History

Ohaguro: Why Did the Japanese Dye Their Teeth Black?

The unique practice of ohaguro is a very traditional dyeing process in Japan whereby teeth are dyed black. Of course, this practice has all but died out now, and nowadays people both in Japan and around the world wish for the whitest teeth they can get. Teeth whitening is a normal process and an increasingly…

Experience authentic Japanese culture and lifestyle at wanoi KAKUNODATE, Akita

The town of Kakunodate, also known as Little Kyoto, is full of charming historical samurai residence streets which have been preserved since the Edo period. It takes about 3 hours by train to reach this town, from Tokyo station with the JR Akita Shinkansen Komachi train. Located here in the charming Kakunodate, wanoi KAKUNODATE is…

All-Time Famous Japanese Writers You Should Know

by Zoria Petkoska Japan’s literary tradition stretches centuries back to the “Tale of Genji” (Genji Monogatari), the first Japanese novel, published in the early 11th century. Written by Murasaki Shikibu, it also shows women writers have been the pioneers of literature in Japan, elevating the Japanese language in the process. In those times, classical Chinese…

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! …