CULTURE

Sep 17, 2020life
Japan’s Special Seasonal Foods

Japan has a rich array of annual events and festivities that are celebrated through the seasons, each with their own special traditions, and each with their own special foods. In this article we are going to look at some of Japan’s most important seasonal foods, and examine their significance.

Aug 27, 2020culture
The Origins of Zen – A Flower and a Smile
When you think of the word Zen, what images spring to mind? Perhaps you might imagine a dry garden of raked sand and rocks, a graceful black circle penned in...
Jul 21, 2020culture
Things the Japanese do that foreigners might find strange

We often say that the Japanese culture is very different from the rest of the world and it sometimes feels like the codes of conduct expected by society are even the complete opposite of what could be applied elsewhere. Here are some of the first situations that you will most likely come across at the beginning of your journey through the world of Japan.

Jun 22, 2020culture
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.