Tears on the Kimono

The Heian age in Japanese history lasted for some four hundred years, from the end of the eighth century AD to the closing decades of the twelfth. The name Heian (“Peace and Tranquillity”) comes from Heian-kyo, the capital city established in 794, in emulation of the T’ang metropolis in China, …

Cult of the Sword

Gentleman and roughneck—the Japanese warriors of the feudal age can appear in either guise. On the one hand we observe fine feeling, good breeding, and taste; on the other there is the implacable readiness of the samurai to inflict violent death on others, as well as on himself, for what …