CULTURE

Mar 17, 2020life
The Story of Kotatsu: Keeping Warm and Cozy in a Japanese Winter

Prior to living in Japan, I had a rather hazy image of it as an exotic land with a sultry climate. Summer in Japan is indeed hot and humid, but unless you live on the southernmost subtropical islands of Okinawa, you will find that Japanese winters are very, very cold.

Feb 25, 2020culture
Hina Matsuri – Japan’s Colorful Festival of Dolls

Hina Matsuri (雛祭り) is a special festival which is held in Japan every year on March 3rd. This festival, which is known either as "Girl’s Day" or "Doll’s Day" in English, is a family celebration for young girls and is dedicated to their health and happiness.

Feb 21, 2020culture
Oden – Japan’s heart-warming winter hotpot
Oden is a traditional hotpot dish served in autumn and winter consisting of varied ingredients stewed in a light soy-based dashi broth. The actual ingredients consist of some essential items...
Jan 30, 2020culture
All About Setsubun: The Bean-Throwing Festival

Setsubun is an annual festival celebrated widely both in private homes and public areas that at first glance seems to consist of equal parts charm and eccentricity. Can you imagine wearing a plastic devil-mask while the rest of your family gleefully pelts you with dried beans? This is a key part of the Setsubun celebration!

Jan 15, 2020culture
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.

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...
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.

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.

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").