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

Exploring Japanese History

A country’s past reveals a lot about its present and future. This series delves into Japanese historical events and developments along the path to now.

The Meiji Restoration: The End of the Shogunate and the Building of a Modern Japanese State
Siebold: A German Naturalist in Nineteenth-Century Nagasaki

Other reports

Learning and Loving the Japanese Language

Some 4 million people are studying Japanese around the world. Whether you’re an anime and manga fan who wants to get closer to the real thing, a lover of arts, crafts, and other traditional culture, or a person who wants to live in Japan or work at a Japanese company, there are many reasons to learn. In this series we present diverse approaches to the language and stories from those who have tackled it successfully.

Getting Started with Kanji
Katakana: Studying Japan’s Second Script
Hiragana: The First Building Block of Written Japanese
The Fascinating World of Japanese Onomatopoeia
Kyoto’s Museum for Kanji Lovers

Cooking Up Enjoyment

Touring Japan’s Far-Flung Islands

Japan is made up of 6,852 islands, just 421 of which are inhabited. In this series the travel writer Saitō Jun, who has been to all but one of Japan’s inhabited islands, focuses on the unique cultures, festivals, and food of some of the nation’s smaller islands.

Akusekijima, Where Masked Gods Run Wild

Step into Homes Built by Architects

When thinking of houses designed by architects, many imagine an unusual exterior. These creators, however, also apply their talents to the inside. This series of photographs by Jérémie Souteyrat presents examples of stylish twenty-first century architecture and the people who live in them.

A Seaside Home for a Solo Vacationer
Squeezing In Beside a Shrine
The Sea at Kamakura
A Terrace House for a Tokyo Family
A Room with a View of Rice Fields
A House Where Light and Shadow Play
A Home of Hidden Warmth and Light
The Dining Room in the Sky
A Home that Hibernates Through Winter
A House Open to the Elements

A Bubbly Future for Japanese Brew

For years the Japanese beer market has been characterized by a succession of crisp lagers from the country’s handful of major brewers. Changes to the tax system are upending the situation today, though, bringing new brands and brewing techniques to the market and giving suds-lovers reason to cheer.

A Renaissance Is Brewing Among Japan’s Craft Beer Makers

Japan’s Literary Treasures

From the concise artistry of haiku to sprawling narratives like "The Tale of Genji," Japanese literature comes in many shapes and sizes. This series focuses in on classic works.

Murasaki Shikibu: A Thousand Years of Anonymous Fame
“The Tale of Genji”: Japan’s Literary Heavyweight

Paralympic Athletes, Up Close and Personal

Para-athletes are gaining increased media attention today in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and people’s interest in para-sports is on the rise. This series focuses on how these athletes have turned their disabilities into a source of strength and describes the many challenges they face in maintaining top competitive form while also fulfilling their work and family responsibilities.

Seated Hoops Star: Kōzai Hiroaki Leads Japan’s Wheelchair Basketball Charge
Kawamura Ryō: Leading Japan to Gold in Blind Soccer
Kaneki Emi: Sitting Volleyball Playmaker Is Ambassador for the Sport
Tani Mami: Iron Paralympian with a Heart of Gold
Nagashima Osamu: Shuttling Between Badminton and R&D

“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.

The Art and Science of Relaxation: Japanese Massage Chair Maker Fujiiryōki
Daily Life at a Sumō Stable
Spreading the Spirit of Tea in Europe: Nojiri Michiko
Hatsumi Masaaki, the World’s Most Famous Ninja, and His Essence of Martial Arts
A Requiem in Salt: Japanese Artist Yamamoto Motoi
Sesson Fans: A Cool Breath of Tradition
Under the Eye of the Snake: Beautiful, Durable Umbrellas Made of Mino “Washi”
Nishijima “Washi”: Transforming Old Fibers into Specialty Art Paper
Best Face Forward: The Magic of Japanese Carpentry
The World of “Washi”: Paper that Lasts a Thousand Years
Japan’s Most Famous Dog Breed: The Akita-inu
Karl Bengs: Keeping Memories Alive
A Homecoming of the Heart: Shakuhachi Player Bruce Huebner
A Trip to Ninja Country: Three Museums Dedicated to the Master Spies
Beyond Fiction: The Real Ninja
Ōkura Shōnosuke: Innovating with Tradition
Ties of Tradition: Ceramic Artist Katō Takuo’s Campaign to Restore Persian Lusterware to Iran
Teaching the Ways of the Samurai: An Interview with Ogasawara Kiyomoto
Beyond the Great Wave: Hokusai’s “Deep Old Age” at the British Museum
The Sash Tying Japan to the West Bank: Palestinian Embroidery Inspires a Cultural Entrepreneur
Mikimoto Kōkichi: The Pearl King and His Museum
A Peek into the Pearl Culture of Mie Prefecture
Keeping the “Ama” Tradition Alive in the Seas of Mie
Nishioka Fumio: An Armorer Bringing National Treasures Back to Life
The Nippon Bunraku Project Brings Barrier-Free Performances of Classical Puppet Theater to Ise Shrine
Digitally Mastered: The Ceramic Artwork of Masuda Toshiya
The Avant-Garde in Raku Ware
Keeping Japan’s Traditional Music Alive: Koto Player Curtis Patterson
The Deep Stillness of a Raku Tea Bowl
Listening to the Voices of Trees: The Bonsai World of Kawabe Takeo
Outdoor Performances Bring Bunraku Back to Its Popular Roots
New Hokusai Museum Showcases Japan’s Most Celebrated Artist
Wood, Mold, and Japanese Architecture
Cai Guo-Qiang Makes a “Homecoming” to Japan
Tsuchiya Bag and the Art of the “Randoseru”: The Making of a Timeless Backpack
“Randoseru” Backpacks Shed Childish Image as They Win Global Fans
Craftsman Robert Soanes: Restorer of Samurai Armor
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

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