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Traditional Japanese HousesJapan Glances

The influence of Western-style housing has been significant in Japan, but many traditional elements remain.

Tokyo Art Museum Recognized in UNESCO List: An Overview of World Heritage Sites in JapanJapan Data

The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo has been recognized by UNESCO as the country’s latest World Heritage site, gaining the designation as part of an international collection of architectural works by Le Corbusier. It is the twentieth place in Japan to be added to the prestigious list.

Kimono and “Yukata”Japan Glances

Traditional Japanese kimono span a wide variety of styles and types, ranging from formal attire for weddings and other ceremonies to casual summer yukata worn at festivals and as nightwear. While the time and technique required to properly don kimono largely consign them to special occasions, the mystique of Japan’s traditional wear continues to assure its popular appeal.

Landslide Victory for LDP in 2016 Upper House ElectionJapan Data

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Kōmeitō won comfortably in the House of Councillors election on July 10, 2016. The LDP nonetheless ended one seat short of its first simple majority in 27 years.

“Washi” (Japanese Paper)Japan Glances

Washi, or handmade Japanese paper, is still produced in every part of Japan. In 2014, UNESCO inscribed three of the most important washi traditions in its list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Iriya Morning Glory Festival: Summer Flowers in TokyoHappening in Japan

For three days in July, visitors gather at a north Tokyo temple to enjoy a wide variety of morning glories.

“Hanko” and “Inkan”: Japanese Stamps and Personal SealsJapan Glances

Small, circular or square seals dipped in red ink are used instead of a signature on many documents in Japan, ranging from simple delivery slips to official forms such as bank applications and marriage registrations.

Timeline for June 2016Japan Timeline

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō postpones the consumption tax hike, Tokyo Governor Masuzoe Yōichi resigns, and campaigning begins for the House of Councillors election. Look back at the main stories of June 2016.

Nippon Kōdō: Bringing Japan’s Incense Traditions to the WorldBusinesses Made in NipponKikuchi Masanori

Incense arrived in Japan together with Buddhism in the sixth century. The first professional incense masters were working in the sixteenth century, and incense in Japan has followed a distinctive path from religious ceremonies to connoisseurship and simple enjoyment. Today the country’s biggest incense maker is using an array of new services to increase its international appeal and ensure a brighter, more global future for Japanese incense.

Pope Calls for Committed Fight against Hansen’s DiseasePromoting Inclusion of People with Hansen’s Disease

Pope Francis led a large open-air mass at Saint Peter’s Square on June 12 and, making a special reference to people affected by Hansen’s disease, called for a “fruitful commitment” in the fight against the disease.

Toward a Stigma-Free WorldPromoting Inclusion of People with Hansen’s Disease

An international symposium on Hansen’s disease—also called leprosy—was held at the Vatican in June and attracted some 250 participants from 45 countries. Medical practitioners, recovered patients, and religious leaders discussed the efforts needed to end discrimination and announced their recommendations on ways to restore the dignity of people affected by the disease.

The Japanese ClimateJapan Glances

From subarctic Hokkaidō to subtropical Okinawa, Japan’s climate varies greatly by region.

Party Leaders Debate Ahead of July 2016 House of Councillors ElectionJapan Data

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and other Japanese party leaders took part in a debate on June 21, 2016. The Constitution, the economy, and other key issues are likely to dominate discussion during campaigning for the July 10 House of Councillors election.

Japan Glances IndexJapan Glances

Discover Japan by picking a theme from the list below and exploring the related topics. Each short overview is illustrated with colorful photographs.

HarajukuJapan Glances

Known as Japan’s youth and street-fashion center, Harajuku has become the epicenter of kawaii culture. The area also is home to the heavily wooded Meiji Shrine and boasts a wide selection of eateries catering to both young and old.

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