Browsing Tag


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 […]

TRAVEL August 16, 2016

11 Things to Remember When Visiting a Shrine or Temple

Unless you are going to spend all your time in Japan shopping, eating and drinking – and we could hardly blame you – Japan is one of the great cultures of the world when it comes to religious, or spiritual, expression. Much Japanese art and architecture is devoted to spiritual matters, and the country is […]

ARTS&CULTURE July 26, 2016

How to Conquer Seiza, the Foreigner’s Nightmare

Sure, you want to fit in with Japanese culture, and you have made the effort: You’ve learned about how to handle chopsticks, and especially what to not do; you’ve studied the various ways you should and shouldn’t behave in shrines and temples; you’ve even learned enough Japanese phrases to show that you’re making an effort. […]

FOOD&DRINK April 26, 2016

10 Japanese Table Manners You Must Know

There are few places offering greater opportunities to violate local customs that at the dining table. Nowhere else do such clear rules come in conflict with such a basic need: we are, after all, hungry. So here are ten tips for gaijin – things to do as well as things not to do – while […]