TRADITIONAL

1972: Why Did Japan’s Marriage Rates Peak That Year?

Marriage rates in Japan are not great, having declined from 1973 to the mid 80s before seeing an increase that paled in comparison to the numbers seen in the 60s and early 70s. Fast-forward to 2021, and marriage rates in Japan continue to be sluggish for multiple reasons, including how the Japanese working culture and…

The 4 Mythical Beasts Guarding Japan’s Cardinal Directions

When it comes to myths, folklore, and legends, Japan is a country with a lot to offer. From stories based on local traditions up to those derived from foreign influence through cultural assimilation, the country has developed a rich collection of tales that are mirrored in today’s pop culture. View this post on Instagram A…

Do Families Truly Leave Grandparents in Forest So They Can 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…

“Urushi”: the Beautiful Art of Japanese Lacquerware

There are many beautiful and preserved craft techniques in Japan that have withstood the erosion of time and remain precious traditions today. A good example of this would be the handmade kimono, and especially “kuro montsukizome”, the art of applying dark black dye that was almost forgotten but revived by using it with modern clothing.…

New Year’s Day: The Time When Japan Sees Many Hospitalizations and Even Deaths

Inside Tokyo’s luxury hotels the champagne bottles are empty and the canapés are gone. End-of-year parties have come to an end, and a whole new year has officially started. New Year’s Day is a very important national holiday in Japan. It’s a day to relax and enjoy with one’s family, and people likely already prepared…

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,…