Category: Japan

Behind the Story of Blood and Tears — The End of Shogun Tokugawa’s Rule

This animation symbolizes the government changeover that followed the Boshin War. The first crest (3 leaves) belongs to Shogun Tokugawa, the subsequent crest (chrysanthemum) belongs to Crown Prince Mutsuhito who would later become Emperor Meiji.


October 2, 2018 0

Behind the Story of Blood and Tears — Tayuu and Uguisu Facial Cream

In Blood and Tears episode 4 (18JUN18),  Usaburo, O-Hatsu and O-Bun meet a tayuu who is part of a traveling theatre group that offers a variety show of sorts, which might include kabuki theatre, acrobatics, swordplay, dancing, singing, comedy, storytelling, etc.


September 25, 2018 0

Made in Japan: Kanjinchou (The Subscription List)

I found a terrific video of a live kabuki performance of Kanjinchou 勧進帳 (The Subscription List),  which is a favorite of yours truly. The play is listed among the 18 Famous Kabuki Plays (歌舞伎十八番) in the kabuki repertoire and still hugely popular to this day. The leading character is a fierce warrior named Benkei, regarded an exemplar of…
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September 25, 2018 1

Behind the Story of Blood and Tears — The 47 Ronin

In episode 6 of Blood and Tears, Usaburo received the gift of a small hand towel decorated with a print of contemporary actor Ichikawa Yaozo III. The print depicts him as the lead character from the traditional kabuki play, Treasury of Loyal Retainers (忠臣蔵 Chûshingura).


September 11, 2018 0

Behind the Story of Blood and Tears — Usaburo’s Family Crest

In Blood and Tears episode 7 (09JUL), Usaburo gives O-Hatsu a small lacquered storage box, called inro, bearing his family crest. 


September 3, 2018 0

Behind the Story of Blood and Tears – Making a Map and Banners for the Battle of Ueno

The map featured in episode 12 (13AUG) of Blood and Tears that detailed troop movements during the Battle of Ueno, started with a woodblock print of Edo published in 1858—part of the Japanese Historical Map Collection housed at the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkeley.


August 28, 2018 0