TRADITIONAL

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Japan: A Tale of Two Teas

High above Tokyo station, I watch, as two ladies from the illustrious Fukujuen Tea House, make tea. One is elegantly dressed in a Fukujuen kimono, while the other dons the black and white style of the West. The teas are wonderfully fresh, the makers clearly love their work, and their attention to detail brings home…
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What To Do and How To Correctly Behave in a Sento 銭湯

While Onsen 温泉 (literally hot source) exist for the pleasure of relaxation and the health benefits of bathing in nutrient-rich water, Sento 銭湯 (public bath) are local establishments mostly used for daily hygiene. Although Sento are less in the spotlight, they still are truly relaxing after a hard day of labor. Anyway, you can notice…
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3 Films About Cherry Blossoms You Cannot Miss This Hanami Season

Japan’s cherry blossom season is a spring of inspiration for film-makers around the world, who capture and interpret this beautiful time of the year in their own style and language. The essence of cherry blossoms is beautifully presented in these 3 films – a documentary on endurance and survival, an animated tale of fleeting joy…

Dogo Onsen Honkan Exhibition: Reborn like a phoenix from the Ashes

One of the most noticeable events at the end of this March is the exhibition of a famous onsen spot called Dogo Onsen Honkan in Ehime Prefecture, Matsuyama City. This exhibition is held on the upper floor of the luxury shopping center Ginza Mitsukoshi, from March 27th to March 31st. Author’s photo   Representing for…

What Do You Know About ‘Tengu’? A Legendary Japanese Creature

The Japanese word “Tengu” comes from the two words, “tian” and “gou,” which translates to “heaven” and “dog,” respectively, thus the name “heavenly dog.” Found in old Japanese folktales, Tengu are considered as a type of god in the Shinto religion but are mostly only thought of as supernatural creatures. Let’s find out more about…

5 Differences Between Yukatas and Kimonos You Didn’t Know About

It is very easy to recognise 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…

Meet Japan’s Seven Good Luck Gods!

The land of the rising sun is home to a number of gods and deities which depict several meanings to the Japanese people and their culture. But there are actually seven popular gods in Japan known as the Shichi Fukujin or the Seven Lucky Gods that represent different types of luck and virtues since the…

Samurai Suicide: Seppuku (Harakiri)

‘Seppuku’ (widely known as ‘Harakiri’ by foreigners) is a Japanese highly ritualized suicide by disembowelment. This ritual is specifically reserved for the samurai, by which they can regain the honour for his family that are left alive, and for him to die in an honourable way. The act of Seppuku itself is not technically a…

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

A young woman looks at her 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 daughter really loves her, but does not…