Comprehensive series of articles on themes too broad or complex to be addressed in a single post.

Feature series

Latest articles

Mount Fuji and the Sumida River: Japan’s Reviving EnvironmentRemarkable Recovery: The Modern History of Japan’s EnvironmentIshi Hiroyuki

The author launched his career as a science journalist at a newspaper just when Japan was entering an era of heavy industrial pollution. His investigations of domestic pollution soon expanded to environmental research in 130 countries. After years of reporting on degradation around the world, the author has turned his attention back to Japan in this new series.

Sacred Island Selected for UNESCO List: An Overview of World Heritage Sites in JapanJapan Data

The Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region has been registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. It is the twenty-first Japanese location to be added to the prestigious list.

TatamiJapan Glances

Tatami flooring is seen in many traditional Japanese spaces, including rooms, inns, restaurants, temples, and tearooms. Whether made with rice straw and rush grass or more modern substitutes, it contributes to a classic Japanese atmosphere.

Timeline for June 2017Japan Timeline

Abdication and anticonspiracy legislation is passed and shōgi prodigy Fujii Sōta sets a new record for consecutive victories. These were Japan’s leading stories in June 2017.

Books for Studying JapaneseJapan Data

These courses, reference works, and workbooks offer assistance on the journey to Japanese proficiency.

People’s Honor Award RecipientsJapan Data

The Japanese prime minister presents the People’s Honor Award in recognition of the accomplishments of individuals in sport, entertainment, and other fields. Established in 1977, the award has gone to 24 recipients so far.

Cosmetics in JapanJapan Glances

Japanese cosmetics span new and traditional varieties. The wide choice of beauty products also continues to adapt to meet the evolving needs of users.

Museum of the Fallen Art Students: A Tribute to Dreams Cut ShortThe War and Its Aftermath

The student mobilization of 1943 sent thousands of young men off to die in the war effort, including many aspiring painters. In 1997, a Tokyo entrepreneur built a museum to preserve and display the works of those fallen art students. We traveled to Ueda in Nagano Prefecture to visit the Mugonkan on the eve of its twentieth anniversary and talk to 75-year-old founder and director Kuboshima Seiichirō.

New Ways to Play: The 2017 International Tokyo Toy Show (Videos)Happening in Japan

The Licca-chan doll, still going strong at 50, and other hit toys presented on video.

2017 International Tokyo Toy Show (Photo Gallery)Happening in Japan

Battling tops, knitting made easy, and Anpanman-themed goods are among toys featured at the 2017 International Tokyo Toy Show. Some 35,000 toys will be on display during the first weekend of June.

Timeline for May 2017Japan Timeline

Princess Mako’s engagement is announced, Prime Minister Abe faces scrutiny over accusations of using his influence inappropriately, and anticonspiracy legislation makes it through the lower house. These are the top Japanese news stories of May 2017.

Embracing Each New Day: Marriage, Japanese-Egyptian StyleSketches of International Marriage

For our third installment on international marriage, we visit a Japanese and Egyptian couple living with their four children in Chiba Prefecture. Over nearly 15 years of marriage the pair, joined together in Islamic faith, have overcome language and culture differences and fled regional turmoil while working to build a bright future for their family.

NinjaJapan Glances

Ninja are famous as masters of spycraft, but their image has been much embellished over the years. The real ninja were mainly active during the tumultuous fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, acting as scouts in battles between feudal lords.

Timeline for April 2017Japan Timeline

Imamura Masahiro resigns as minister for reconstruction, the abdication advisory panel presents its final report, and Asada Mao retires from figure skating. These are the leading news stories from April 2017.

Our “Silver” FutureAging in Japan and Across Asia

Japan’s postwar “economic miracle” from 1954 through 1973 became a model for economic growth that many developing countries around the world sought to emulate. In the latter half of the 1990s, though—after Japan’s asset bubble burst—the country entered a deflationary period that it is still struggling to overcome, with other industrial countries nervously hoping to avoid the same fate. Japan now finds itself at the forefront of a global demographic shift toward falling birthrates and population aging, and the countries confronting similar trends are watching how Japan deals with the challenges. The final installment in this series examines the unprecedented aging of the global population and what the future portends.

Japan’s Birthrate Drops Below 1 MillionJapan Data

The Japanese population shrank again in 2016, as the number of births fell below one million for the first time since statistics were first compiled. This article examines the year's demographic data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Video highlights

New series

  • From our columnists
  • In the news