Shorter pieces shedding light on the creativity underlying Japanese culture and technology and on lives and lifestyles in Japan.

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Customs and Manners Japanese Style

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the offing, some in Japan have begun worrying that behaviors taken for granted here could rub foreign visitors the wrong way. In this series, we introduce and explain some of the cultural norms and customs that outsiders might find surprising, perplexing, and possibly even disconcerting.

A Cultural History of Noodle Slurping

“Cool Traditions” Stay in Tune with Modern Life

Zen Comics: Wisdom Through Manga

In the chaos of contemporary society, simple words can help to anchor us. These manga articles offer up the wisdom of Zen phrases with a light touch.

A Path to Peace: Knowing Enough Is Enough
The Language of Zen: Words for a World of Change

Manga and Anime in Japan Today

Japan's manga and anime creators are increasingly finding a global audience for their works. Here we examine the rising stars of these creative industries, along with the masters of the past whose work continues to influence the output of artists today and fire the imaginations of the artists of tomorrow.

Deciphering the Universality of Oshii Mamoru’s “Ghost in the Shell”
A Treasure Trove of Early Japanese Animation
Frederik Schodt’s Four Decades as a Manga Ambassador to the World
The Independent Vision of Anime Filmmaker Shinkai Makoto
The Classic Storytelling of Anime Director Hosoda Mamoru

The World of Zen

From its beginnings in ancient India to its efflorescence in medieval Japan and its latest Western incarnation as "mindfulness meditation," Zen Buddhism has had a profound and wide-ranging impact on human culture and spirituality. This series examines Zen's global journey, the meaning of satori (enlightenment), and the rise of meditation as an aid to psychological well-being in our age of chaos, confusion, and information overload.

Meditation and Neuroscience: New Wave of Breakthroughs in Research on Meditative Practices
Zen and Politics: The Counsel of Yamamoto Genpō
The Roots of Mindfulness: Hakuin Ekaku and the Art of Zen
Steve Jobs and the Rediscovery of Zen

Shodō: The Art of Calligraphy

Calligraphy began as a means of transcribing kanji—characters imported from China—using ink and brush. Today, shodō has evolved into an art form that not only conveys information but also serves as an eloquent medium of personal expression.

A Room of Her Own: Kanazawa Shōko (Video)
At Home With Calligrapher Kanazawa Shōko: Down Syndrome and Independence
Strokes of Purity: Kanazawa Shōko (Video)
Kanazawa Shōko: Woman with Down Syndrome Becomes Top Calligrapher

Photo City Tokyo

When it comes to great cities for photography, Tokyo ranks alongside New York and Paris. Japan's capital is Asia's top location in terms of the availability of photography-related information, with hundreds of collections being printed each year and a dazzling array of galleries and specialty stores for the photo lover. In this series we explore Tokyo through its photo culture.

Photogenic Places to Visit: Megutama, the Photography Book Café
Talking About Japan’s Photo Culture with Photography Critic Iizawa Kōtarō

Japan’s Popular Tourist Destinations

Japan has tourist spots appealing to many different kinds of visitor, whether they are looking for natural beauty, historical sites, contemporary architecture and shops, or the latest attractions. This series takes you to some of the most interesting places around Japan.

Inns and Outs: Five “Ryokan” in Tokyo
Mount Takao: A Natural Treasure Nestled in Western Tokyo
Japan’s Christmas Lights for 2016 (Photo Gallery)
Umeda Sky Building (Photo Gallery)
Dramatic Architecture and Views at Osaka’s Umeda Sky Building

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