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Obon: A Summer Festival for Honoring Ancestors

The summer festival of Obon ranks alongside New Year in its importance in the Japanese calendar. It is a time when families get together to honor ancestors and visit their graves. And it is also known for the lively dancing of the bon odori.

Inside Yamazaki Takashi’s Horror Hit “Parasyte”

The manga Kiseijū depicted a battle with creatures that invade the brains of human hosts. Twenty years after its serialization came to an end, it has now been made into a two-part film, Parasyte, by visual effects wizard Yamazaki Takashi. One of the Japanese movie world's most successful directors discusses the manga's world view and appeal that became vital elements of his adaptation.

How Can Anime Build on its Past Success?Sakurai Takamasa

“Anime” has become a common term worldwide among the younger generation raised on Japanese animation and these fans have come to expect a lot from anime produced in Japan. This article looks at the challenges ahead for the anime industry as it seeks to meet those expectations.

Bringing Doraemon to North America: The Challenges of Translating a Classic MangaJames Singleton

Doraemon, a quirky blue robot cat from the future, is one of Japan’s best known and most loved characters. Originally the creation of legendary manga creator Fujiko F. Fujio, Doraemon made his debut in 1970 in a serialized comic. Since then the cat has been firmly embedded in Japan’s cultural psyche. He has his own TV series, stars in movies, and sells an uncountable range of products. Despite thi…

Fluffy Mascots on the Loose in SaitamaMichael Schauerte

Japan is home to an astounding number of promotional mascots, or yuru kyara. In late November a “summit” held in Hanyū, Saitama Prefecture, brought together over 200 mascots, tens of thousands of fans, and one puzzled American trying to make sense of it all.

Celebrating Exactly 100 Years Before Doraemon’s BirthdayYokoyama Yasuyuki

The Doraemon manga has struck a chord with people outside Japan, particularly in Asia. The fictional robotic cat from the future, born in 2112, celebrates his “pre-100th birthday” this year, sparking celebrations worldwide. This article explains some reasons for Doraemon’s long-lasting popularity.

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