The Asama-Sansō incident was a hostage crisis and police siege in a mountain lodge near Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture, Japan that lasted from February 19, 1972 to February 28, 1972. The police rescue operation on the final day of the standoff was the first marathon live broadcast in Japan, lasting 10 hours and 40 minutes. The incident began when five members of the United Red Army (URA), following a bloody purge that left 14 members of the group plus one bystander dead, broke into a holiday lodge below Mount Asama, taking the wife of the lodge-keeper as a hostage. A standoff between police and the URA radicals took place, lasting ten days. The lodge was a natural fortress, solidly constructed of thick concrete on a steep hillside with only one entrance, which, along with their guns, enabled the hostage-takers to keep police at a distance. On February 28, the police stormed the lodge. Two police officers were killed in the assault, but the hostage was rescued and the URA radicals were taken into custody. The incident contributed to a decline in popularity of leftist movements in Japan. Japan's leftist student movement in the 1960s pervaded Japan's universities, and, by late in the decade, had become very factionalized, competitive, and violent. After a series of incidents in which leftist student groups attacked and injured or killed law enforcement officials and the general public, Japan's national police agency cracked down on the student groups, raiding their hideouts and arresting dozens in 1971 and 1972. Attempting to escape from the police, a core group of radicals from the URA retreated to a compound in Gunma Prefecture during the winter of 1972. (Full article...)
Felice Beato (1832 – 29 January 1909), also known as Felix Beato, was an Italian–British photographer. He was one of the first people to take photographs in East Asia and one of the first war photographers. He is noted for his genre works, portraits, and views and panoramas of the architecture and landscapes of Asia and the Mediterranean region. Beato's travels gave him the opportunity to create images of countries, people, and events that were unfamiliar and remote to most people in Europe and North America. His work provides images of such events like the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the Second Opium War, and represents the first substantial body of photojournalism. He influenced other photographers, and his influence in Japan, where he taught and worked with numerous other photographers and artists, was particularly deep and lasting. (Full article...)
Mie Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan which is part of the Kinki and Chūbu regions on Honshūisland. The capital is the city of Tsu. Evidence of human habitation in Mie can be dated to more than 10,000 years ago. During the Jōmon and Yayoi periods, agricultural communities began to form along the river and coastal areas of the region. Ise Shrine is said to have been established during the Yayoi period, and in the 7th century the Saikū Imperial Residence was built in what is now Meiwa Town to serve as both a residence and administrive centre for the Saiō, an Imperial Princess who served as High Priestess of Ise Shrine. During the Edo period, the area now known as Mie Prefecture consisted of several feudal domains, each ruled by an appointed lord. Transport networks, including the Tokaido and Ise Roads, were built. Port towns such as Ohminato, Kuwana and Anōtsu, posting stations and castle towns flourished. Pilgrimages to Ise Shrine also became very popular. After the Meiji Restoration, the former provinces of Ise, Shima, and Iga as well as a portion of eastern Kii, were organized and reorganized repeatedly. In 1871 the area from the Kiso Three Rivers in the north to present-day Tsu became Anōtsu Prefecture, and the area south of that became Watarai Prefecture. In 1872, the Anōtsu prefectural seat moved from Tsu to Yokkaichi, and the prefecture itself was renamed Mie. For a variety of reasons, including the strong likelihood that Mie would eventually merge with Watarai, the prefectural seat returned to Tsu the following year, and Mie Prefecture took its present-day form in 1876, when it merged with its southern neighbor.
Image 58Minamoto no Yoritomo was the founder of the Kamakura shogunate in 1192. This was the first military government in which the shogun with the samurai were the de facto rulers of Japan. (from History of Japan)
Image 70Map showing the territories of major daimyō families around 1570 CE (from History of Japan)
Image 71The Kuril Islands with Russian names. Borders of Shimoda Treaty (1855) and Treaty of St. Petersburg (1875) shown in red. Currently all islands northeast of Hokkaido are administered by Russia. (from Geography of Japan)
Image 74Mount Aso 4 pyroclastic flow and the spread of Aso 4 tephra (90,000 to 85,000 years ago). The pyroclastic flow reached almost the whole area of Kyushu, and volcanic ash was deposited of 15 cm in a wide area from Kyushu to southern Hokkaido. (from Geography of Japan)
Image 75Kinkaku-ji was built in 1397 by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (from History of Japan)