1. Mike Cash

    Rest in Peace, Mars Man

    A dear friend and well respected and loved member of our JREF family, Mars Man, passed away December 18, 2015 at about 10:30 p.m. at the age of fifty-nine. While he hadn't been active with us for a couple of years, in the past he not only was a very active and valued contributor to discussions...
  2. Nagano Travel Guide

    Travel Nagano Travel Guide

    Nagano Prefecture (長野県) is located in central Honshū and borders the prefectures of Niigata, Gunma, Saitama, Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, and Toyama. Nagano is one of only eight landlocked prefectures. The terrain is mostly mountainous. The principal ranges include the Hida (飛騨山脈), the Kiso...
  3. Matsumoto Castle

    Travel Matsumoto Castle

    Matsumoto Castle (松本城 Matsumoto-jō) is located in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, and is one of the most famous Japanese flatland castles (平城 hirashiro). It is also called “Crow Castle” (烏城 Karasu-jō) due to the dark outer walls of its keep and the roofs that resembled spreading wings. The...
  4. Matsumoto Travel Guide

    Travel Matsumoto Travel Guide

    Matsumoto (松本) is located in central Nagano Prefecture and used to be a provincial capital from the eighth century. It was the base of the senior branch of the Ogasawara clan (小笠原氏), the shugo (守護, military governors) of the Shinano Province during the fourteenth and the fifteenth century and...
  5. Kaichi School Museum

    Travel Kaichi School Museum

    In the wake of the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent drive to modernise the country, the newly founded Japanese Ministry of Education introduced a revised school system based strictly on the American model. Private Buddhist schools (寺子屋 terakoya, “temple schools”) were nationalised and...