History and Culture of Japan
History of the Geisha
The geisha of Japan were (and are) highly trained and talented entertainers, adept in the arts of music, poetry and conversation. Geishas were distinct from prostitutes, and usually did not perform sexual favors for their customers.
Pictures of Japanese Geisha
Woodblock prints and photographs of Japanese geisha, dating from 1777 through 2010. See how geisha have changed through the years - and how they have stayed the same.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi - Biography
Biography of Hideyoshi, the second of Japan's "Three Unifiers." He finished the job of reunifying Japan, but then squandered his strength trying to create an empire on the Asian mainland.
Japan: Facts and History
A profile of Japan, including information about its history, culture, people, and land.
Beauties of Heian Japan
During the Heian era, Japanese noble women adhered to a somewhat odd standard of beauty.
Beauty in Heian Japan, 794 - 1185 A.D.
In Heian-era Japan (794-1185), beauty standards were quite different from those of modern-day Japan. Learn here about makeup and fashion in ancient Japan.
Profile of the Ninja
Spider-like figures in black scuttling over roof-tops in the dark, blades gleaming in their hands... This is the ninja of movies and comic books, but what is the historical reality?
Timeline of Hideyoshi Toyotomi's Life
Hideyoshi was born into a peasant family during the tumultuous Sengoku, or "Warring States" Period in Japan. Despite his lowly birth and his skinny, somewhat rat-like appearance, Hideyoshi rose from the rank of sandal-bearer to general in Oda Nobunaga's army... and then de facto ruler of Japan.
Yoshitoshi Taiso's Ghosts and Demons
Yoshitoshi Taiso was Japan's last great master of the woodblock print, and he created some very memorable images of ghosts, monsters and demons.
Japanese Hairstyles Throughout the Ages
Pictoral history of the evolution of hairstyles in Japan. Noble women throughout the ages followed many fashions in the court of the Japanese Emperor. See some of the different hairdos here.
What Was the Meiji Restoration?
The Meiji Restoration in Japan signalled the end of the shogunata system and the beginning of modern Japan.
Why Is the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan Controversial?
Learn more about Japan's controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which is dedicated to those who died on behalf for the Japanese Empire between the Meiji Restoration and World War II.
Comparing Nationalism in China and Japan
How did rising nationalism in Japan compare with that in China during the important period between 1750 and 1914?
Emperor Akihito: What Does the Japanese Emperor Actually Do?
The Japanese emperor was once considered a god/king, but today he is largely a ceremonial figure. So, what does the current emperor, Akihito, do with his time? Some of his duties and hobbies may surprise you!
The Tokugawa Shoguns, Edo Japan, 1603 - 1868
For more than 250 years, the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan from their capital at Edo (Tokyo). They relied on samurai warriors and their daimyo lords to keep Japan's complex feudal-style social system in order, up until the Meiji Restoration of 1868.
The Showa Era in Japan
The Showa Era in Japan was the reign of Emperor Hirohito, who led the country in to World War II.