Japan’s History: Heian Period

Following the political reforms of the Nara Period, the Heian Period marks the era in which Japan’s capital stayed in Heian-kyo (modern-day Kyoto). This period lasted from 794-1185 CE. While scholars disagree as to why exactly the capital was moved from Nara to Heian-kyo, a common theory posits that Emperor Kanmu wished to escape the […]

The Japanese Creation Myth

Before there was land, the world was covered by an enormous sea. There were two kami (god or spirit) siblings named Izanagi and Izanami. These names translate literally into “he who invites” and “she who invites,” respectively. They received orders from the other kami to solidify the shape of the Earth. Together, they thrust a […]

Japanese History: The Ainu

To the north, lived another distinctly separate group of people from both the Yayoi and the Jomon People. While they may not have a lasting impact on the Jomon and Yayoi, their culture is unique, fascinating, and certainly deserves to be mentioned here. These people are known as the Ainu. The Ainu inhabited Japan’s northern […]