CULTURE

Seaweed, the superfood of Japan image
Jan 15, 2020life
Seaweed, the superfood of Japan

The health benefits of eating seaweed regularly are now well known, but just as the English-speaking world is waking up to them, we are being told that the traditional diet and consumption of seaweed in Japan are “on the decline” as people turn to more “westernized” food.

Dungeons and dragons tabletop image
Dec 24, 2019culture
Ducks, Runes, and Tired Wizards: Tabletop’s Legacy in Japanese Video Games
Before video games, there were tabletop roleplaying games. Before that, there were ‘wargames’, board games based on strategic combat, sort of like a very distant ancestor of modern X-COM, or...
Photo of Japanese shrine
Dec 10, 2019culture
An Introduction to Shrines

If you live in Japan, or you’re just visiting, you’ll probably be visiting a shinto shrine at some point, for any number of reasons (but probably sightseeing). If not, you really should. It’s a chance to see something very different from home, and beautiful as well.

Photo for super-agers
Nov 26, 2019culture
Japanese people, the super-agers

Recently, despite the issues raised by the aging population in many countries, scientists have come up with the optimistic concept of super-agers.

Photo for Japanese Traditional Clothing
Nov 12, 2019culture
Japanese Traditional Clothing – A Short Guide

Dressing up in traditional Japanese clothing can be a lot of fun, and recently renting kimono while sightseeing is very popular. In Japan, traditional clothes are called 和服 (wafuku which literally means "Japanese clothes"), to distinguish them from 洋服 (yōfuku or "Western clothes").

Photo for gift giving traditions in Japan
Oct 29, 2019culture
Gift Giving in Japan

Gift giving is an important social custom in Japan. There are seasonal presents in the summer and winter, gifts given to celebrate special occasions, and souvenirs which are essential after a trip.
Collectively all these forms of gift-giving are called zōtō (贈答), and they represent an important social obligation.
Below is a short guide to common types of gift giving in Japan.

An Introduction to Cultural Property
Oct 15, 2019culture
An Introduction to Cultural Property

Japan is a country with a very long, rich history; in particular, it's one with a history you can see just about all around you. It's very hard to go anywhere without running into the ruins of old castles, or perfectly functioning castles, ancient temples and shrines, 500-year-old streets, and so on.

Savouring TOFU in a myriad of ways
Oct 1, 2019culture
Savouring TOFU in a myriad of ways

There can’t be many people who haven’t heard of TOFU, but I suspect that many of us from outside of Asia haven’t looked into what tofu is made of, and all the myriad ways in which it can be served.

Love it or Hate it: The Story of Natto
Sep 17, 2019culture
Love it or Hate it: The Story of Natto

Natto is a unique Japanese food which is made from fermented soybeans. At some point, if you visit Japan, you will encounter natto, and it is best to be prepared in advance so as not to be overwhelmed by its special qualities.