bow and sword, the samurai were...
Nara Period
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Nara Period

The Nara Period (Nara Jidai) of ancient Japan (710-794 CE), so called because for most of that time the capital was located at Nara, then known as Heijokyo, was a short period of transition prior to the significant Heian Period. Despite the...
The Ryukyu Castles of Okinawa
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Ryukyu Castles of Okinawa

The medieval Ryukyu castles on the island of Okinawa, Japan are impressive testimony to the kingdom's power and wealth from the 12th to 16th century CE. Notable castles include Shuri Castle, the royal residence, and four excellent examples...
Wako
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Wako

Wako (aka wokou and waegu) is a term used to refer to Japanese (but also including Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese) pirates who plagued the seas of East Asia from Korea to Indonesia, especially between the 13th and 17th centuries CE. Besides...
Asuka Period
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Asuka Period

The Asuka Period (Asuka Jidai) of ancient Japan covers the period from 538 CE to 710 CE and, following on from the Kofun Period (c. 250-538 CE), so constitutes the latter part of the Yamato Period (c. 250-710 CE). For some scholars the period...
Map of Japan in the 16th Century CE
Imageby Zakuragi

Map of Japan in the 16th Century CE

A map of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600 CE).
Interview: Buddhism in Korea
Interviewby James Blake Wiener

Interview: Buddhism in Korea

In this interview, James Blake Wiener, Co-Founder and Communications Director at Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE), speaks to Emeritus Professor James H. Grayson, Professor of Korean Studies at the University of Sheffield, about the historical...
Major Temples and Shrines of Japan circa 1200 CE, Kamakura Shogunate
Imageby Stone Chen

Major Temples and Shrines of Japan circa 1200 CE, Kamakura Shogunate

This map depicts all major Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines of Japan around the year 1200 CE. Notice that many renowned temples (such as the famous Kinkaju-ji) have not yet been built at that time. The map highlights the city of Kamakura...
The Mongol Invasion of Japan
Imageby Walters Art Museum

The Mongol Invasion of Japan

"The Mongol Invasion" is a Japanese silk tapestry by Kawashima Jimbei II (Japanese, 1853 - 1910 CE), based on an oil painting by Morizumo Yugyo (1854 - 1927 CE). The painting depicts the Mongol Empire's failed invasions of Japan in in 1274...
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