Junichi Shimodaira was one of the first to take up an interest in Chicano culture in Japan in the 1980s. Just a decade before, during the Chicano revolution, Mexican Americans had taken…

The philosopher Kiyoshi Miki said, “the best books are those that constantly ask us questions.” We’ve put together the following list for just that reason. Fiction and nonfiction alike can help us…

One day I was standing outside my local ward office staring forlornly into the distance, the way people are wont to do when they undergo stress-inducing encounters with Japanese bureaucracy, when an…

From traditional fabric designs to family seals, Japan is full of symbols to dissect. Many of these symbols can be seen regularly, but there are a few others that may go unnoticed.…

I will make my film! That’s why I have dared To enter this world of cinema To show men, not to work for them! Tazuko Sakane wrote these words in 1936 when…

Many are trying to reinvent the kimono, weave in some modernity, or even transmute it into other objects. What Michail Gkinis from the eponymous Michail Gkinis Aoyama atelier does with the kimono…

On this day in 1946, Fukunichi Shimbun published Sazae-san for the first time. A four-panel comic strip, it was later bought by the Asahi Shimbun before making its television debut in 1969. More than five decades on and…

On a sunny cool spring morning on April 9, an age-old tradition took place in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture again after six years. (Locals, however, will tell you it happens every seven years…

Sakura season may be over for another year in the Kanto region, but there’s still an opportunity to enjoy the precious little pink flowers in the north of the country. They are, of…

One of the great pleasures of traveling in Kyushu, whether you’re interested in art, history, shopping or all three, is delving into its heritage of fine ceramics. Kyushu has one of the…

Often translated to “melon bread,” this Japanese bakery staple comes in various forms and sizes. It’s also almost never infused with melon flavorings. Far from being a fanciful, homegrown creation, there’s a…

With Japan’s varied regional climates there are always beautiful flowers blooming. Despite the cherry blossoms often stealing the show, other Japanese flowers are also both beautiful and steeped in history and culture.…