Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Japanese lighthouse on Sakhalin (a.k.k. Karafuto)
Russia, Japan, and Sakhalin/Karafuto
Samurai on horses

The Fall of Ezo, Japan's "Samurai Democracy"

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  March 04, 2019 • Tagged with history, hokkaido, tokugawa, samurai, meiji, meiji restoration, war

How Japan's samurai resistance fell to the pressure of history - and how its founder went from hatred traitor to respected leader.

Samurai on a horse

The Last Samurai: Enomoto Takeaki and the Warrior Democracy of Ezo

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  February 20, 2019 • Tagged with history, hokkaido, tokugawa, samurai, meiji, meiji restoration, war

The story of the samurai who fought the rise of modern Japan to the end - and who, when all else failed, founded his own nation-state.

Hokkaido

The Colonization of Hokkaido: How a "Foreign" Frontier Became Japan

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  February 13, 2019 • Tagged with history, hokkaido, ainu, colonization, meiji era, edo

How a mysterious frontier island peopled by "barbarians" became one of the four main islands of Japan - and how the original inhabitants suffered as a result.