CULTURE

Jun 22, 2020life
Sake Regional Variation
Sake is not wine, nor is it beer. It is its own thing. However, there are some ways in which these drinks, each with its own long history, are quite...
May 22, 2020culture
A Myriad Leaves: The Timeless Poems of the Man’yōshū

On May 1 st 2019 Japan entered a new official era to mark the new emperor’s ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne. The name chosen for this era, Reiwa, uses two Chinese characters 令和 which were taken from an ancient Japanese poetry collection called the Man’yōshū.

Apr 28, 2020culture
Japanese Wedding Traditions vs. Current Practices

Traditionally the Japanese celebrate their wedding in a shrine while wearing gorgeous kimonos and following a procession led by the kannushi (Shinto priest). From the perspective of an outsider, the event looks very sober and yet imposing probably due to the humility and spirituality that emanates from it.

Apr 7, 2020culture
Kodomo no Hi: Children’s Day in Japan

Children’s Day, which is called Kodomo no Hi (こどもの日) in Japanese, is a national holiday in Japan held every year on May 5th to celebrate happy and healthy children and to express gratitude to their mothers.

Mar 17, 2020culture
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.