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Japan Glances Index

Discover Japan by picking a theme from the list below and exploring the related topics. Each short overview is illustrated with colorful photographs.

“Nikkapokka” Pants in Style on the Construction Site (Photos)Matsuda Tadao (Photographer)

Photographer Matsuda Tadao’s portraits of Japanese construction workers are taken on site, capturing the reality of their jobs with the sweat and grime of a hard day’s efforts. As well as being fitted to their work, distinctive, baggy nikkapokka pants help these laborers to stand out in the crowd.

Robot Runway: Pepper’s Fashion Show Debut (Video)

A Tokyo fashion show for SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper featured outfits designed for the airport, hospital, and construction site.


Known as Japan’s youth and street-fashion center, Harajuku has become the epicenter of kawaii culture. The area also is home to the heavily wooded Meiji Shrine and boasts a wide selection of eateries catering to both young and old.

One Look Suits All: Japan, Land of UniformsMitamura Fukiko

Japan is full of people in uniform, both at school and on the job. And then there are those who voluntarily don “pseudo-uniforms,” like the standardized suits of student job hunters. Why does the culture of the uniform have such a strong hold on the Japanese?

Japan’s School Uniforms

In Japan, most schools have uniforms for their students. The distinctive, traditional outfits were originally inspired by military designs, but since the 1980s, new styles have emerged.

2013 in Japanese FashionShimada Yūki

In 2013, “bubble years” styles named for the go-go economic boom years in the late 1980s and early 1990s—from knitwear thrown over the shoulders to clutch bags, tight skirts, and sleeveless tops—made a real comeback. Even the way people wore the items, with high waistlines and tucked-in shirts, was a throwback to that era. The skill with which both men and women accessorized caught the eye. Man…

Nailing a Fashion Trend

The past decade has seen an explosion of interest in nail art among Japanese women. The number of nail salons and schools to train the “nailists” (as they are called) has skyrocketed. Here we take a look at this growing fashion trend.

Kawamata, Fukushima: The World’s Thinnest Silk Wins a Global Following

From just after Japan’s opening to the West in the late Edo period (1603–1868) through the 1960s, silk was the nation’s representative export. Today demand for Japanese silk has fallen due to cheaper silk from other countries and synthetic fabrics, but the town of Kawamata in Fukushima Prefecture—one of Japan’s silk centers—is aiming to revitalize Japanese silk production using world-class technology.

Sabae, Fukui: A Town with an Eye for Design

Today, a trendy pair of glasses is an indispensable item on every fashion lover’s shopping list. One of the world’s major production centers is the city of Sabae in Fukui Prefecture, where one in six of the residents works in the eyeglass industry. Here we take a closer look at the technology and designs that have led consumers around the world to covet eyeglasses made in Sabae.

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