Search glossary

Ashiya-shi (芦屋市)

A city founded in Hyougo Prefecture in 1871, Ashiya was designated as an urban planning area in the early 1900s, which led to the development of large single-family homes along the hills overlooking Osaka Bay.

goshinha (護身波)

Lit. "wave of self-protection"; the goshinha is a protective mesh spun from fine strands of spiritual energy which surrounds the caster and protects from an opponent's spiritual as well as physical attacks. The mesh gains strength and stability when it is multi-layered and becomes the goshinheki. The goshinha is Naoe's forte.

goshinheki (護身壁)

Lit.: "wall of self-protection"; the goshinheki is a barrier constructed for an instant using spiritual energy. The goshinha is effective when maintained, but the goshinheki takes shape in the instant the caster is attacked and is a basic method of self-protection. However, its weakness is that it cannot protect the caster against 100% of the damage caused by the attack.

gotoobi (五十日)

Lit.: "fifth/tenth day"

A day of the month that is divisible by 5 (5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th). In Japan, paydays and settlement of accounts are customarily done on one of these days, leading to busy teller windows and traffic congestion.

Heian-jidai (平安時代)
794 - 1184

Literally: "Era of Peace and Tranquility"; a period in Japanese history in which Chinese influences on Japanese culture, such as Confucianism, were at their height. The imperial court was at the peak of its power, and the capital was moved from Nara to Heian (now Kyoto). This era is greatly admired for its art, including poetry and literature (The Tale of Genji was written during this period). Buddhism, primarily in the form of two esoteric schools, Tendai and Shingon, began to spread throughout Japan.

Hiei-zan (比叡山)

Mt. Hiei is a mountain to the northeast of Kyoto on which the Buddhist Tendai Enryaku Temple was founded by Saichou in 788. Oda Nobunaga razed its temples and towns and massacred its inhabitants in 1571 to check the power of the Tendai warrior monks, who had long been his enemies due to their strength and independence.

The temple was rebuilt and is still the Tendai headquarters.

Ikkou-shuu (一向宗)

Lit.: "One-minded School/Sect", a small, militant, antinomian offshoot of True Pure Land Buddhism founded by 13th-century monk Ikkou Shunjou. Its ideologies provided the basis for a wave of uprisings against feudal rule in the late 15th and 16th centuries, such as the Ikkou-ikki revolts. Oda Nobunaga eventually destroyed the sect's two large temple-fortresses, Nagashima and Ishiyama Hongan Temple and slaughtered most of its sectarians in those areas. Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated the followers of the sect in Mikawa in 1564 in the Battle of Azukizaka. The last of the Ikkou sect fought alongside Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 1580s.

Ishiyama Hongan-ji (石山本願寺)

A fortified Buddhist temple established in 1496 which was home to warrior monks, priests, peasants, and local nobles (Ikkou-ikki) who opposed samurai rule. Oda Nobunaga, who feared the power and influence of the monks, set siege to the fortress in 1570 while Kennyo was its chief abbot. The siege lasted for 10 years, and the temple finally fell in 1580.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi began construction of Osaka Castle on the same site three years later.


A 31 km (~19 miles) long class A (protected) river which flows through the city of Kyoto.

Kyoto-shi (京都市)

The imperial capital of Japan from 794 to 1868, located in Kyoto Prefecture.

Midou-suji (御堂筋)

The primary thoroughfare of central Osaka, Midou Boulevard runs north-south and boasts ultra high-class stores and hotels.

Mutsu-no-kuni (陸奥国)

Also known as: Oushuu (奥州)

The largest province of ancient Japan, situated in northern Honshuu, which was ruled by various clans during the Sengoku, including the Uesugi, Nambu, and Date. It was divided into the prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Aomori.

Nagasaki-shi (長崎市)

The largest city in and capital of Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki began as a small harbor town which quickly grew into a large port city following the accidental landing of Francis Xavier in nearby Kagoshima Prefecture and the establishment of trade with Portuguese merchants.

Nagasaki also became the point of entry of Christianity into Japan, and its daimyo, Oomura Sumitada, and many of its inhabitants converted to Christianity. However, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, wary of Christian influence in the region, ordered the expulsion of all missionaries 1587, an order that largely went unenforced. Although 26 Japanese and foreign Christians were executed in Nagasaki in 1597, Christianity was grudgingly tolerated until 1614, when Christianity was officially banned and all missionaries ordered to leave. Following the ban, the Tokugawa shogunate killed and tortured Christians across Japan to force them to renounce their faith.

The rebellion at Shimabara near Nagasaki in 1636-1638 convinced the government that Christianity and disloyalty were linked. 30,000 Japanese Christians were massacred and a policy of national isolation descended in 1639, closing foreign trader with all but the Dutch.

Isolationism only ended with the arrival of Commodore Perry's 'Black Ships' in 1853, and Nagasaki would become an important economic city once more after the Meiji Restoration. Its main industry was ship-building, a fact which made it a target for the second atomic bomb to be dropped on Japan during World War II.

nenpa (念波)

Lit.: "waves of will/thought"; a nendouryoku attack using spiritual energy which focuses the will and releases it in a burst to strike at a target.

Osaka-jou Kouen (大阪城公園)

Osaka Castle Park is a public park located at the site of Osaka Castle in central Osaka City and is the second largest park in the city. The site was the location of Ishiyama Hongan Temple, headquarters of the Ikkou Sect, destroyed by Oda Nobunaga in 1580. Toyotomi Hideyoshi began construction of Osaka Castle there three years later.

Osaka-shi (大阪市)

The City of Osaka is the capital of Osaka Prefecture and the commercial and gourmet food center of Japan.

Sapporo-shi (札幌市)

Sapporo is the capital and largest city of Hokkaido, the northernmost of the major Japanese islands. Its name comes from the indigenous Ainu language and means "dry, great river".

Shijou Oohashi (四条大橋)

A busy four-arched steel girder bridge which spans the Kamo Riverview map location in Kyoto. According to Yasaka Shrine's records, the original bridge was built in 1142 from temple-solicited funds. The bridge was rebuilt and widened numerous times in subsequent years after being damaged or swept away by floods.

A stone bridge was constructed in 1857 during the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate, and a iron one replaced it in 1874 with a toll enacted to amortize construction costs. Upon the opening of the Kyoto Municipal Railway in 1913 and the widening of the highway, the bridge was rebuilt with arches using reinforced concrete. However, the 1934 Muroto typhoon and June floods of 1935 caused driftwood and other debris to block the arches, resulting in additional water damage to the surround areas. The Kamo River was dredged and the current bridge built in 1942.

Touhoku-chihou (東北地方)

Also known as: Michinoku (みちのく)

The northeast area of Japan's main island of Honshuu, the Touhoku consists of the prefectures of Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata. It is a mountainous region which is known for having breathtaking scenery but a harsh climate.

Yasha-shuu (夜叉衆)

The five kanshousha at the head of the Meikai Uesugi Army ordered by Uesugi Kenshin to hunt for the onshou who are disrupting the peace of modern-era Japan in a battle which has lasted four hundred years. Led by Uesugi Kagetora, with Naoe Nobutsuna, Kakizaki Haruie, Yasuda Nagahide, and Irobe Katsunaga. The name "Yasha" refers to soldiers in the army of Bishamonten, called "Yaksha".

Yotsubashi-suji (四つ橋筋)

"Yotsubashi-suji," or "Four Bridges Boulevard," is a nickname for the Osaka North-South Road. It is a major street running north-south through central Osaka.