Nippon.com Staff
  • Nippon.com Staff 
  • By this author: 49 Latest posted: 2017.09.29
The translation and editorial team at Nippon.com. Get in touch with the contact page on this site or through our social media accounts linked at the top and bottom of each page.
Naming the Pandas2017.09.29

A panda cub at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo has been seizing Japanese headlines ever since its birth in June 2017. Amid much fanfare, its name was announced on September 25 as Shan Shan. Or should that be Xiang Xiang? As symbols of Sino-Japanese cooperation, the animals’ names fall into something of a gray area between the two languages. Ueno Zoo now has three pandas. The cub’s mother is Shin Shin and the …
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The Gift Locomotive That Charmed Samurai Japan2017.08.05

Trains have undoubtedly been one of the most transformative technologies in Japan’s history, dramatically changing the landscape of the country and its cities. They have also become much loved as an iconic and reliable form of transportation. The origins of this train fever can be traced back more than 160 years. In July 1853, Yevfimiy Putyatin of the Russian navy made the first demonstration…
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Rice Cooker Pancakes: A Culinary Adventure2017.07.22

The first automatic rice cooker, or suihanki, debuted in Japan back in 1955. Since then, these revolutionary appliances have evolved to crank out an ever-more-perfect bowl of piping hot gohan. Understandably, developers have given precedence to Japan’s glutinous, white staple. Curiosity being what it is, though, a small band of gastronomic buccaneers have succeeded in showing the world that there …
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Poop-Themed Kanji Study Book a Bestseller in Japan2017.04.21

Japan’s latest publishing sensation is a godsend for parents fretting over how to get their children focused on learning kanji. Unko kanji doriru (Poop Kanji Drills) applies a mountain of excrement to the problem with over 3,000 example sentences featuring the word unko (poop). The elementary school student’s fascination with the smelly theme has propelled the six-book series (one for each eleme…
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Five Japanese Albums from the 1970s2017.04.08

Not a top-five list, and not meant to be definitive in any way, but here are five albums that hit Japan’s record stores—and its charts—in the 1970s. Listen and enjoy! Translating roughly as “Windy City Romance,” weather is a theme that runs through several of the tracks on Happy End’s folk rock classic, including “Kaze o atsumete” (Gather the Wind), which featured on the Lost in Translation sou…
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Five Japanese Emperors2017.01.28

Japan’s imperial system extends back through the nation’s recorded history and into legendary prehistory. Emperors rarely ruled directly, but have often been influential in politics. They also play a priestly role in Shintō, and are traditionally considered to descend in a direct line from the sun goddess Amaterasu. Japan’s fabled first-ever emperor founded the country in 660 BC, according …
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2016: The Winning Words2016.12.01

Kamitteru, or “godlike,” topped this year’s finalists to be recognized as the word of the year for 2016. Other selections in the 10-strong finalist pool shed light on the economy, current events, and celebrity romances and scandals that left an impact on Japanese news-watchers—and their vocabularies—over the past year.
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The Words of 20162016.11.18

Once again, the publisher Jiyū Kokumin Sha has selected the nominees for its “Words of the Year” award. Learn about these 30 terms that help to show how the Japanese saw the year that will soon be finished.
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Australian Students Visit Nippon.com as Part of Media and Politics Program2016.11.08

On September 6, Nippon.com was honored to host members of the Australian National University’s inaugural Media and Politics in Japan study tour. ANU Associate Lecturer James Giggacher and nine ANU undergraduate students traveled to Japan on a two-week program to explore how Japanese media engages with national and local political issues. They were joined on the tour by a group from Ritsumeikan Uni…
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Five Japanese Mountains2016.08.11

August 11 this year is the first-ever Mountain Day, Japan’s newest national holiday. Japan is known for its rugged, mountainous terrain—over 70% of the national land is mountains and hills unsuitable for agriculture or city-building. And many of these mountains, including Mount Fuji, a symbol of Japan to people around the globe, are volcanoes. Summer is climbing season, and with the new day off…
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