Japan Glances

Slices of life in Japan. Quick looks at aspects of culture, society, and human relations that help to paint a more detailed picture of the nation.

Japanese Castles

Many castles were built in Japan during the Warring States period (1467–1568), when regional leaders vied for power. Although a large number were destroyed in the centuries that followed, there are still several fine structures to visit today, including those that have been reconstructed.
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Mount Fuji

An introduction to Japan’s iconic mountain that draws visitors from around the world for its main summer climbing season.
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“Kakigōri”

Japanese summer would not be the same without the shaved ice dessert kakigōri. Traditionally incorporating syrup, it may also feature many other ingredients.
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Tatami

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.
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Cosmetics in Japan

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

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.
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“Miai”: Meetings to Arrange Marriages

Until the postwar period, most Japanese weddings were arranged through miai, formal meetings set up by a matchmaker. The practice continues today on a smaller scale, although the meetings are now typically arranged by specialist businesses.
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Japanese Dialects

Japan has a wide variety of distinctive regional dialects. While the spread of standard Japanese, referred to as hyōjungo, has made it easier for people from different areas to communicate, many feel that local vernaculars convey greater warmth and friendliness.
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Nail Salons in Japan

Japan’s nail salons are popular with international visitors who wish to experience local styles. Nail art in Japan, more flamboyant than in the West, can include 3D decorations and anime characters in the design.
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“Purikura”: Photos with Friends

Purikura booths are places to take photos with friends or family members. Users can apply the latest technologies to make creative adjustments and improvements.
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