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Feathered Anglers: 1,300-Year-Old “Ukai” Fishing Method on Display in Gifu (Japan in Photos)

Cormorant fishermen called ushō exhibit the traditional ukai fishing method along the waters of the Nagaragawa in Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, on May 11, 2017. Manipulating leashed cormorants, the ushō use the birds to catch ayu, or sweetfish, attracted by the glare of fires in small baskets attached to their wooden boats. When a bird surfaces with an ayu, they haul it aboard and force it to disgorg…
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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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Keeping Japan’s Traditional Music Alive: Koto Player Curtis Patterson

Chicago-born Curtis Patterson has lived in Japan since 1986, dedicating himself to the koto, a traditional Japanese instrument something like the harp. In addition to composing and performing music for the koto, he is an avid teacher seeking to boost the dwindling number of koto players.
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Teaware Master Raku Kichizaemon: Heir to a Radical Tradition

For some 450 years the Raku family of potters has maintained a tradition of teaware ceramics epitomizing the wabi-cha aesthetic of the great Sen no Rikyū. We talked to Raku Kichizaemon, the fifteenth grand master of the Raku line, about the complex relationship between tradition and rebellion in his craft.
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The Deep Stillness of a Raku Tea Bowl

Black Raku chawan, or tea bowls, are currently gaining global attention. The founder of the Raku family of potters created this implement at the request of Sen no Rikyū, who elevated the Japanese tea ceremony to entirely new levels of refinement. What is the allure of these tea bowls that crosses national borders? We asked Raku Kichizaemon XV, the current head of the Raku family, about their appeal.
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Five Traditional ToysNippon.com Staff

From Nintendo’s 3DS to Sony’s Playstation 4, Japan is famous for its gaming platforms. However, it also has a rich tradition of conventional toys and games that have been loved by the nation’s children for centuries. Here are five long-term favorites. Japan’s variation on the traditional cup-and-ball game adds complexity through the different ways players can catch the ball, whether in one …
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Nippon Kōdō: Bringing Japan’s Incense Traditions to the WorldKikuchi 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.
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Japan’s 72 Microseasons

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.
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Revival of Japan’s Wild Game CuisineUehara Yoshiko

The mountainous regions of Japan have a long tradition of eating wild game. And in recent years this tradition has been enjoying a revival as more and more restaurants make use of venison and other wild meats. This article takes a look at the past and present of this little known aspect of Japanese cuisine.
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Soaking up the Benefits: Japan’s Hot Springs TraditionMatsuda Tadanori

Japanese people have loved onsen since ancient times for the comfort they bring to mind and body. We introduce the beauty benefits and anti-ageing effects offered by hot springs while examining the relationship between the Japanese people and onsen.
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