History

All about the SHISA Lions of Okinawa-the Stone Guardians of Japan

Off the shores of Kyushu (the third largest island of Japan), there are a number of volcanic islands flowing south-west towards Taiwan. These are named the Ryukyu Islands, also known as the Nansei Islands, but many people simply call them Okinawa because two thirds of them form the Okinawa prefecture of Japan. In the center…

3 Historic Things to see in Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima

Aizuwakamatsu is a city in the centre of Fukushima prefecture, in Tohoku Northern Japan. Once known only as Wakamatsu (meaning young pine), the name of the area changed to Aizuwakamatsu in 1955. Aizuwakamatsu has a rich and long history, being the site of the ancient Mutsu province. This region was said to have been settled…

Things to See and Do in Yokohama: Past, Present & Future

Who knew a small sleepy fishing village of the Edo period would one day become the legendary “Port of Yokohama”? Yokohama is the port that opened Japan to the world about 165 years back when the fleet of US naval warships arrived at the Honshu coast of Japan forcing the end of its long isolation.…

Simple Guide to the Japanese Kimono

Kimono, or literally “the thing to wear” refers to a Japanese traditional outfit. The standard plural of the word kimono in English is “kimonos”, but the unmarked Japanese plural kimono is also sometimes used. A kimono is a t-shaped wrapped garment with long and wide sleeves worn so that the hem falls near to the…

Japanese Tattoos: The Meaning of Irezumi and the Most Popular Japanese Tattoo Motifs

Many people have tattoos that symbolize things that are important to them, such as people, places, or nostalgic memories. Tattoos have different meanings around the world; for example, they have held different significant meanings in various tribes and religions for years. Nowadays, in most western countries, they are considered to be simply personal body art.…

Are We Going to See Mammoths in Our Future?

An exhibit at the Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, here in Odaiba, Tokyo, is suggesting that mammoths may be brought back to life and become part of the world’s future. The mammoth exhibit is currently available until November 4th, 2019, and I would highly recommend you go before it closes! …

The Thought-Provoking Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima

When people think of places in Japan, it’s easy for famous places like Tokyo Tower or Kiyomizu-dera Temple to come to mind. But far to the west of Japan, one of the most important places in the country has been drawing people to it for over 50 years. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, originally built…

Take a Journey Through the History of Japanese Advertising

There is no shortage of museums in the Tokyo area. There is practically a museum for every interest. Being someone who studied journalism and strategic communications, I am really interested in advertising and its history. So, the Ad Museum Tokyo was exactly the museum I have been wanting to see. While it is not the…

Learn about Tanabata, Japan’s Famous Summer Romance Festival!

One of the highlights of living in Japan is the variety of festivals and other special occasions that are celebrated throughout the year. Whether it’s a crisp spring day or a cold winter afternoon, you can reliably find crowds of people flocking to a local shrine. One of the most celebrated festivals in Tanabata, a…