People Index

This is an index of the people that I've written about throughout the entries in this blog.  They are organized in a way to help readers understand the connections between them and the historical period and context in which they lived.  I have included a short description about each person, explaining who they were and their major achievements and events involved in as recorded by history.  There's hopefully enough information for each one to get a general idea of the person without having to search for it.  This list is chronological by birth year (clans, governments and periods take priority over individuals if in the same year) for better understanding of the relations and historical context of each person and their period.

For reference, people are listed below in the following way.  Tag title comes first with full name in English listed in parenthesis.  Their name in Japanese is next; followed by birth date and death date.  Lastly, a short description of the person is included.  Names in colors besides brown signify their belonging to a family or clan that I have written something about for multiple members in that group.  Included above the oldest member of that family that I've written about is the name of the family line, years of existence and a short description.  Links connect to the page with all entries written about the person can be found together.

As with my entries, names are written in the Japanese style; with family names first and given names second.  The three exceptions to this are emperors / empresses, monks and famous artists.  Emperors, empresses and monks typically only have one name.  Some artists, specifically ones that are world famous and commonly referred to by a single name will be listed the same way here.  Western names I have left in the western style with given names first and family name second.

There are also separate indexes for objects and terms and places in addition to this index of people.  If you are having trouble understanding a tag or want more information on a specific subject, please look at the glossary.  I have included all of the terms found within the three indexes with information and definitions written for each one.  Everything is listed alphabetically and in one place, so you don't need to search for definitions or more information while reading.  I hope this is more useful than the typical long list of tags shown on most blogs.

Paleolithic Period 旧石器時代 (Pre-14,000 B.C.)

Jōmon Period 縄文時代 (14,000 - 300 B.C.)

Emperor 天皇 (660 B.C. - Present) The reigning monarchical family of Japan. It is the oldest continuous monarchy in the world and there have been 125 emperors of Japan traditionally. Their function has varied throughout history from being the actual rulers of Japan to being an important symbol, both when powerful shōguns ruled Japan from 1192 - 1867 and in the current era after Emperor Hirohito had to step down from power after Japan's defeat in World War II in 1945. They were also originally seen as gods themselves as the Kojiki, Japan's record of legend and early history states that the first emperor, Emperor Jimmu was descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu, but this also changed when Emperor Hirohito had to give up this claim after World War II. The current emperor of Japan is Akihito and their residence is the imperial palace in Tokyo. 

Emp. Jimmu (Emperor Jimmu) 神武天皇 (Feb. 13th 711 B.C. - Apr. 9th 585 B.C.) Japan's first emperor traditionally. In the Kojiki, Japan's record of legend and early history, he is descended from Japan's sun goddess Amaterasu. Japan's imperial line claim to be descended from him.

Yayoi Period 弥生時代 (300 B.C. - 250 A.D.)

Kofun Period 古墳時代 (250 - 538)

Asuka Period 飛鳥時代 (538 - 710)

Dōkyō 道鏡 (700 - May 13th, 772) Buddhist monk that cured the ailments of Empress Kōken / Empress Shōtoku and became influential and powerful because of it. Was poised to become the first emperor not of the imperial line due to the favor of the empress and a false prophecy. This is known as the Dōkyō Affair and led to his exile after the empress' death.

Nara Period 奈良時代 (710 - 794)

Empr. Kōken (Empress Kōken) 孝謙天皇 (718 - Aug. 28th, 770) Ruled as empress of Japan from 749 - 758 and again as Empress Shōtoku from 765 til her death. The sixth of only eight ruling empresses in Japan's history. The empress is most famous for trying to install the Buddhist monk Dōkyō on the throne even though he wasn't of imperial lineage in the event known as the Dōkyō Affair.

Empr. Shōtoku (Empress Shōtoku) 称徳天皇 (718 - Aug. 28th, 770) The name of Empress Kōken during her second reign as empress.  See Empr. Kōken.

Wake no Kiyomaro 和気清麻呂 (733 - 799) High ranking official that focused on keeping Buddhism separate from politics. Most famous for his involvement in the Dōkyō Affair. He presented an oracle that went against the official one stating that only someone of imperial lineage could become emperor. Would have his tendons cut and be exiled for this, but returned to a position of great importance by the next emperor after the previous empress died and the official prophecy was discovered to be a fraud. Advised the building of a new capital at Kyoto.

Heian Period 平安時代 (794 - 1185)

Murasaki S. (Murasaki Shikibu) 紫 式部 (978 - 1014/1025?) Lady of the imperial court during the Heian Era. Extremely well learned as a woman in that era. She even knew Kanji at a time when it was improper for woman to learn and taught Empress Shōshi in secret. Most famous for writing The Tale of Genji, a classic of Japanese literature and arguably the world's first novel.

Hōjo T. (Hōjō Tokimasa) 北条 時政 (1138 - Feb. 6th, 1215) The head of the Hōjō clan. Was the main adviser to Minamoto no Yoritomo and later became his father-in-law. Gained power over the Kamakura Shogunate as regent after Minamoto no Yoritomo's death. After this, the Hōjō clan would act as regents throughout the Kamakura Shogunate and were the ones with the power over the government.

Minamoto Clan (Seiwa Genji Line) 清和源氏 (894 - 1219) A branch of the imperial family descended from Emperor Seiwa. The most famous of the family lines of the Minamoto Clan. Famous people from this line include: Minamoto no Yoritomo, Ashikaga Takauji and Tokugawa Ieyasu. They are the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate, the founder of the Ashikaga Shgounate and the unifier of Japan and founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate respectively. 

Minamoto no Yoritomo 源 頼朝 (May 9th, 1147 - Feb. 9th, 1199) Founder of the Kamakura Shogunate, the first to take political and military power away from the emperors. Started early life in exile along with the rest of his clan after their defeat by their rivals, the Taira Clan. Gained power over all of Japan after completely wiping out the Taira in battle. Moved the capital to his home base of Kamakura from Kyoto and started a long period of shōguns ruling Japan.

Kamakura Period 鎌倉時代 (1185-1333)

Nichiren 日蓮 (Feb. 16th, 1222 - Oct. 13th, 1282) Monk and founder of Nichiren Buddhism. This form of Buddhism believes that only by the study of the Lotus Sūtra can enlightenment be achieved. Constantly persecuted throughout his life due to his complaints of the government and other Buddhist sects. 

Emp. Go-Daigo (Emperor Go-Daigo) 後醍醐天皇 (Nov. 26th, 1288 - Sept. 19th, 1339) One of the most powerful emperors during the times of the shōguns. Started and led a rebellion against the Kamakura Shogunate that succeeded. His power was short-lived as he would lost to Ashikaga Takauji, one of his supporting generals in the previous rebellion. He fled and set up a Southern Court opposing the Northern Court and emperor put in place by Ashikaga Takauji.

Kusunoki M. (Kusunoki Masashige) 楠木 正成 (1294 - July 4th, 1336) A samurai famous for his unwavering loyalty to Emperor Go-Daigo. Fought for Emperor Go-Daigo both during his rebellion against the Kamakura Shogunate and later against Ashikaga Takauji. His death came from following an order from the emperor even though he knew the order was unwise and would lead to his death.

Nitta Y. (Nitta Yoshisada) 新田 義貞 (1301 - Aug. 17th, 1338) Fought for Emperor Go-Daigo during his rebellion against the Kamakura Shogunate and later against Ashikaga Takauji. He captured the shogunate capital of Kamakura from the Hōjō Clan ending the Kamakura Shogunate. He would die fighting against his rival, Ashikaga Takauji in the next conflict.

Ashikaga T. (Ashikaga Takauji) 足利 尊氏 (1305 - June 7th, 1358) Founder of the Ashikaga Shogunate that ruled over Japan from 1336 - 1573. Was a great general for the Hōjō Clan who were the rulers of the Kamakura Shogunate. Would switch sides to that of Emperor Go-Daigo during the rebellion, which would turn the tide and lead to the end of the Kamakura Shogunate. Then later turned against the emperor, defeating him and estabilishing the Ashikaga Shogunate.

Muromachi Period 室町時代 (1336 - 1573)

Late Hōjō Clan (Odawara) 後北条氏 (1432 - 1591) Originally a part of the Ise Clan. The son of the founder, Ujitsuna changed their name to the Hōjō Clan in order to have a more respectable name. He changed it to the same name of the clan his wife belonged to. Held a position of power in the Kantō region centered around Odawara Castle. Lost power in the Siege of Odawara (1590) where Toyotomi Hideyoshi's forces captured the castle.

Ōta D. (Ōta Dōkan) 太田 道灌 (1432 - Aug. 25th, 1486) The original founder of Edo Castle. He was a samurai, tactician, poet and monk. He made most of the moats and water systems in the area around Edo Castle. This castle would later be used as the capital by the Tokugawa Shogunate and is now the location of the current imperial palace.

Sengoku Period 戦国時代 (1467 - 1573)

Toyotomi H. (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) 豊臣 秀吉 (Feb. 2nd, 1536 or Mar. 26th 1537 - Sept. 18th, 1598) The second of Japan's three unifiers. Born of a peasant family, he still was able to serve under Oda Nobunaga and even succeed him after his death. After mostly unifying Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi led two invasions of Korea, but both failed. He created the social structure that would last throughout the era after him and added much to Japanese culture, especially through his love of tea ceremony. After his death, his heir and supporters lost power to Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Tokugawa Shogunate 徳川幕府 (1603 - 1868) The ruling government of Japan during the Edo Era (1600 - 1868). Was created in the aftermath of Tokugawa Ieyasu's victory at the Battle of Sekigahara, finally completing the unification of Japan. A total of 15 Tokugawa's ruled over Japan during this time. It was a long period of peace and growth in Japan with the development of the new capital Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Edo culture from the expansion of this city. Its downfall was caused by foreign powers trying to gain power and influence over Japan and years of isolationist policy left the government ill-equipped to defend Japan both from these more powerful interests and from dissent within the country.

Tokugawa I. (Tokugawa Ieyasu) 徳川 家康 (Jan. 31st, 1543 - June 1st, 1616) The third of three unifiers of Japan. Finished the unification of Japan and created the Tokugawa Shogunate after his victory at the Battle of Sekigahara. His family line would rule Japan from 1600 - 1868. Moved the capital to his main castle at Edo (present-day Tokyo). The era he ushered in saw a long stretch of peace after many years of civil war, allowing for the development of Edo culture, which shaped many of the traditional cultural elements existing in Japan today.

Ishikawa Y. (Ishikawa Yasunaga) 石川 康長 (1554 - Jan. 30th, 1643) Son of Ishikawa Norimasa. Together they built Matsumoto Castle as it still stands today. Yasunaga also designed the castle town surrounding the castle.   

Konishi Y. (Konishi Yukinaga) 小西 行長 (1555 - Nov. 6th, 1600) A Christian daimyō based in present-day Kumamoto. Was given the land by Toyotomi Hideyoshi for his efforts in the invasion of Kyūshū in 1587. Participated in both of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea with victories at Busan and Seoul and successful defenses at Pyongyang and Sunceon. Joined the supporters of Toyotomi under Ishida Mitsunari at the Battle of Sekigahara and lost to Tokugawa Ieyasu's forces there. Was able to escape the battle, but was later captured and executed due to his unwillingness to kill himself because of his religious beliefs.

Katō K. (Katō Kiyomasa) 加藤 清正 (July 25th, 1561 - Aug. 2nd, 1611) A daimyō famed for his military exploits and exceptional castle building, the most famous of these being Kumamoto Castle. Had some relation to Toyotomi Hideyoshi and gained victories for him at the battles of: Yamazaki, Shizugatake, Busan, Seoul, Injin River and his most famous, being his defense in the Siege of Ulsan. Given land in present-day Kumamoto in 1586 and was one of three senior generals in the Korean invasions. After the death of Toyotomi Hideoyshi, he switched sides at the Battle of Sekigahara to Tokugawa Ieyasu mainly due to his differences with his rival Ishida Mitsunari and Konishi Yukinaga. Given the rest of present-day Kumamoto by Tokugawa Ieyasu after Ieyasu's victory at Sekigahara, but may have been assasinated by him later in life due to his support of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's heir, Hideyori and his efforts in mediating between the two, when the Tokugawas hoped to finally finish off the Toyotomi's. 

Ikeda T. (Ikeda Terumasa) 池田 輝政 (Jan. 31st, 1565 - Mar. 16th, 1613) Fought in many of the important battles before Sekigahara under Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Joined Tokugawa Ieyasu after Toyotomi Hideyoshi's death due to marrying one of Tokugawa Ieyasu's daughters and fought for him at the Battle of Sekigahara. After the battle, he was given land at Himeji and greatly expanded the now world famous Himeji Castle.

Azuchi-Momoyama Period 安土桃山時代 (1568 - 1600)

Ukita H. (Ukita Hideie) 宇喜多 秀家 (1573 - Dec. 17th, 1655) His family clan was given territory in present-day Okayama to rule over and defend when Toyotomi Hideyoshi had to respond to the events of Oda Nobunaga's assassination. Joined Toyotomi Hideyoshi's forces during the Shikoku, Kyūshū and Korean capaigns, as well as the Siege of Odawara Castle. Was one of the Council of Five Elders, a regency established by Toyotomi Hideyoshi for his son after his death. Lost at the Battle of Sekigahara along with the rest of the supporters of Toyotomi. Exiled to Hachijōjima for the rest of his life after the battle.

Tokugawa H. (Tokugawa Hidetada) 徳川 秀忠 (May 2nd, 1579 - Mar. 14th, 1632) Son of Tokugawa Ieyasu and the second Tokugawa shōgun, ruling from 1605 - 1623. Had a difficult relationship with his father due to three main reasons. The first, for not arriving in time for the Battle of Sekigahara, the second for arranging the marriage of Ieyasu's granddaughter to rival Toyotomi Hideyori and the third for taking an aggressive approach at the Siege of Osaka Castle, which went against his father's wishes and resulted in the death of Tokugawa Ieyasu's great-grandson by Hideyori. Tokugawa Hidetada did strengthen the shogunate during his rule by increasing ties with the imperial court.

Shu S. (Shu Shunsui) 朱舜水 (1600 - 1682) A Chinese Confucian scholar and refugee who lived much of his life in Japan. Hoped to change the Ming government of China back to its previous ideals and power, which brought the wrath of the current government, forcing him to flee China. Most famous in Japan for his time spent with Mito Mitsukuni and designing the famous Koishikawa Kōrakuen garden.

Edo Period 江戸時代 (1603 - 1868)

Mito-Tokugawa Clan 水戸 - 徳川 (1609 - 1910) The Mito Clan was originally a part of the Tokugawa family line and descended from Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. When the founder of the family line, Mito Yorifusa was transferred to be the daimyō of Mito, Ibaraki in 1609, the family clan came to be known as the Mito Clan. There were 11 daimyō from the Mito Clan and domain. The Mito would become famous for their intellectual work, started by the second Mito lord, Mito Mitsukuni when he led the compilation of Japan's history called Dai Nihonshi (Great History of Japan). This would be important leading up to the Meiji Restoration, for the Mito School of Japanese thought which supported the emperor and was against foreign ideas would form the main tenets of reformist thought in Japan and who would then rebel against the Tokugawa Shogunate and complete the Meiji Restoration.

Mito Y. (Mito Yorifusa) 水戸 頼房 (Sept. 15th, 1603 - Aug. 23rd, 1661) Part of the Tokugawa family line that ruled Japan at that time as the Tokugawa Shogunate. He was first a daimyō in present-day Shimotsuma, Ibaraki from 1606 - 1609. He was transferred to rule over the lands at Mito, Ibaraki and became the Mito Branch of the Tokugawa family line. 

Hishikawa M. (Hishikawa Moronobu) 菱川 師宣 (1618 - July 25th, 1694) A Japanese painter and printmaker. He is most well-known for his advancements in the ukiyo-e woodblock printing technique. He was known as the best ukiyo-e artist of his time and his advancements became the basis of modern ukiyo-e.

Mito M. (Mito Mitsukuni) 水戸 光圀 (July 11th, 1628 - Jan. 14th, 1701) Second daimyō of the Mito domain and grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Famous as a scholar, he led the compilation of Japan's history called Dai Nihonshi (Great History of Japan) and also created a guide of Kamakura called the Shinpen Kamakurashi. He is also famous for building the Koishikawa Kōrakuen garden with the help of Shu Shunsui, a Chinese Confucian scholar refugee who he invited to live with him.

Suzuki H. (Suzuki Harunobu) 鈴木 春信 (1725? - July 7th, 1776) Famous ukiyo-e artist who was the first to develop full colored prints called nishiki-e. This increased the amount of colors available in a single print from 3 - 4 up to 10 - 20. His ukiyo-e prints of kabuki actors and bijinga, a genre showing beautiful women are also famous. 

Tsutaya J. (Tsutaya Jūzaburō) 蔦屋 重三郎 (Feb. 13th, 1750 - May 31st, 1797) The most famous woodblock print publisher of his time. His true importance was in discovering many of the great uikyo-e artists and writers of his time. These include the ukiyo-e artists Utamaro and Sharaku, as well as the writers Bakin, Jippensha Ikku and Santō Kyōden. His famous family name, Tsutaya wasn't his real name as common people didn't have them. Instead, this is the name of his publishing shop.

Hokusai (Katsushika Hokusai) 葛飾 北斎 (Oct. 31st, 1760 - May 10th, 1849) Artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker. A ukiyo-e master and arguably Japan's greatest and most famous artist. His prints are world famous with his most famous being The Great Wave off Kanagawa in his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series.

Saitō J. (Saitō Jūrōbei) 斎藤十郎兵衛 (1763? - 1820) Was a Noh actor. He might be more important for the possibility of being the real identity of Sharaku, the world famous ukiyo-e artist. Whether this is true or not is still unknown.

Ninomiya S. (Ninomiya Sontoku) 二宮 尊徳 (Sept. 4th, 1787 - Nov. 17th, 1856) Came from humble beginnings and had to live with his uncle at the age of 16 due to both of his parents dying. Completely independent learner and self-made, he worked abandoned land to first make money and was able to re-acquire his family's land and become a wealthy landowner. Due to his success, he was assigned financially struggling areas to oversee starting with a district, then Odawara Domain and finally Sagami Province (present-day west and central Kanagwa) which he also made into financial successes. His success and economic philosophy was based on agriculture and a deeper understanding of finance and economic than many at his time, including the understanding of compound interest and the creation of financial institutions similar to credit unions in the areas he presided in that were a first in Japan. His statue is often seen at schools before World War II as a nationalistic and patriotic symbol and today as a model of the merits of hard work and studying.

Sharaku (Tōshūsai Sharaku) 東洲斎 写楽 (Unknown? Active Period: 1794 - 1795) World famous ukiyo-e artist, however little is known about his life or true identity. Had an active period of just ten months, but produced over 160 works. Considered one of the true masters of ukiyo-e, a precursor to modern Japanese art and one of art's greatest portraitists.

Ii N. (Ii Naosuke) 井伊 直弼 (Nov. 29th, 1815 - Mar. 24th, 1860) The daimyō of Hikone in present-day Shiga and more importantly, the Tairō (main policy maker) of the Tokugawa Shogunate from 1858 until his death in 1860. He held the position of Tairō at a time of weakening power for the shogunate, but was able to regain some of this power for the shogunate for the last time before its eventual decline and fall from power during the Meiji Restoration. This was done mainly through the Ansei Purge, which removed most of the anti-shogunate members from higher government and making the matter of shogunate succession, a problem at the time a decision only the shogunate could make. He also signed the Harris and other treaties which opened Japan to foreign powers. While he had gained power for the shogunate, this brought resentment from the reformists in Japan which led to his assassination in the Sakuradamon Incident.

U. S. Grant (Ulysses S. Grant) (Apr. 27th, 1822 - July 23rd, 1885) The most famous general of the Union Army during the American Civil War and later the 18th president of the United States from 1869 - 1877. His connection to Japan stems from a visit to Japan during his world tour after his 2nd term as president. During this visit, he met with Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken at the imperial palace and even mediated a dispute between China and Japan over the Ryūkyū Islands (present-day Okinawa). During this mediation, he was able to achieve a compromise over the islands and even would have settled the issue of Taiwan as well, but it was never agreed to by China.

Tsukioka Y. (Tsukioka Yoshitoshi) 月岡 芳年 (Apr. 30th, 1839 - June 9th, 1892) The last great ukiyo-e master and one of the greatest innovators of the art form, He persevered at a time when the old and traditional were being discarded in favor of the new, modern and western as was common during the Meiji Era. He first gained fame early in his career, where his works depicting violence matched the atmosphere and events of an era that was at the height of its violence in the lead-up to the Meiji Restoration. His last years were some of his most productive and his series of One Hundred Aspects of the Moon and New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts during this late career remain some of his most famous and best works. 

S. Cocking (Samuel Cocking) (1842 - Feb. 26th, 1914) A British trader in art, antiques and plants. It was the latter one that made his fortune after beginning to trade in Yokohama in 1869. He bought land at the island of Enoshima through his Japanese wife's name and built a greenhouse there. The greenhouse was a place of high interest at the time for being one of the first in Japan and the largest in the East, but it was destroyed in the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923.

Empr. Shōken (Empress Shōken) 昭憲皇后 (May 9th 1849 - Apr. 9th 1914) Wife to Emperor Meiji, the first emperor to return to power in Japan through the Meiji Restoration. She did much to modernize traditions and was the first Empress Consort to play a public role. Known for her charity work, especially her strong public support of the Red Cross. Today, the Red Cross Fund in Japan is named the Empress Shōken Fund after her.

L. Hearn (Lafcadio Hearn) (June 27th, 1850 - Sept. 26th, 1904) More well-known in Japan by his Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo. Started life as a journalist in Cincinnati and Neworleans, becoming famous in New Orleans for his stories highlighting Creole culture and food which made it famous outside of New Orleans. He was sent to Japan in 1890 on a newspaper dispatch and then married a Japanese woman, nationalized and lived the rest of his life there. His writings of Japan were important for being some of the first. His most famous are Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894) and his writing on Japanese folklore and ghost stories, with Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (1903) being the most famous of these. 

Emp. Meiji (Emperor Meiji) 明治天皇 (Nov. 3rd 1852 - July 30th 1912) Emperor during the Meiji Restoration, when the Emperors had regained political control of Japan in 1868 for the first time in centuries. The Meiji Era in which he led was a time of discarding the old and traditional in favor of the new, modern and western. He oversaw Japan go from a feudal country in danger of losing its independent sovereignty, to that of a world power in just 40 years.

Meiji Period 明治時代 (1868 - 1912)

J. Kurth (Julius Kurth) (May 15th, 1870 - May 23rd, 1949) German art historian famous for his research and writing on SHaraku that introduced the artist to the world and reintroduced him to Japan. Kurth's inclusion of Sharaku among his top 3 portraitists of the art world, along with Rembrandt and Velazquez, sparked international interest and fame of Sharaku for the first time and reintroduced him to many in Japan as well. Much of Sharaku now being considered one of the greatest ukiyo-e and Japanese artists can be attributed to Kurth's work.

Tokugawa Y. (Tokugawa Yoshitoshi) 徳川 好敏 (July 24th, 1884 - Apr. 17th, 1963) Pilot of the first flight in Japan. He was sent to France to learn aeronautical engineering and combat application of airplanes. He bought a plane and brought it back to Japan, which he would use in Japan's first flight in 1910. One of the main people who created Japan's Army Air Service.

J. Nehru (Jawaharlal Nehru) (Nov. 14th, 1889 - May 27th 1964) Legendary political figure of India. One of the main leaders for the India Independence Movement and afterwards, the main creator of the modern state of India as India's first prime minister from 1947 - 1964. His giving of an elephant named Indira after his own daughter to Ueno Zoo in response to a letter campaign in 1949 helped spark friendly relations with Japan after the war.

Emp. Hirohito (Emperor Hirohito) 裕仁 (Apr. 29th, 1901 - Jan. 7th 1989) Called Emperor Shōwa in Japan. His reign started on December 25th, 1926. Somewhat infamous around the world for his involvement in World War II. He is also remembered in Japan for his long time as emperor after the war without the power or divine statue he had before the war. This includes Japan's lengthy recovery after the war and its becoming the world's second largest economy by his death in 1989.

Fukada K. (Fukada Kyūya) 深田 久弥 (Nov. 3rd, 1903 - Mar. 21st, 1971) Began his career as a writer, but this was almost destroyed when it was discovered his first two books were actually written by his wife. At the encouragement of mountaineer Kobayashi Hideo, he wrote books about mountaineering instead of the fiction he wrote before. His work of Nihon Hyakumeizan (Japan's 100 Famous Mountains) is one of the most famous works in Japanese mountaineering. While it was written to encourage others to make their own list, it has become the official list and many make it their goal to climb them. This recently includes the Crown Prince Naruhito, which has only increased the fame of this book more.

J. A. Michener (James A. Michener) (Feb. 3rd, 1907 - Oct. 16th, 1997) A famous American author from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Wrote over 40 major works and was the Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction in 1948 for Tales of the South Pacific, which was inspired by his service in the Pacific during World War II. He was also a collector of ukiyo-e prints and wrote multiple works about Japanese artists and ukiyo-e.

Kurosawa A. (Kurosawa Akira) 黒澤 明 (Mar. 23rd, 1910 - Sept. 6th, 1998) Japan's most famous director and one of the most famous and influential in movie history. His film Rashōmon's (1950) suprise win at the 1951 Venice Film Festival did much to open up not only his films, but all of Japanese cinema to international audiences. He directed 30 movies over a 57 year career and won an Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1990. Some of his other famous films are: Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Kagemusha and Ran.Japan's most famous director and one of the most famous and influential in movie history. His film, Rashōmon's surprise win at the 1951 Venice Film Festival did much to open up not only his film's but all of Japanese cinema to international audiences. He directed 30 movies over 57 years and won an Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1990. Some of his other famous films are: Seven Samurai (1954), Yojimbo (1961), Kagemusha (1980) and Ran (1985).

Taishō Period 大正時代 (1912 - 1926)

Tange K. (Tange Kenzō) 丹下 健三 (Sept. 4th, 1913 - Mar. 22nd, 2005) Famous Japanese architect and winner of the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1987. His style was famous for its combination of traditional Japanese and modern architectural styles. His winning design for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in 1955 is what first made his work famous. Other famous works include: Yoyogi National Gymnasium (1964), St. Mary's Cathedral (1964), the city plan for Skopje, Macedonia (1966), Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (1991) and the Fuji Television Building (1996).

R. Halloran (Raymond Halloran) (Feb. 4th, 1922 - June 7th, 2011) A B-29 Bomber bombadier during World War II, who would be captured when his plane was shot down over Japan during a bombing mission. Received terrible treatment after being captured, including being displayed naked as a zoo exhibit in Ueno Zoo. Would be liberated and later returned to Japan and was able to reconcile with what happened to him during the war. He continued to return to Japan throughout his life and spoke at numerous speaking engagements throughout Japan.

Shōwa Period 昭和時代 (1926 - 1989)

R. Bass (Randy Bass) (Mar. 13th, 1954 - ) A baseball player who first played first base in the major leagues and in Japan's professional baseball league. His first 6 seasons were in the major leagues and were largely undistinguished, playing mostly as a pinch hitter. However, in 1982, he signed with Japan's Hanshin Tigers and started at first base, becoming a superstar in Japanese baseball. He won 4 consecutive batting titles and holds the Japanese record for best average in a season with .389. He also won consecutive Triple Crowns in 1985 and 1986, as well as the league's MVP in 1985 when he led the Hanshin Tigers to their last championship.

Kiyota M. (Kiyota Masuaki) 清田 益章 (Apr. 30th, 1962 - ) A Japanese psychic known for metal bending, but whose reputation has been damaged due to his committing and admittance of fraud. He is perhaps more famous now for his creation of the term Power Spot, referring to natural wonders or shinto shrines where people can get power or spiritual energy from. He created the term in the 1990's, but it didn't become popular or famous until 2010, when it became a fad in Japan.

Shimada S. (Shimada Shuhei) 島田 修平 (Dec. 5th, 1977 - ) A palm reading TV personality that started the fad of power spots. He started the fad when he claimed on a TV show that a picture he took of Kiyomasa's Well in Meiji Jingū Gyoen, a power spot, was what got him a job in December of 2009. This started the fad of power spots in the following year.

Heisei Period 平成 (1989 - Present)

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