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ARTS&CULTURE

ARTS&CULTURE May 24, 2019

Wa and the Japanese Reluctance to Say “No”

The simple word wa is perhaps the most important in the Japanese language. It is so important to the nature of Japanese social interaction that it was the original name of the country. Wa means “harmony,” and the maintenance of that harmony is absolutely paramount in all Japanese relations, because the essential nature of social […]

ARTS&CULTURE April 5, 2019

20 Facts On Japanese Culture You Probably Never Knew

Photo by Giuseppe Milo via Flickr Japan’s unique culture is a fascinating blend of old and new. With deeply-rooted customs and a continuously-evolving lifestyle, Japan is both proudly traditional and ultramodern. This is a nation that celebrates its strong cultural identity, from food and everyday etiquette to art and education. Whether you’re planning a trip […]

ARTS&CULTURE January 24, 2019

Japanese Traditions & Celebrations

Photo by Jeff Carpenter via Flickr Japan is home to numerous traditions and celebrations, honoring cultural heritage, family, friends and events throughout the year. From weddings and birth celebrations to numerous matsuri’s, seasonal changes and the ringing in of the new year, Japanese traditions and celebrations are a wonderful way to learn about the culture. […]

ARTS&CULTURE January 18, 2019

Japan’s Beloved Heretic/Saint, Ikkyu

By Bokusai – English Wikipedia, Public Domain, Link Although Japan is a country suffused with rules and traditions meant to instill group harmony, the Japanese have a fascination with outlaws, rule breakers and other iconoclasts. Historically speaking, perhaps the most famous and beloved of these is the 15th-century Zen monk, Ikkyu Sojun, known popularly as […]

ARTS&CULTURE December 28, 2018

Japan’s 20th Century Literary Titans

Photo by Edson Chilundo via Flickr Japan may not be the first country one thinks of when contemplating the novel, but the country has a thriving and influential literary scene, especially when it comes to modern fiction. Radically different authors such as Banana Yoshimoto, Kenzaburo Oe and especially Haruki Murakami, the literary world’s current Japanese […]

ARTS&CULTURE December 12, 2018

Differences to Know Between Japanese Weddings and American Weddings

Photo by Jon Connell via Flickr While Christian-style “white weddings” that are found in western cultures may be becoming more adopted by Japanese couples looking to tie the knot, there still remain many differences between American weddings and their Japanese counterparts. The differences are even more apparent when you look at more traditional Japanese Shinto […]

ARTS&CULTURE November 22, 2018

Japan’s Demographic Time Bomb

Photo by Freedom II Andres via Flickr Underlying Japan’s placid, efficient and affluent surface are some hard realities that do not bode well for the nation in the long run. The economic crisis of the 1990s, combined with the relentless rise of China, has shaken Japan’s dominant economic position in Asia. The economy remains strong, […]

ARTS&CULTURE October 19, 2018

The Great Japanese Empire, 1868-1947

The period after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 is known as the beginning of modernization in Japan; but what occurred during that period went well beyond men adopting Western-style suits and the introduction of streetcars and factories. That’s because many of those factories also quickly went to work building weapons of war, and in the […]

ARTS&CULTURE September 20, 2018

Sento Baths: The Everyday Onsen

By sanmai – Flickr: Modern sento at Takayama, CC BY 2.0, Link The love of a hot bath has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries, in part because of the volcanic nature of the archipelago, which often means hot springs, also in part because of the Japanese love of communal activities, and ultimately […]

ARTS&CULTURE August 22, 2018

The Individual and the Group In Japan

There is an old saying in Japanese which translates as “The nail that protrudes will be hammered down,” and it says much about the place of the individual in Japan’s group-oriented society. All cultures must balance the often-conflicting needs of the individual to be happy, and of the society to function. But in Japan, historically […]