history

Ken Domon, the Award-Winning Photographer Who Captured Life After War on Film

Ken Domon was a renowned 20th-century Japanese photographer who drew attention from the world with his images of the Hiroshima bombing aftermath. He independently documented the ordinary life of people which made him a prolific contributor to Japanese magazines. He is also considered to be the pioneer of realism due to his meticulous way of…

Everything You Know About the Samurai Is Wrong?

Many years ago, in high school, I was a total otaku. I loved JRPGs, anime, and most of all samurai. I have always loved the idea of a lonely warrior who can match wits as well as blades. So, naturally I fell in love with anime such as the classic Ruroni Kenshin series, and when…

Why the Russo-Japanese War Is the Most Important War You’ve Never Heard Of

The Russo-Japanese War is one of the most important wars not only in Japanese history but world history. It was a true David vs Goliath type tale of tiny little Japan, who had just recently ended its policy of isolation and the colossus of the Russian Empire! This was one of the first wars of…

W.M. Vories: The Kansas Boy Who Became a Famous Japanese Citizen

If you were to visit the beautiful lakeside town of Omi Hachiman in gorgeous Shiga prefecture, you might notice that much of the architecture is not very Japanese. It might look very different. That is because many residential areas, government buildings, and over 1,000 different buildings and houses were built by an untrained American missionary…

Ahoy, Matey! All You Need to Know About the Awesome Pirates of the Japanese Seas

What image comes to mind when someone says the word “pirate”? You probably think of Jonnie Depp in a crazy costume swinging from the mast of a ship swinging his cutlass and having great adventures in the beautiful Caribbean waters. Our cultural image of pirates has been mostly made up of the romanticized stories of…

Did You Know that Tokyo Station has a Dark History of Assassinations?

Tokyo JR station is located in the Marunouchi business district of Chiyoda, Tokyo, and is one of the busiest stations in the city, always packed with busy businessmen and excited tourists. However, did you know that apart from being the main intercity rail terminal, the station also has a dark history of assassinations behind it?…

Bring Yourself Good Luck With Sekihan, a Traditional and Auspicious Japanese Dish!

While in Japan, you are bound to come across many types of dishes which feature rice along with vegetables, meat or seafood. From the dizzying array of bentos sold at restaurants, shops and train stations to the suite of donburi offerings including oyako-don, yakiniku-don, hitsumabushi, and more, Japan is a country where you will have…

Learn About a Sad Part of History at This Little-Known Museum in Nagasaki

It was during the Obon festival (one of the only decent-length holidays we get all year) when a freak storm cancelled our boat across to Tomioka (and therefore, also our booking at a luxury hotel). Checking into a cheap hostel, we thought our perfect summer break had been cancelled. However, always determined to look on…

All About Obon From Traditional Customs to Exciting Festivals All Over Japan

How much do you know about Japan’s Obon customs? Normally during this period, Japanese people are allowed to take long vacations, and there are festivals in several places throughout the country. If you learn about Obon, its background and how it is celebrated, you’ll definitely learn a lot about Japanese culture. If you are in…