Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Listen to the show

You can listen to episodes directly on this site, or go to:



Download directly from Libsyn

You can also search for the History of Japan Podcast in the iTunes store or any podcatcher app.

Got something to say? Drop me a line.

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  1. Ken

    Suggested Topic: much has been made of the Japanese attitude toward P.O.W.s during WWII. While proportinally few Japanese surrendered to the allies, there were quite a few, particuarily toward the end when even isolated soldiers realized the war was lost. What was the reaction to those who went home? Were they shunned or did a reaslization set in that their decision not to sacrifice their lives in a lost cause foster a new understanding?

  2. I’m preparing some stuff related to this topic, though I’m probably going to push it back a bit just because the whole leadup to war thing was kind of a downer and I worry about doing too many depressing topics in a row. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Alex Johnson

    Suggested Topic, covering the sengoku war in more detail. How the Mythology around the various daimyo grew, why the war shifted from west of Kyoto during the oni to the area between Nagoya and Edo later on, and some various other topics (how the yamada and hosokawa became so influential in a war that was supposed to be between two ashikaga, why did the takeda control land in 1467 where the mori would later control, more talk about the various clans [date, mori, hojo, imagawa, shimazu]

    • Actually this week’s coming episode is on the Onin War, so it will answer at least some of your questions. The others, though, I might need to find a specialist friend to help me with! Good ideas!

  4. Jeff

    On iTunes/iPhone podcast app the first episode that shows up is ep 8. What happened to eps 1-7?

    • I’m trying to figure that out. The way it works right now, the podcast is hosted by one site (libsyn) put through feedburner (in case I ever want to switch hosting services without having to resubmit the podcast and making you all resubscribe over) and then that feed from feedburner goes to iTunes.
      All the episodes are showing up in libsyn, but not in feedburner. I’m not really sure how they got lost.

      You can find them linked to on this website, and I’ll send some emails around to try to figure out what the hell is going on, buth unfortunately that’s all I have.

  5. Hello. Question: how can I pick episodes to listen to around a certain theme or time period? For example I’d like to hear all episodes that are chronologically from the second half of the 20th century — is there an episode map or index or anything?
    I deeply enjoy this podcast. I’ve been living and working in Japan for (looks at wristwatch) 3 months now.

    • Unfortunately, not that I know of. The closest thing would probably be to use the tags to try to find relevant episodes; so, searching for all episodes tagged “LDP”, “postwar”, etc.

  6. Bridget

    I love this podcast! It’s been so helpful in understanding aspects of Japanese history I hadn’t been familiar with, and you present the information well.

    I was wondering, when you were using Audible for your ads, you used to recommend a book with each ad. Do you have a list of those books somewhere? I’m trying to build my Japan/Japanese history library.

  7. Kirill jerigin

    Hello and thanks for 150 plus episodes I have listened so far.
    I am a history enthusiast born in Latvia, living in Japan.
    I would like to suggest a topic for future episodes:
    Kawashima Yoshiko. Japanese-Manchu spy princess with sinister ambiance. A real product of her age.

  8. Kirill

    Hello and thank you.
    I would like to suggest a couple of topics.
    1. Sumo and the rise of the non Japanese.
    2. Tokyo Olympics(either one, though I guess the first one must be the heavily drawn on one)

  9. Kyle

    Hi Isaac, thanks so much for creating this podcast! I have enjoyed it immensely.

    Is there any reason why the site archive has a gap from August 2014 to November 2015? I see that the podcasts themselves still exist on libsyn, but the corresponding web pages are missing. I hope they aren’t permanently missing, as I find and found them useful. It appears to skip from Episode 66 to Episode 124.

    Thanks again for producing an excellent podcast.

  10. Matt


    I love the podcast, found it really useful to back up what I’ve learned during my undergraduate course.

    I was just thinking it might be interesting to hear a podcast about Goto Shinpei or the administration of the empire on a broader basis.


    • ijmeyer

      Yeah I’ve been considering something specifically on Taiwanese relations with Japan that would feature Goto pretty heavily. Still not quite sure what format I’d want it to take.

  11. Georges

    Isaac Meyer
    Since 1992, I am aware of the financial crisis in Japan. For years, Western media have shown contempt for the inability of Japan to get out of stagnation.
    During all these years, I have tried to find an explanation for this growth crisis in the economy of Japan, since at least 1992 and up to know. In a French podcast
    they reveal that this long period of stagnation in Japan is the consequence of huge tariffs imposed by usa on Japanese import, up to 100%. Can you tell us the Japanese standpoint about this financial crisis and its duration.

    Thank you very much for your show which I listen to regularly from Switzerland.

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