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This week, we’re starting off a month of Sengoku-themed content with a look at one of the remoter areas of Japan: Tosa province on Shikoku, now known as Kouchi Prefecture. Specifically, we’ll be diving into the history of the one-time lords of the area, the Chosokabe family, who rose from minor status to lords of all of Shikoku in two generations, …
 
Our first episode about South America gives us a very different perspective on the American fight against Communism. Was promoting America's interests in the Cold War really worth propping up a brutal dictatorship? And why did the international attempt to bring Pinochet to justice involve British Law Lords, a fake case of dementia, and a law that g…
 
This week, we're starting off a month of Sengoku-themed content with a look at one of the remoter areas of Japan: Tosa province on Shikoku, now known as Kouchi Prefecture. Specifically, we'll be diving into the history of the one-time lords of the area, the Chosokabe family, who rose from minor status to lords of all of Shikoku in two generations, …
 
This week, we’re taking a look at one of the greatest scandals in the history of Japanese baseball, when the black mist of yakuza-driven sports gambling wracked Japan’s national pastime. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/historyofjapan/Episode_377_mixdown.mp3 Sources Kaplan, David, and Alec Dubro. Yakuza: Japan’s Criminal Underworld. Yamazaki, Taku…
 
This week, we’re exploring the history of Japan’s most famous drink: sake, or Japanese rice wine (though it turns out, ‘sake’ in Japanese doesn’t necessarily refer to what we think of, nor is it actually a ‘rice wine’ in the technical sense). We’re covering everything from tax laws to how to make your own sake using nothing but your own spit, so bu…
 
This week, we're exploring the history of Japan's most famous drink: sake, or Japanese rice wine (though it turns out, 'sake' in Japanese doesn't necessarily refer to what we think of, nor is it actually a 'rice wine' in the technical sense). We're covering everything from tax laws to how to make your own sake using nothing but your own spit, so bu…
 
Take a tour around the swamp with America's favorite rascal. Florida Man's always making headlines for punching alligators, stealing meat, and fighting cops in the buff. But does Florida really deserve its reputation as the weirdest state in the union? And is our nation's most beloved rapscallion the villain of our story, or is he the victim of a l…
 
This week, we’re wrapping up our history of the colonization of Hokkaido with a look at the impact of the American occupation on the island, as well as some final thoughts on the modern history of the Ainu and their political organizing. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/historyofjapan/Episode_375_mixdown.mp3 Sources Larson, Erik, et al. “Emerging …
 
This week, we’re talking about Hokkaido in the early 20th century, and in particular the stark problems created by the island’s rapid colonization: its badly unequal economy and the question of what role the Ainu were now to play in their own homeland. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/historyofjapan/Episode_374__mixdown.mp3 Sources Konishi, Sho. “…
 
Meet the man who used his artistic talents to resist Nazi occupation, then planned an elaborate scheme to destroy a public records building by posing as a German official. In the occupied Netherlands, a group of artists fought the law with typography and tailoring. Why did Willem Arondeus go from a little-known WII resistance fighter to a hit with …
 
This week, we're taking a deep dive into a distinctly Japanese literary genre (zuihitsu, or 'wandering brush') by looking at two of its most famous exemplars: the Hojoki, or Record of a Hut, and Tsurezuregusa, or Essays in Idleness. What lasts forever in this world? How should we strive to live? What should we do when confronted with gamblers on a …
 
China’s last emperor ended up becoming one of history’s strangest political pawns, and ended his life as an avowed communist. How did a man born into unbelievable wealth end up penning a memoir about the evils of the landlord class? And was his disavowal of his privileged upbringing genuine, or was he the victim of a justice system that perfected t…
 
This week, we're talking about one of the most famous stories in Japanese history: the bamboo princess Naotake no Kaguyahime and her absolute wrecking ball-esque demolition of Japan's stupidest and most eligible bachelors before she returns back to her home on the moon. Who says classical literature isn't fun? Show notes here.…
 
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