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Refining Hospitality: “Omotenashi” and Foreign Visitors to JapanŌtsuka Tomohiko

Japan is opening its doors wide to foreign travelers, with the aim of welcoming 40 million international tourists annually by 2020. Yet many visitors from religiously diverse Southeast Asia can stumble into the shadows of the nation’s widely touted hospitality. A journalist reflects on the state and true meaning of Japanese omotenashi.

Terrorism Fuels Stereotyping of MuslimsAlmoamen Abdalla

We published this article in early 2015 in Japanese and French following the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris and the murder of two Japanese citizens taken captive by extremists in Syria late in 2014. It is especially timely today, as the world reels in the aftermath of the November 13 killing of more than 120 in Paris. In the wake of terrorist attacks, Muslims fa…

Observing Ramadan in Japan

Ramadan is an important time for Muslims, but the religious custom is relatively unknown in Japan. While Muslims in Japan may find it challenging to observe the month of fasting, it can also offer a chance to deepen community ties.

Riding the Halal Wave: The Potential of Japanese Cuisine for MuslimsJames Singleton

Halal is a growing buzzword among Japanese companies, particularly those in the food and service industries. Factors keeping halal hot are a booming tourist industry, relaxed visa requirements for many Asian countries with significant Muslim populations, and Tokyo’s winning of the hosting rights to the 2020 Olympic Games. On the ground this means more restaurants and hotels offering halal options …

(Video) Friday Prayers at Tokyo Camii Mosque

Japan’s biggest mosque, Tokyo Camii in Yoyogi Uehara can accommodate up to 1,200 worshipers at a time. Friday afternoon prayers attract the biggest congregations. This video captures some of the hushed atmosphere of reverence that descends on the mosque at prayer times.

Tokyo Camii: Japan’s Biggest Mosque

There are around 80 mosques in Japan, many of them relatively small. The country’s biggest place of Islamic worship is Tokyo Camii, which has space for around 1,200 worshipers. Come with us as we pay a visit to this magnificent Ottoman-style mosque in the heart of the Japanese capital.

The Japanese Teacher of Islam

Most of Japan’s relatively small Muslim population is foreign-born. This has led to misunderstandings regarding Islam. Shimoyama Shigeru, a Japanese man who converted to Islam after encountering the religion during his travels in Sudan, has devoted his life to fostering a better understanding of the religion in his home country.

Leaving His Mark on an Ancient Art: Arabic Calligrapher Honda Kōichi

The art of Arabic calligraphy has been honed over more than a millennium, reaching an astounding level of artistic perfection. One renowned practitioner of the art today is Honda Kōichi, who first encountered Arabic calligraphy while working in the Middle East. We interviewed Honda to learn more about the art and how he has lent it a new vitality.

A Sumō Sandstorm Blows In from Egypt

Japan is now home to many sumō wrestlers from Mongolia and Eastern Europe, but there were none from the Middle East until 2011. That was the year that an Egyptian entered the sumō world, wrestling under the name Ōsunaarashi (“great sandstorm”). In our exclusive interview with this up-and-coming talent, we find out what has fueled his sumō ambitions.

Toward Greater Human Responsibilities and Rights

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal has for many years facilitated understanding between the various nations that make up the region of West Asia and North Africa . At the 2012 WANA Forum, held in his native Jordan, he sat down with former Japanese diplomat Nishimura Mutsuyoshi to discuss the problems and potential of the region.

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