Why Are Buddhist Monks in Japan Allowed to Get Married?

Not only are Buddhist monks in Japan allowed to get married and have children, they are also allowed to eat meat and consume alcohol. However, these only apply to some of them. Monks who have vowed to be celibate are not allowed to do the aforementioned things, whereas monks who have not vowed to be…

Watch These 4 Comedies from the Director of ‘Gintama’ and ‘Saiki K.’ Live-Action

Two of the most anticipated live-action adaptations for 2017 are the comedies Gintama (銀魂), starring Oguri Shun (小栗旬), and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (斉木楠雄のサイ難), starring Yamazaki Kento (山崎賢人), both of which are directed by Yuichi Fukuda (福田雄一). Both films have just released their respective trailers and the actors’ popularity certainly raises viewers’ expectations.…

Meet the Japanese Designer Behind Kaneki Ken’s Iconic Ghoul Mask

A 30-second trailer for Tokyo Ghoul’s (東京喰種トーキョーグール) live-action adaptation has been released. The movie is directed by Kentaro Hagiwara (萩原健太郎). The trailer introduces its main characters including Masataka Kubota (窪田正孝) as the human-turned-half-ghoul protagonist Kaneki Ken (金木研), Fumika Shimizu (清水富美加) as Toka Kirishima (霧嶋董香), Yu Aoi (蒼井優) as Rize Kamishiro (神代利世), Nobuyuki Suzuki (鈴木伸之) as…

A Beginner’s Guide to the Japanese Martial Art of Kendo

Have you ever heard of kendo (剣道)? It’s a type of Japanese martial arts. A kendo player wears armor and fights with a bamboo stick called “shinai (竹刀).” By hitting your opponent in the right place with the shinai, you will gain a point. There are four parts of the body that you should aim…

A Whole Island for Cats in Japan? Find Out About the Proposed “Kitty Paradise”

Cats are adorable creatures. You can find them anywhere across Japan. Some of them belong to families and cat cafes, while others just stray. When a feline cannot find a home, sometimes they are euthanized. To prevent this from happening, Neco Republic (ネコリパブリック), a cat cafe, tries to save these homeless felines and gives them…

How Many of These 5 Facts About Japanese Hot Springs Do You Know?

Have you ever experienced bathing in a hot spring or onsen (温泉) in Japan? In the summer of 2016, I took my European husband to an onsen ryokan (温泉旅館), a Japanese-style hotel with hot springs. Apparently, his expectations were hugely betrayed in many ways. He had heard about onsen many times before but imagined something…

5 Awesome “Shoujo” Manga and Where to Buy Them if You’re Outside Japan!

If you read manga (漫画), or Japanese comics, then you probably already know what shoujo (少女) manga is. But for those that are new to it, it is a category for readership or circulation that is aimed at teenage girls – this is directly evident in the word “shoujo” which means “little girl” or “young…

Would You Like to Live in This Tiny House? The MUJI Hut Is Now for Sale in Japan!

MUJI (無印良品) is popular for its minimalist products. They are known for focusing on sleek designs – from stationery to furniture. And now, they have expanded into building actual homes that adhere to the concept of minimalism. These are tiny homes called the “MUJI Hut (ムジハット).” It can be placed anywhere you’d like to live;…

Kamenashi Kazuya and Yamashita Tomohisa’s Tandem Is Back for a New Song and Drama!

It’s been 12 years since Nobuta wo Produce (野ブタ。をプロデュース) aired. It is a drama that centers around shy high school student, Nobuko Kotani (小谷信子), with her friends Shuji Kiritani (桐谷修二) and Akira Kusano (草野彰) who work together in their attempts to make Kotani more appealing and popular. The drama stars Horikita Maki (堀北真希), Kamenashi Kazuya…

The Mythical Couple Who Gave Birth to Japan’s 800+ Shinto Deities

Approximately 90% of the Japanese population are followers of Shintoism (神道), Buddhism (仏教) or both. This can be attributed to the high regards paid by the Japanese towards their ethnic origins as well as the value they put on ancient traditions. Shintoism, in particular, has been popular both in traditional and pop culture thanks to…
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