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“Izakaya”Japan Glances

Izakaya are popular places to drop in for a drink and a bite to eat with friends or work colleagues. Shops usually have a casual atmosphere and offer a range of beverages and food.

Money Through the Ages: A Walk Through Japan’s Currency MuseumMuseums Off the Beaten PathJulian Ryall

Money—always a popular subject—is front and center at the Currency Museum, a Bank of Japan facility located near Tokyo Station. Here historically important currency samples from Japan and across East Asia are on display, along with every paper note ever issued by the Bank of Japan. Get your hands on some money with this museum’s interactive displays!

The Return of the Crested IbisRemarkable Recovery: The Modern History of Japan’s EnvironmentIshi Hiroyuki

Kin, Japan’s last crested ibis born in the wild, died in 2003. Her demise did not mean the extinction of the species, however, as researchers in China were successfully breeding other wild crested ibises that they had discovered earlier. This article explores the relationship between the Japanese people and the crested ibis, Nipponia nippon.

Outlaw Appeal: The Yakuza in Film and PrintThe Yakuza Landscape Today

Whether romanticized or realistic, yakuza films have a long history in Japan. Books and manga also help the public explore their enduring fascination with the nation’s gangs.

The Words of 2017This Year in Staff

Jiyū Kokumin Sha, a publisher of language reference texts, has released its highly anticipated nominees for Japan’s “Words of the Year.” Read on to learn the 30 terms and phrases that encapsulate 2017 for the Japanese public.

Hard-Up Yakuza Struggle to Earn a LivingThe Yakuza Landscape Today

Splits in the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s most powerful criminal organization, hint at tough economic times for the yakuza. Government crackdowns have dramatically reduced gangster income, dragging the group down from its once dominant position.

Parasites on Parade: A Tokyo Museum Showcases Our Repulsive CompanionsMuseums Off the Beaten PathJulian Ryall

The Meguro Parasitological Museum is a Tokyo institution focused on the science of parasites. It’s the place to go to learn about tiny skin-dwelling organisms, 9-meter tapeworms, and everything in between.

Timeline for October 2017Japan Timeline

The Liberal Democratic Party wins a landslide victory in the lower house election, Japanese companies reveal improper work practices, and a US military helicopter crashes in Okinawa. These are the major Japan-related stories of October 2017.

Crane on the Rubbish Heap: The Challenges of Continuing ConservationRemarkable Recovery: The Modern History of Japan’s EnvironmentIshi Hiroyuki

Hokkaidō now has the world’s largest population of red-crowned cranes, but this has also created a dilemma. While the birds are no longer endangered, they are proving a menace to farmers who complain that they are destroying their crops. Is there a way for the cranes and human beings to coexist?

Toward Safer Roads for Foreign Rental Car DriversJapan Data

The number of foreigners renting cars in Japan has surged in recent years. With the number of accidents involving foreign drivers increasing in popular tourist destinations, the Japanese government has set its sights on trying to curb car accidents.

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.

Japan’s Emperor and Imperial FamilyJapan Glances

Japan’s imperial family has a long history, shading back into legend. The emperor today has a ceremonial role and performs numerous functions as a symbol of the state.

Dissolving the House of Representatives: A Powerful Political ToolJapan Data

The Japanese constitution gives the prime minister the authority to dissolve the House of Representatives, the more powerful of Japan’s two Diet chambers. It is among the premier’s greatest political powers, seen as a means of bringing pivotal agenda issues to a public vote.

A Thousand Cranes Take FlightRemarkable Recovery: The Modern History of Japan’s EnvironmentIshi Hiroyuki

The red-crowned crane has long been revered in Japan as an auspicious bird. Once the cranes could be found throughout the country, but overhunting in the early years of Japan’s modern era decimated their numbers until they disappeared altogether on the main island of Honshū. Fortunately, extensive conservation efforts have brought back the beloved bird from near extinction. Where at one point there were only 33 red-crowned cranes confirmed in Japan, there are now 1,800.

Fragmented Yamaguchi-gumi a Sign of Changing Yakuza TimesThe Yakuza Landscape Today

Japan’s biggest criminal organization, the Yamaguchi-gumi, has broken up into three groups. While this would once have heralded a likely gang war, tightened legislation has made it difficult for the yakuza to act, preserving a curious balance of power. In this unusual situation, fundamental rules of the yakuza world are crumbling.

Timeline for September 2017Japan Timeline

Prime Minister Abe dissolves the Diet, Tokyo Governor Koike launches a new national party, Princess Mako is informally engaged, and Kiryū Yoshihide runs 100 meters in under 10 seconds. These are the stories that made headlines in September 2017.

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