Shorter pieces shedding light on the creativity underlying Japanese culture and technology and on lives and lifestyles in Japan.
- The Pastimes That People Love
Life isn’t just about working—the Japanese are serious about playing, too. This section offers a look at people who are hooked on their hobbies. Here you’ll find dazzling portraits of men, women, and children pouring themselves passionately into their interests outside the workplace or school.
- Matsuri Days (1): A Guide to Asakusa and the Sanja Matsuri
With its well-preserved traditional culture, Asakusa is one of Tokyo’s biggest tourist draws. No event attracts more visitors than the Sanja Matsuri, a 700-year-old festival that draws 1.5 million people to the narrow streets of the old quarter each May. We look at what makes Asakusa and its famous festival special.
Asakusa Samba Carnival’s Dance Extravaganza (Video)
The Sanja Matsuri: Tokyo’s Most Raucous Festival (Video)
The Sanja Matsuri in Six Key Words
Strolling Around Old Tokyo
Experiencing the Sanja Matsuri
Japanese Festivals and the Annual Cycle of Life
Unlocking the Secrets of the Sanja Matsuri
- The Tokusatsu Entertainment Genre that Godzilla Spawned
Godzilla first appeared on the big screen 60 years ago, with the release of the 1954 film of the same title. This anniversary coincides with the 2014 release of a popular new Hollywood film also titled Godzilla. In this series, we take a closer look at the so-called tokusatsu style of special effects that Godzilla spawned as well as the movies and TV series that emerged in the six decades that followed, while also speculating on what the future might hold for this genre.
“Attack on Titan” Invades Movie Theaters: An Interview with Director Higuchi Shinji
(Video) Godzilla’s Second Tour of Duty
Being Godzilla: An Interview with Nakajima Haruo, the Man Inside the Suit
Godzilla’s Analog Mayhem and the Japanese Special Effects Tradition
- Cooking Up Enjoyment
Delicious food has always been a source of joy. When people gather around an exquisitely prepared meal, it leads to new encounters and shared pleasure. This series looks at some of the culinary ways Japanese people are connecting with the outside world.
Revival of Japan’s Wild Game Cuisine
Five Weeks in Tokyo: The World’s Best Restaurant’s Japanese Adventure
The Endangered Appeal of Japanese Eel
The Rise of Ramen: How “Chinese Noodles” Became a Japanese Favorite
“Edomae” Sushi: A Fast Food with a Long Tradition
Sushi Chef Aoki Toshikatsu: At the Crossroads of Tradition and Innovation
Women Uncorking Wine’s Potential in Japan
Tying the Cultural Knot in the Kitchen: Japanese-Peruvian Cuisine
World’s Top Chefs Work Wonders with Japanese Ingredients
- Japan's Hot-Spring Tradition
Japan is a paradise for hot-spring lovers, with over 3,000 “onsen” locations nationwide. For centuries, Japanese have loved hot-spring baths. This way of relaxing mind and body remains as popular as ever in Japan today and is also attracting more and more foreign tourists. In this series we take a multifaceted look at the charms of “onsen” in Japan.
- Four Years After 3/11: The State of Sanriku Today
The March 11, 2011, megaquake generated tsunami that brought destruction to the entire length of the Sanriku coast, stretching from Aomori Prefecture in the north down through Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. Even before the disaster, the hard-to-access communities here were watching their populations and economic vigor dwindle, with little industry beyond fishing to depend on—making 3/11 a massive shock to an already shaky regional society. Four years on, the rubble has been cleared away, but in many Sanriku communities all that remains is empty land.
- Matsuri Days (6): The Awa Odori and Shikoku
Away from the bustling metropolises, Japan's fourth largest island, Shikoku, has its own charms. In this feature we discover its people, natural beauty, and traditional arts and festivals.
- Matsuri Days (5): Sapporo Snow Festival
Hokkaidō, Japan’s northernmost main island, sees bitterly cold winters and plenty of snow each year. The main city of Sapporo makes the most of this with its annual Snow Festival, which has grown since 1950 into a major draw for tourists and festival participants from throughout Japan and all around the world.
Snow Sculpture Contest: Carving Out International Goodwill at the Sapporo Snow Festival
Sapporo Snow Festival: From Humble Beginnings to Global Fame
The Sapporo Snow Festival Heats Up Winter in Hokkaidō (Video)
- Japan’s Holy Places
The ancient belief in a myriad of native deities resident in the mountains, seas, and trees fostered the earliest sacred sites in Japan. These were added to over the centuries by significant locations in the imported faith of Buddhism. This feature explores Japan’s holy places.
- Contemporary Culture Going Global
Japan’s pop culture is making inroads in overseas populations and product markets and populations. As seen in this section, this is often on the strength of its creators’ dedication to careful craftsmanship, rather than due to a calculated global marketing strategy.
Farewell, Naruto: The Curtain Closes on the World’s Best-Loved Ninja
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s J-Pop “Kawaii” in Paris
Manga Artist Brings Bushidō Spirit to France
French Manga Fans Inspire the Work of Tsutsui Tetsuya
“Anime” and “Manga” Take Root in China
Decoding the Charm of Japanese Video Games (Part Two)
A Soccer Hero Adored Around the World
Decoding the Charm of Japanese Video Games (Part One)
Lasting Popularity for a Tough Watch
If It’s Not “Kawaii,” How Can It Be Smart?
Rokkaku Ayako: An Artist with the World at Her Fingertips