TRADITIONAL

The Top 5 Most Interesting Japanese Traditions That Never Grow Old

Being a country known to uphold heritage and tradition, it is not surprising to witness tons of events in Japan meant to honor a religious deity or commemorate a historical event. Over the years, many annual celebrations have attracted the attention of both local and international guests for their sheer grandeur. Here are five of…

The Top 5 Traditional Japanese Fashions You Can Still See in the Streets Today

As much as Japan is a popular country for its pioneering in technological advancements, it is also a country that greatly values its heritage and tradition. In fact, a lot of Japan’s annual festivals, celebrations and present-day practices can be attributed to customs from centuries ago, which are, these days, updated thanks to recent technologies.…

Learn How You Can Become a Samurai and Study the Art of the Perfect Cut

“Samurai” as a concept has been one of Japan’s hottest exports in last few decades. The rise in the popularity of anime, martial arts, and anything Japanese in the West has piqued the interest of younger generations in a way that other cultural imports haven’t been able to match. For many Japanophiles, their interest extends…

How Significant Are Karakuri Puppets in Japan’s Robotic Industry Today?

Japan is known for its deep passion for robots. Though this may seem strange to outsiders, this fascination is nothing new. One of these robots is a traditional mechanized puppet known as “Karakuri Ningyo (からくり人形)” or Japan’s clockwork puppets. Their history is deeply rooted in the interaction between Western technology and Eastern philosophy to the…

What Is This Traditional Japanese Form of Poetry Called “Shigin”?

Shigin (詩吟) is a form of art in which a person recites a Japanese or Chinese poem in the Japanese language by chanting. This is done in front of a large audience, a few friends, or even to one’s self. It has a rich history and is often practiced by the elderly rather than the…

The Ninja Crisis: What Is the Reason Behind the Shortage of Ninja in Japan?

Ninja (忍者) is one of the famous images that represents Japan. They are known to many as agents who specialized in espionage and infiltration during the olden days of Japan. So much so that it is even portrayed in popular culture in the West like in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the G.I. Joe series, and…

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…

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…

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…

Do You Know This Traditional Japanese Art of Braiding Shown in ‘Your Name’?

Your Name (君の名は。) is now officially the highest-grossing anime film of all time. The continuous popularity and success of Makoto Shinkai’s (新海誠) soul-swapping, gender-bender fantasy movie inspired the creation of exclusively designed bus and travel tours, a limited themed cafe, and even a fancy jewelry line. The movie’s universal theme of love and longing touched…
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