Browsing Tag

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 […]

EXPERIENCE April 20, 2019

Irezumi, the Art of Japanese Tattooing

Photo by L’oeil étranger via Flickr   Of its many artistic traditions, perhaps the one the Japanese are most conflicted about is irezumi, or the art of tattooing. Dating back to the pre-historic Jomon period (roughly 5,000 BCE), the art of irezumi – which literally means “injecting ink (zumi)” – has a long and complicated […]

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 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 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 […]

ARTS&CULTURE June 20, 2018

The Ubiquitous Power of Shikata

Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr The Japanese word shikata is often translated to mean “shape” or “form,” or in other translations, “way of doing things.” Familiar book titles such as The Way of Zen or The Way of the Samurai, touch on this. But in Japan, numerous kata – the word used for […]

ARTS&CULTURE May 19, 2018

Bowing In Japan – A Basic Formality

Bowing is a fundamental human motion, a way of paying respect that has had expressions in nearly every culture in the world. While it has largely disappeared in Europe and was never common in the Americas – but where entertainers still bow to their audience – it remains widely used in Asia. Nowhere, however, is […]