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

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Chopsticks in JapanJapan Glances

Chopsticks are used throughout East and Southeast Asia to gobble down everything from extravagant meals to simple homemade fare. The utensils are an integral aspect of dining in Japan, with a variety of social rules guiding proper usage. While daunting to the uninitiated, hashi are versatile tools for someone with even basic handling skills.

RoppongiJapan Glances

Roppongi is an area of varied appeal with art, nightlife, green spaces, and shopping drawing a wide range of visitors.

Pew Survey Sheds Light on Regional Sentiment in Asia-PacificJapan Data

In September, the Pew Research Center released the finding of its 2015 Global Attitudes Survey exposing a discrepancy in how Japan is viewed by its Asia-Pacific neighbors. While only 12% in China and 25% in South Korea saw Japan favorably, over 70% of other countries in the region had a positive view.

The Words of 2015Japan Staff

The publisher Jiyū Kokumin Sha has selected the nominees for its "Words of the Year" award. Read our introductions to 50 terms that paint a picture of what sort of year 2015 was for Japan.

“Shichi-Go-San”Japan Glances

Shichi-Go-San (literally “seven-five-three”) is a Japanese custom observed on November 15 in which five-year-old boys and three- and seven-year old girls visit shrines to pray for health and prosperity as they grow.

Yano Kōji: The Japanese Actor Who’s Big in ChinaBuilding Bridges Between Japan and China

Actor Yano Kōji is one of the most popular Japanese people in China. After starting his career with repeated roles as Japanese soldiers in World War II dramas, he diversified into other roles and appears regularly on a popular Chinese variety show. Now he plans to return to Japan, but still wants to maintain a link with his Chinese fans.

Imagining the Future of Driving at the Tokyo Motor ShowHappening in Japan

The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show opened on October 29 with 160 companies presenting their competing visions of the future of automobiles. Of the 400 vehicles on display, around a fifth were world premieres.

BonsaiJapan Glances

The miniature landscapes of bonsai are like small worlds. In the latest trend, practitioners are adding new forms of expression to extend this traditional art.

Timeline for October 2015Japan Timeline

Two Japanese scientists win Nobel Prizes, Prime Minister Abe reshuffles his cabinet, and Japan reaches agreement with the other countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Look back on the top Japanese news stories of October 2015.

Savory Snacks from JapanJapan Glances

An introduction to the many kinds of savory snacks in Japan, including potato chips featuring local flavors like soy sauce, seaweed, and pickled plum.

Original Vibration Control Leads to a Series of World FirstsBusinesses Made in Nippon

Matsuda R&D is a small company of 10 employees nestled in a corner of Itabashi, Tokyo, that has continuously developed one-of-a-kind products with its original vibration control technology. Leading the way is company president Matsuda Shinji, 70, who got his start at Honda Motor.

“Wagyū” Branding Marks New Era for Premium-Grade Japanese BeefJapan Data

The marbled, tender wagyū yielded by Japan’s coddled beef cattle has earned an international following of loyal gourmets. Japan’s beef industry faces a mounting challenge, however, from Australian growers, who have built a herd based on wagyū genetics and Japanese growing techniques. Japan’s government has responded by restricting domestic wagyū labeling to meat produced in Japan from specified breeds.

“Takuhai” Delivery ServiceJapan Glances

With a single phone call or trip to a nearby convenience store customers can arrange for a delivery service to pick up their package and deliver it at a specific day and time. Such takuhai services can be used to send a variety of items, including frozen or refrigerated articles as well as large-sized objects, making them an indispensable aspect of life in Japan.

“Shodō” (Japanese Calligraphy)Japan Glances

Practitioners of the traditional art of shodō use brush and ink to shape Japanese kanji and kana. Recently, the contemporary twist of performance in front of an audience has gained the calligraphic art new fans.

Japan’s 72 MicroseasonsJapan Data

In ancient times the Japanese divided their year into 24 periods based on classical Chinese sources. The natural world comes to life in the even more vividly named 72 subdivisions of the traditional Japanese calendar.

“Kyaraben” (Character “Bentōs”)Japan Glances

Bentō makers are livening up lunch by adding cute character designs to box meals. Fueled by media attention and blogging, these character bentōs, or kyaraben, have become a Japanese craze.

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