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The Know Zone

6 Minutes in Japan

Watch on YouTube With images of Tokyo and Kyoto, an homage to the beautiful and eccentric experience of Japan. Runtime: 6 min.

LISTEN & LEARN

Japan's Sakoku Period

In this BBC podcast, Melvyn Bragg and guests explore Sakoku, a 220-year period when Japan isolated itself from the Western world. It began with a seri...

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The Samurai

In this excellent BBC podcast, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of the samurai and the role of their myth in Japanese national identity. Ru...

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The making of modern Japan

In the mid-19th century Japan transformed itself from feudal state to economic powerhouse at breakneck speed. By removing an entire ruling elite, intr...

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Samurai Sword

National Geographic visits Japan's Shimane prefecture to explore the history of the iconic Japanese weapon, which has been made by the same process for more than 1,000 years. And they discover something incredible: how are a potter, a blacksmith and an ancient scroll are linked to modern samurai sword production. Runtime: 3 min.