The article discusses the problem of interpretation in Japanese historiography of the Joint Declaration of 1956, which ended the state of war between the USSR and Japan. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the documents, the author presents his view about historic significance of the Declaration and assesses the arguments put by the representatives of the academic community of Japan.
The article discusses the question of composing poems on prescribed topics, which was usual practice in composing classical Japanese poetry (waka). Analyzed is the text of Shotetsu monogatari written by poet Shotetsu in the middle of the XVth century Shotetsu highlights a number of problems in concern with the composing poems on prescribed topics, such as what kinds of topics are existed; what are the number of characters in the topic; which topics are easy and which topics are difficult for the poet; which topics should be chosen for poetry matches or meetings; on what topics is better to train young authors. Shotetsu examines a lot of specific examples of writing poems on a particular topic. The text of Shotetsu monogatari shows that the composition of poems on prescribed topics, dated back to the IXth century remained highly relevant at the end of the classical period of waka poetry.
The article describes the view of the Western countries in Japan during the Edo period (1603 – 1867). The basic source of the research is the treatise «Zo:ho: Kai Tsu:sho: Ko:» by Nishikawa Joken (1648 – 1724), which has been relatively rarely used by researchers despite its value. The author aimed to give a rational decription of the West, although in fact it approached almost grotesque. Still one should aknowledge that during the age of seclusion the Japanese were rather well informed about the external world. The main source of information were the Dutch living in Nagasaki.