Japanese history

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……

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…

Kintsugi: The Traditional Japanese Craft and Its Important Message

When something is broken, do you immediately throw it away or do you mend it? When it comes to our favorite possessions, we probably repair the broken things and try to make it appear as if an accident never occurred. Many people will use glue, clay, or other molding products to make broken items look…

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.…

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…

Explore the Temples and Shrines of the Ueno Fusion District

Japan is full of rich, historic culture as well as it is a vision of the future. If you are someone who can’t wait to see both sides of Japanese culture you can see both sides in a full day just by walking around a particular area. Ueno, rightly known as the fusion district harmoniously…

The Real Truth Nobody Ever Told You About the Attack on Pearl Harbor

All of us know the story of Pearl Harbor. America was isolationist and wanted nothing to do with the World War II that was raging in Europe. Japan and Germany were working hand in hand to spread throughout their respective spheres of influence. A small part of the Japanese government, knowing that America was their…