Genroku

Genroku (元禄) was a Japanese era name (年号 nengō, "year name") after Jōkyō and before Hōei. This period spanned the years from ninth month of 1688 through third month of 1704.[1] The reigning emperor was Higashiyama-tennō (東山天皇).[2]

The years of Genroku are generally considered to be the Golden Age of the Edo period. The previous hundred years of peace and seclusion in Japan had created relative economic stability. The arts and architecture flourished. There were unanticipated consequences when the shogunate debased the quality of coins as a strategy for financing the appearance of continuing Genroku affluence. This strategic miscalculation caused abrupt inflation. Then, in an effort to solve the ensuing crisis, the bakufu introduced what were called the Kyōhō Reforms.

Change of era

  • Genroku gannen (元禄元年); 1688: The new era name was created to mark the beginning of the reign of Higashiyama. The previous era ended and the new one commenced in Jōkyō 5, on the 30th day of the 9th month.

A sense of optimism is suggested in the era name choice of Genroku (meaning "Original happiness").

Events of the Genroku era

Tottori feudal lord Ikedas cemetery 065
A turtle-based stele of Ikeda Mitsunaka, a Tottori Domain ruler, dated Genroku 6
  • 1688 (Genroku 1, 1st month): Ihara Saikaku publishes Japan's Eternal Treasury.
  • 1688 (Genroku 1, 11th month): Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu assumes the office of Soba Yōnin.
  • 1688 (Genroku 1): The Tokugawa shogunate revised the code of conduct for funerals (Fuku-kiju-ryō), which incorporated a code of conduct for mourning as well.[3]
  • 1689 (Genroku 2, 4th month): Foreign settlements in Nagasaki become possible.
  • September 16, 1689 (Genroku 2, 3rd day of the 7th month): German physician Engelbert Kaempfer arrives at Dejima.[4]
  • 1690 (Genroku 3, 10th month): The Abandoned Child Ban was officially proclaimed.
  • 1692 (Genroku 5): Building of temples in Edo banned.
  • 1693 (Genroku 6, 12th month): Arai Hakuseki becomes tutor to the daimyō of Kōfu-han, the future shōgun Tokugawa Ienobu.
  • 1693 (Genroku 6): The code of conduct for funerals is revised again.[5]
  • 1695 (Genroku 8, 2nd month): Land survey performed of territory under the direct control of the bakufu in Kantō.
  • 1695 (Genroku 8, 8th month): Minting begun of Genroku coinage. The shogunate placed the Japanese character gen (元) on the obverse of copper coins, the same character used today in China for the yuan. There is no connection between those uses, however.[2]
  • 1695 (Genroku 8, 11th month): First kennel is established for stray dogs in Edo. In this context, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi comes to be nicknamed "the Dog Shogun"
1696 Genroku 9 (early Edo) Japanese Map of Kyoto, Japan - Geographicus - Kyoto-genroku9-1696
Map of Kyoto and immediate vicinity, circa 1696. Like most early Japanese maps, this map does not have a firm directional orientation, rather all text radiates out from the center.
  • 1697 (Genroku 10): The fourth official map of Japan (Genroku kuniezu) was made in this year, but it was considered to be inferior to the previous one—which had been ordered in Shōhō 1 (1605) and completed in Kan'ei 16 (1639). This Genroku map was corrected in Kyōhō 4 (1719) by the mathematician Tatebe Katahiro (1644–1739), using high mountain peaks as points of reference, and was drawn to a scale of 1:21,600.[6]
  • 1697 (Genroku 10): Great fire in Edo.[2] Five-storied Pagoda
  • 1698 (Genroku 11): Another great fire in Edo. A new hall is constructed inside the enclosure of the Edo temple of Kan'ei-ji (which is also known as Tōeizan Kan’ei-ji or "Hiei-san of the east" after the temple of Enryaku-ji at Mount Hiei near to Heian-kyo).[2]
  • 1700 (Genroku 13, 11th month): Exchange rate of silver coins established.
  • 1703 (Genroku 15, 12th month): Akō Domain incident involving the 47 rōnin.
  • 1703 (Genroku 16, 3rd month): Ōishi Yoshio commits seppuku.
  • 1703 (Genroku 16, 5th month): First performance of Chikamatsu Monzaemon's play The Love Suicides at Sonezaki.
  • December 31, 1703 (Genroku 16, 23rd day of the 11th month): The Great Genroku earthquake shook Edo[7] and parts of the shogun's castle collapsed.[8] The following day, a vast fire spread throughout the city.[2] Parts of Honshū's coast were battered by tsunami, and 200,000 people were either killed or injured.[8]

Prominent figures of the Genroku era

Notes

  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Genroku" Japan Encyclopedia, p. 239, p. 239, at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ a b c d e Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 415.
  3. ^ Smith, Robert et al. (2004). Japanese Culture: Its Development And Characteristics, p. 28.
  4. ^ Screech, T. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822, p. 73.
  5. ^ Smith, p. 28.
  6. ^ Traganeou, Jilly. (2004). The Tokaido Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan, p. 230.
  7. ^ Japanese Wikipedia: ja:元禄大地震
  8. ^ a b Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II, p. 63.

References

  • Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: The Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743264655; OCLC 67774380
  • Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301
  • Screech, Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779–1822. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 978-0-203-09985-8; OCLC 65177072
  • Smith, Robert John and Richard K. Beardsley. (2004). Japanese Culture: Its Development And Characteristics. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-33039-4
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Ōdai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691.
  • Traganeou, Jilly. (2004). The Metaphorical Road of the Tōkaid: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 9780415310918; OCLC 52347509

External links

Preceded by
Jōkyō
Era or nengō
Genroku

1688–1704
Succeeded by
Hōei
1703 Genroku earthquake

The 1703 Genroku earthquake (元禄大地震, Genroku Daijishin) occurred at 02:00 local time on December 31 (17:00 December 30 UTC). The epicenter was near Edo, the forerunner of present-day Tokyo, in the southern part of the Kantō region, Japan. An estimated 2,300 people were killed by the shaking and subsequent fires. The earthquake triggered a major tsunami which caused many casualties, giving a total death toll of at least 5,233, possibly up to 10,000. Genroku is a Japanese era spanning from 1688 through 1704.

Akira Ishida

Akira Ishida (石田 彰, Ishida Akira, born November 2, 1967) is a Japanese voice actor and narrator. He was a part of Mausu Promotion (formerly known as Ezaki Production, until its 1990 change of name) from 1988 until March 2009, when he moved to Gerbera Peerless. For his portrayal of Athrun Zala in Gundam Seed Destiny, he was chosen as the most popular voice actor in the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 2004, and won the Best Supporting Character (male) award at the first Seiyu Awards in 2007.

Binchōtan

Binchō-tan (Japanese: 備長炭), also called white charcoal or binchō-zumi, is a type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking. Its use dates to the Edo period, when during the Genroku era, a craftsman named Bichū-ya Chōzaemon (備中屋 長左衛門) began to produce it in Tanabe, Wakayama. The typical raw material used to make Binchotan in Japan is oak, specifically ubame oak (Quercus phillyraeoides), now the official tree of Wakayama Prefecture. Wakayama continues to be a major producer of high-quality charcoal, with the town of Minabe, Wakayama producing more binchō-tan than any other town in Japan. Binchōtan is a type of lump charcoal or hardwood charcoal.

The fineness and high quality of binchō-tan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures (about 1000 degrees Celsius). Because it does not release unpleasant odours, it is a favorite of unagi (freshwater eel) and yakitori (skewered chicken) cooks. Due to difficulties in identifying the producing region, the name binchō-tan has come into broader use to designate white charcoal generally, and even products from outside Japan, as well as those made of other species, have come to use the name.

To differentiate the aforementioned "non-pure" products, there is a movement to call binchō-tan produced in Wakayama Kishū binchō-tan (紀州備長炭), Kishū being the old name of Wakayama.

There exists a common misconception amongst restaurants and chefs when promoting the use of Binchō-tan, when they mistakenly refer to Oga-tan, which is a form of compressed sawdust charcoal as Binchō-tan.

Binchō-tan takes the shape of the wood that was used to make it.

Binchō-tan is harder than black charcoal, and rings with a metallic sound when struck. Wind chimes and a musical instrument, the tankin ("charcoal-xylophone") have been made from it.

Crunchyroll Anime Awards

The Crunchyroll Anime Awards are annual awards presented by anime streaming service Crunchyroll that are given to recognize anime from the previous year. The awards were first held in January 2017. The judges create a short list in different categories and public votes for the winners are held online.

Emperor Higashiyama

Higashiyama also refers to a ward of Kyoto City.Emperor Higashiyama (東山天皇, Higashiyama-tennō, October 21, 1675 – January 16, 1710) was the 113th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Higashiyama's reign spanned the years from 1687 through to his abdication in 1709 corresponding to the Genroku era, generally considered to be the golden age of the Edo period. The previous hundred years of peace and seclusion in Japan had created relative economic stability. The arts and theater and architecture flourished.

Forty-seven rōnin

The revenge of the forty-seven rōnin (四十七士, Shi-jū-shichi-shi, forty-seven samurai), also known as the Akō incident (赤穂事件, Akō jiken) or Akō vendetta, is an 18th-century historical event in Japan in which a band of rōnin (leaderless samurai) avenged the death of their master. The incident has since become legendary.The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless (becoming rōnin) after their daimyō (feudal lord) Asano Naganori was compelled to perform seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka, whose title was Kōzuke no suke. After waiting and planning for a year, the rōnin avenged their master's honor by killing Kira. In turn, they were themselves obliged to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder. This true story was popularized in Japanese culture as emblematic of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that people should preserve in their daily lives. The popularity of the tale grew during the Meiji era, in which Japan underwent rapid modernization, and the legend became entrenched within discourses of national heritage and identity.

Fictionalized accounts of the tale of the Forty-seven Rōnin are known as Chūshingura. The story was popularized in numerous plays, including bunraku and kabuki. Because of the censorship laws of the shogunate in the Genroku era, which forbade portrayal of current events, the names were changed. While the version given by the playwrights may have come to be accepted as historical fact by some, the first Chūshingura was written some 50 years after the event, and numerous historical records about the actual events that predate the Chūshingura survive.

The bakufu's censorship laws had relaxed somewhat 75 years later in the late 18th century, when Japanologist Isaac Titsingh first recorded the story of the forty-seven rōnin as one of the significant events of the Genroku era. To this day, the story continues to be popular in Japan, and each year on December 14, Sengakuji Temple, where Asano Naganori and the rōnin are buried, holds a festival commemorating the event.

Genroku bunka

Genroku bunka or Genroku culture is the culture of the early Edo period (1603–1867), especially the Genroku era (1688–1704). Known as a period of luxurious display when the arts were increasingly patronized by a growing and powerful merchant class.

Hōei

Hōei (宝永) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, "year name") after Genroku and before Shōtoku. This period spanned the years from March 1704 through April 1711. The reigning emperors were Higashiyama-tennō (東山天皇) and Nakamikado-tennō (中御門天皇).

Irises screen

Irises (紙本金地著色燕子花図, shihonkinji chakushoku kakitsubata-zu) is a pair of six-panel folding screens (byōbu) by the Japanese artist Ogata Kōrin of the Rinpa school. It depicts an abstracted view of water with drifts of Japanese irises (Iris laevigata). The work was probably made circa 1701–05, in the period of luxurious display in the Edo period known as Genroku bunka (Genroku-era culture).

The screens were held for over 200 years by the Nishi Honganji Buddhist temple in Kyoto. They are now held by the Nezu Museum, and they are a National Treasure of Japan.

A similar pair of screens make by Ogata Kōrin about 5 to 12 years later depicting irises is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. All four Irises screens were displayed together for the first time in almost a century in 2012 at the "Korin: National Treasure Irises of the Nezu Museum and Eight-Bridge of The Metropolitan Museum of Art" exhibition at the Nezu Museum.Both screens are inspired by an episode in The Tales of Ise (伊勢物語, Ise monogatari). In turn, copies of the screens are believed to have influenced the Impressionist paintings of Vincent van Gogh, including his Irises.

Jōkyō

Jōkyō (貞享) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, "year name") after Tenna and before Genroku. This period spanned the years from February 1684 through September 1688. The reigning emperors were Reigen-tennō (霊元天皇) and Higashiyama-tennō (東山天皇).

Kantō earthquakes

A Kantō earthquake (関東地震, kantō jishin) is a megathrust earthquake occurring in the Kantō region of Japan that originate from slippage in the Sagami Trough. Kantō earthquakes are thought to occur with a 200-year return period.

Only two earthquakes in the Kantō region are thought to be megathrust earthquakes:

1923 Great Kantō earthquake; most common usage

1703 Genroku earthquakeOther earthquakes in the Kantō region, which may or may not be due to slippage in the Sagami Trough:

The Ruijū Kokushi mentions an earthquake that struck the area in 818

1855 Edo earthquake

Kuniezu

The kuniezu (国絵図) were a series of Japanese provincial land maps, created during the Edo period, which the Tokugawa shogunate ordered be created by every province. They are sometimes contrasted with nihonzu (日本図), which were national maps created by the shogunate.In 1983, two of these map sets—the Genroku Kuniezu and the Tempō Kuniezu—were designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Mie (pose)

The mie (見え or 見得, pronounced 'mee-eh'), a powerful and emotional pose struck by an actor, who then freezes for a moment, is a distinctive element of aragoto Kabuki performance. Mie means 'appearance' or 'visible' in Japanese, and one of the primary purposes of this convention is to draw attention to a particularly important or powerful portion of the performance. It is meant to show a character's emotions at their peak, and can often be a very powerful pose. The actor's eyes are opened as wide as possible; if the character is meant to seem agitated or angry, the actor will cross his eyes. In Japanese, the mie pose is said to be "cut" by the actor (見得を切る, mie wo kiru). Audience members will shout out (kakegoe) words of praise and the actor's name at specific times before and after the pose is struck.

The practice of mie is said to have originated with Ichikawa Danjūrō I in the Genroku era, along with the aragoto style itself. There are a great many mie, each of which has a name describing it, and many of which are associated with particular lines of actors.

In the Genroku mie, one of the most famous or well-known, the actor's right hand is held flat, perpendicular to the ground, while his left hand is pointed upwards, elbow bent. At the same time, the actor stamps the floor powerfully with his left foot. This mie is most strongly associated with the character Kamakura Gongorō Kagemasa, the hero of the play Shibaraku, and is said to have been invented by Ichikawa Danjūrō I.

Two mie cut by the priest Narukami, in Narukami Fudō Kitayama Zakura, are the "post-wrapping pose" (柱巻きの見得, Hashimaki no mie), in which the actor wraps his arms and legs around a post, column, or long weapon such as a naginata, and the Fudō no mie (不動の見得), which is meant to resemble the Buddhist figure Fudō Myoō, is a very strong pose, meant to evoke anger and power.

In Kanjinchō, the monk Benkei cuts the Fudō no mie while holding a scroll (the play's titular "subscription list" or kanjinchō) in one hand and Buddhist prayer beads in the other. Another pose taken by Benkei in this play is the so-called "rock-throwing pose" (石投げの見得, Ishinage no mie), which is meant to look like its namesake.

The term tenchi no mie (天地の見得), or "heaven and earth pose," is used when two actors, one low on the stage and one high above, on a rooftop or other set-piece, strike a pose simultaneously.

Ryō

A Ryō (両) was a gold currency unit in pre-Meiji Japan Shakkanhō system. It was eventually replaced with a system based on the yen.

Shinjū (novel)

Shinjū (1994) is the title of the debut novel by American writer Laura Joh Rowland, a historical mystery set in 1689 Genroku-era Japan. The main character, a yoriki (a lower-ranking police officer) named Sano Ichirō, investigates a double murder disguised as a lovers' suicide, and in the process, uncovers a plot to assassinate Shōgun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.

Taiga drama

Taiga drama (大河ドラマ, Taiga dorama, "Big River Drama") is the name NHK gives to the annual, year-long historical fiction television drama series it broadcasts in Japan. Beginning in 1963 with the black-and-white Hana no Shōgai, starring kabuki actor Onoe Shoroku II and Takarazuka star Awashima Chikage, the network has hired a producer, director, writer, music director, and actors for the series. The 45-minute show airs on the NHK General TV network every Sunday at 20:00, with rebroadcasts on Saturdays at 13:05. NHK BS Premium and NHK World Premium broadcasts are also available.

The 47 Ronin (1941 film)

The 47 Ronin (元禄 忠臣蔵, Genroku Chūshingura, "The Treasury of Loyal Retainers of the Genroku era") is a black-and-white two-part jidaigeki Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, adapted from a play by Seika Mayama. The first part was released on December 1, 1941 with the second part being released on February 11 of the following year. The film depicts the legendary forty-seven Ronin and their plot to avenge the death of their lord, Asano Naganori, by killing Kira Yoshinaka, a shogunate official responsible for Asano being forced to commit seppuku.

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