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ARTS&CULTURE

ARTS&CULTURE April 19, 2018

LGBT Weddings in Japan

Photo by specchio.nero via Flickr As in virtually every culture in the world, weddings are fundamental in Japan. They are also big business, as the bridal industry in Japan is estimated to generate roughly $25 billion a year. This enormous industry is dedicated to making sure that every detail of the perfect wedding is done […]

ARTS&CULTURE March 16, 2018

Japanese Cultural Values and How to Fit in as a Foreign Traveller

It is always important to adhere to the customs and values of the country you are visiting, and this is especially true when visiting Japan. Unlike many other western cultures which are a melting pot of ethnicities, Japan’s population consists of mostly ethnic Japanese. In homologous societies such as this, it becomes more expected that […]

ARTS&CULTURE February 21, 2018

A Short History of Karaoke in Japan

Of all the forms of contemporary Japanese entertainment that have reached international audiences, perhaps the most unique, and surely the most ubiquitous, is karaoke. The word is a portmanteau of shortened versions of the words for empty (kara) and orchestra (oke), creating karaoke, or “empty orchestra.” This poetic phrase well describes what are simply music […]

ARTS&CULTURE January 11, 2018

14 Japanese Authors You Should Know (And The Books You Need To Read)

Often dark but full of humor and valuable life lessons, Japanese literature has a long history of producing entertaining as well as intellectually stimulating authors. Here are 14 Japanese authors and some of their most notable works that are definitely worth a read. 14 Japanese Authors You Should Know (And The Books You Need To […]

ARTS&CULTURE December 14, 2017

A Brief History of the Tokugawa Shogunate

Public Domain, Link For the country’s entire history, even its prehistory, the official supreme ruler of Japan has been the hereditary head of the Imperial Family, usually the Emperor (or rarely, Empress). But the men wielding actual political and military power in Japan were not royals. The most famous leaders of Japan were the shogun […]

ARTS&CULTURE September 20, 2017

The Timeless Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints

Even those unfamiliar with various styles of woodblock printing from around the world, let alone Japan, are likely to be familiar with what is perhaps the most famous woodblock print in the world: Kanagawa-oki nami ura (The Great Wave Off Kanagawa), by ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. Created sometime between 1829-33, the print depicts what is thought […]

ARTS&CULTURE August 17, 2017

How Art Transformed This Island Into A Unique Must-Visit

Photo by cotaro70s There are a number of open-air art museums in the world, places where large works stand amid the elements, often situated harmoniously in the environment so that each is elevated by the other. And then there is Japan’s Naoshima Island. One of the roughly 3,000 islands located in the Seto Inland Sea […]

ARTS&CULTURE June 29, 2017

Six Japanese Martial Arts You Should Know

Although the popular imagination tends to focus on judo, karate and perhaps sumo as Japan’s key martial arts, the country is home to a staggering variety of these ritualized combat skills. Developed for the battlefield over the centuries by samurai and ninja, these days, Japanese martial arts – known by the umbrella term bujutsu, or […]

ARTS&CULTURE June 28, 2017

9 Museums You Must Visit Outside Tokyo

Japan is home to a large array of museums catering to nearly every possible taste, from enormous Tokyo collections of art and ancient artifacts to specialty museums all over the country honoring everything from bonsai to beer, natural disasters to instant ramen, kites to socks…there’s even a museum dedicated to artwork created out of sand. […]