TRADITIONAL

What’s Omiai? – Japan’s Take On Arranged Marriages

Arranged marriage is a practice which is both controversial and a historically significant societal function. Not so long ago, arranged marriage was very common in all parts of the world. Marriage was more of a contract than anything else, and was common and expected among all classes and cultures. Marriages up until around the 18th…

Learn All About the ”Legendary Toilet Ninja”: Ukifune Jinnai!

Let’s face it: ninjas are totally awesome! Japanese history is replete of the epic exploits of legendary ninjas throughout the ages. Names like Hattori Hanzo, Goemon, and other famous ninjas are well known throughout the world. But there is one ninja who might be more awesome than any other for sheer audacity, cunning, and smell……

Engimono: 11 Popular Japanese Good Luck Charms for Your Home

Luck. That single word has come to define what many individuals, groups, and cultures want. There are expressions to wish good luck upon someone, and phrases that attribute one’s achievements to luck. Essentially, people want good luck, and multiple countries and cultures will regard certain items as charms that will bring good fortune to those…

Do You Have the Masukake Line? Here’s What the Japanese Say it Means!

Palmistry is an ancient practice that was present in many civilizations throughout history, from Persia to Babylonia. To this date, many people hold a firm belief in fortune teller, and Japan is not exception. If one strolls places like the areas around Shinjuku Station at night, they will likely several palm readers’ booths. In Japan,…

What Are The Differences Between Yukata and Kimono?

It is very easy to recognize the traditional Japanese clothing of the yukata and kimono when you see one, they are very distinct garments. However, many people will not be aware of the difference between the two. The origin of the Japanese kimono is from the Chinese traditional Han clothing, although an apron was still…

Homestay In Japan: Lessons From A Japanese Host Mother

I’m a mother of a 4 year-old boy and registered to Homestay in Japan, the biggest company that supports foreign students and travelers’ homestay accommodations. I have hosted more than ten students from around the world, and this is my experience as a host mother. Here are some tips to keep in mind when staying…

Great Japanese Arts and Crafts to Try at Home

Not everyone has the years to dedicate to learn how to take care of bonsai trees (that sometimes live for centuries and are passed on from generation to generation), but there are other Japanese arts and crafts that you can try at home. Simple, cheap materials and very often you can improvise. There are tons…

Are Old People Being Dumped in Forests and Left to Die?

A young man looks at his mother. The frail, old woman can no longer walk long distances and usually spends her days inside the house with the family. Her hair has turned white, and the foggy mist in her eyes indicates that she is losing her vision. Her son really loves her, but does not…

Kintsugi: The Traditional Japanese Craft and Its Important Message

When something is broken, do you immediately throw it away or do you mend it? When it comes to our favorite possessions, we probably repair the broken things and try to make it appear as if an accident never occurred. Many people will use glue, clay, or other molding products to make broken items look…