Who's Who

Japan

The first English ship reached Japan in 1613. Michael Cooper describes how the Chief Factor of the East India Company recorded some reminiscences.

Just over a hundred years ago, writes William Watson, an unprovoked attack on a party of inoffensive Westerners was followed by violent reprisals.

The last operation of the Japanese Naval Command, writes Albert Vulliez, was a deliberate act of suicide. It was received by the people with a ‘sombre bitterness’. Translated by Patrick Turnbull.

Ivan Morris describes how the idea of heroic failure has always exerted a strong hold on the Japanese imagination.

Ivan Morris asserts that, among the legends of the prehistoric Japanese past, it is the aura of failure and tragedy surrounding his end that establishes Yamato Takeru as a model hero.

Founded by Saint Francis Xavier, the Roman Catholic Mission in Japan was formally abolished by the Shogun in 1614.

The cold but continuing conflict between China and Japan is the subject of sustained attention from scholars, says Jonathan Fenby.

P.M. Clayburn describes how, from the mid-sixteenth century onwards, Japanese feudal lords competed with one another in the construction of massive and imposing castles. Today many of them have been lovingly restored.

For nearly four hundred years the “Peaceful and Tranquil City” was the administrative centre of Japan, writes George Woodcock, and for more than a thousand years remained the home of the Japanese Emperors.

Michael Cooper recalls how Vivero y Velasco, a Spanish administrator, composed an excellent account of Japan and its rulers after his unintended visit.

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