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Mission Statement

The Samurai Archives Wiki project is an attempt to create the most concise and detailed database of pre-20th century Japanese history on the internet. Although the SamuraiWiki is hosted on the Samurai Archives, this is a general resource intended for everyone interested in Japanese history. This wiki is in no way affiliated with Wikipedia.

Use of the SamuraiWiki

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All of the entries and contributions herein are the property of this Wiki (except where otherwise noted), and are not to be used elsewhere without permission. Do not copy information from here to Wikipedia or any other webpage - this Wiki is not intended for use on Wikipedia or any other websites without the expressed permission of the owner of this website, or proper paraphrasing, quoting, and full citation. The webmasters of the Samurai Archives also agree that the information contained herein posted by other editors will not be republished in any other formats for monetary gain without permission of the author(s).

Becoming an Approved Editor

Because the SamuraiWiki's purpose is to create a high quality research database for pre-20th century Japanese history, new members do not have editing privileges. This wiki is closed to new editors until further notice.

And remember, it is not necessary to sign up to read the articles. Only to edit them.

Use for Research

Note to Students and Professors

Citing sources for the articles on the SamuraiWiki is considered top priority. The purpose of the SamuraiWiki is to assist in research for any and all interested readers. As such, verifiable sources are listed on all of the articles, and those sources will be a good place to continue your research. Because only approved editors are allowed to add information to this website, we make it our priority to verify all of the information added with reliable published sources.

For articles recently moved over from the Samurai Archives Sengoku Biographical dictionary, the sources are slowly being added, however the full source list can be found at the bottom of this page.

It is always highly advised when doing research that you don't rely exclusively on the text here, but also go to the sources listed. Although we try our utmost to utilize only reliable sources, it is always in the best interest of the student to follow up any research here with the original sources of each article.

Use of Dates on the SamuraiWiki

Until 1873, Japan used a lunar calendar, either the Chinese calendar or a close relative. The dates in this calendar are about three to seven weeks after the corresponding Western (Gregorian) date, depending on the year. Almost all source material uses this calendar for events in Japan before 1873, as do Japanese historians. Therefore all dates, unless otherwise noted, are the Japanese equivalent (the lunar calendar). However, the Western date will also generally be listed for events taking place between Commodore Perry's arrival in Japan in 1853 until the Japanese calendar was changed to the Western Gregorian calendar in 1873, or in the years before this if it is pertinent to the article in question. It will also be used for events prior to this when applicable, namely when Westerners were involved in the events of Japanese history during the Sengoku and early Edo period, or for historical events that are covered in English treatments of Japanese history (For example, the battle of Nagashino, the battle of Sekigahara, etc.) When the Western date is also applicable, it will be noted in various ways.

Article "Date" Headings

Dates listed in the data sections at the top of the articles which benefit from the notation of the Western dates are seen as follows:

  • Birth: 1848/5/20 (6/20/1848)

This indicates that the person in question was born on the Japanese date of 5/20 in the year 1848, which corresponds to the Western date of June 20th of the same year.

In-Text Format

The standard for date listings in text are to write out the day, month, and year:

  • The 20th day of the 5th month (of 1848)

Depending on context or flow of the text, 1848/5/20 or 5/20/1848 are also acceptable. Unless there is a second date in parenthesis, the dates listed are understood to be the Japanese equivalent.

In-Text Examples

Examples of the Japanese calendar followed by the Western calendar are as follows:

  • 1867/6/14 (7/15/1867)
  • The 14th day of the sixth month (July 15th)
  • The 14th day of the sixth month, 1867 (July 15th, 1867)
  • The 14th day of the sixth month of the third year of Keio (1867) (July 15th, 1867)
  • The 14th day of the sixth month of Keio 3 (1867) (July 15th, 1867)
  • The 14th day of the sixth month, 1867 (7/15/1867)

And so on. In all cases, the Japanese lunar calendar comes first, followed by the Western date.

Intercalary Dates

In the Chinese-type lunar calendar, about every two years and eight months an extra month, i.e. a "leap month" or intercalary month, is inserted to keep the lunar calendar from becoming too separated from the seasons. This extra month is indicated on the SamuraiWiki by "int." For example, the third month of 1599 (1599/3) was followed by the intercalary third month (1599/int. 3), followed by the fourth month (1599/4).

Editing Wiki Articles (Important)

Before editing the SamuraiWiki, it is imperative that you read the Help Section.

Searching the SamuraiWiki

  • You can search for any term via the searchbox on the left, or you can Browse the categories.
  • A more effective search method is to use the Samurai Archives google search - just be sure to click on the wiki radio button to search the SamuraiWiki.
  • You can search with kanji, however unless the kanji is listed in the specific article, you may not get any hits. Currently we are working to make all of the clan/family names searchable via kanji (without adding the given name) - this will send you to a disambiguation page with all of the people who share the family name you have searched with. For example: 織田.