Shorter pieces shedding light on the creativity underlying Japanese culture and technology and on lives and lifestyles in Japan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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
- The Story of Japanese Whisky
Japan has been producing whisky for nearly a century, and in that time it has made great strides, with many brands now boasting an internationally recognized level of quality. Discover the history of this celebrated amber liquid in Japan and the people who have helped nurture it to its current high standard.
- Discovering “Nōgaku”: The Blossoming of Tradition
Nōgaku is a multifaceted art form that incorporates elements of theater, music, dance, literature, and costume design. This series will examine this ancient theatrical tradition from a number of different angles to help readers gain a better appreciation of its artistic treasures.
- 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.
- “Cool Traditions” Stay in Tune with Modern Life
Traditional art forms and aesthetics can be infused with new creativity as they are passed along from generation to generation. This series looks at some of these “cool traditions” that remain relevant by perfectly suiting contemporary sensibilities.
Fireworks by “Hanabishi” Masters Blossom in the Night Sky
Modern-day Artisans Carry On the “Ukiyo-e” Tradition
Glorious Fireworks Color the Autumn Sky
Ukiyo-e Prints Reflect the Popular Culture of Edo
Ōmagari Fireworks Bedazzle the World
Shunga: Japanese Erotic Art Takes London by Storm
Mining the Past for New Gold: Artist Yamaguchi Akira
Bonsai: Nature in the Palm of Your Hand
- Matsuri Days (4): Gion Festival and Kyoto
Japan’s former capital Kyoto plays host to numerous well-known festivals that attract tourists to the area, including the Aoi Festival, the Jidai Festival, and the Gozan no Okuribi. But Japan’s biggest summer festival, the month-long Gion Festival, is probably the most famous of them all.