Japanese History

Sadako Sasaki’s 1000 Cranes, Part 2

The show's 1000th episode continues the story of Sadako Sasaki, who died of A-bomb sickness after the bombing of Hiroshima. This second part of her story focuses on the peace movement that grew out of her life.

Sadako Sasaki’s 1000 Cranes, Part 1

At the end of World War II, the United States used atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A young girl named Sadako Sasaki eventually developed A-bomb disease as a result of her exposure, and the origami crane became a symbol of her story.

Hokusai

Hokusai lived during a time when there wasn't a lot of contact between Japan and the West. But even so, he drew influence form Western art, and Western art was greatly influenced by his own work.

Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923

Sept. 1, 1923 changed Japan forever when a devastating earthquake obliterated Yokohama and much of Tokyo, killing more than 140,000.

Okichi, the Tragic Geisha

Okichi's story is filled with embellishment and hazy details. Sent to serve Townsend Harris, the first U.S. Consul to Japan, she was shunned after Harris left. Yet Okichi is now honored with an annual festival and has become a national symbol.

Who was Tokyo Rose?

During World War II, Allied troops often listened to Japanese propaganda, and they nick-named the English-speaking, female broadcasters "Tokyo Rose." After the war, the hunt to find them was on -- and Iva d'Aquino found herself on trial for treason.

The Battle of Sekigahara

After the Japanese ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, regents and bureaucrats scrambled for power. The rivals Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari rallied supporters to face off in Sekigahara. Tokugawa emerged victorious. But what happened next?

Admiral Yi Sun-sin and the Turtle Ships

When Japan invaded Korea in 1592, the Korean forces were unprepared for Japan's troops. The Korean navy, however, was a different story. Commanding Admiral Yi Sun-sin repeatedly defeated the Japanese. But was it enough to end the war? Tune in to find out.

The 47 Ronin and the Samurai's Code

Historically, the samurai were Japanese warriors famous for their loyalty to their feudal lords and adherence to a strict code of honor. Tune in to learn more about the samurai and the legendary tale of the 47 Ronin.

Why were some Japanese soldiers still fighting decades after World War II?

During World War II, the bravery of Kamikaze pilots was legendary. When the war concluded, several Japanese soldiers remained in hiding on islands across the Pacific. Learn more about Japanese holdouts and the Bushido code in this HowStuffWorks podcast.