All posts tagged "Culture"

  • Hatsumode: Shrines that bring you good luck in the New Year

    Just as Christians go to midnight mass on Christmas eve, the Japanese ring in the new year with a first visit to a Shinto shrine, an age-old tradition called Hatsumode.  The visit happens on the first 3...

    • Posted December 27, 2017
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  • Japanese couples sleep in separate beds, seldom kiss each other but many are happy in their marriages, says new survey.

    One in three marriages in Japan leads to divorce. Many have cast doubt on the notion that unhappy marriage is likely the result of the absence of intimacy in Japanese couples. A recent survey shows that the...

    • Posted November 21, 2017
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  • How people count with fingers in other countries

    It’s indeed fascinating to know that although we all have a thumb, index, middle, ring finger, and the pinkie on both hands, many of us are so different when it comes to counting with the fingers.   People...

    • Posted November 2, 2017
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  • Kagurazaka, a charming mix of French and Japanese culture

    Head for the slopes and alleys of Kagurazaka for a French-flavoured outing. The little enclave of narrow streets and bistros nestled on the slope might not quite be Montmartre but with its narrow alleyways from old Edo...

    • Posted October 26, 2017
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  • Ninja wannabes take a certification test in Japan

    In Japan, if you want to be a certified NINJA, you need to take a test.   On October 22, Sunday, 200 Ninja wannabes will be taking a certification test at the Koga Ryu School of Ninjutsu...

    • Posted October 19, 2017
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  • MR. SUPERFLAT: Takashi Murakami

    Takashi Murakami is arguably one of the most prominent Japanese modern artists. The leader and driving force behind the artists’ collective Kai Kiki Co, Ltd., Murakami and the artists of the collective are known for their mass...

    • Posted October 18, 2017
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  • Gearing up for the Natsu Matsuri

    Gearing up for the natsu matsuri.

    • Posted June 2, 2017
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  • Vintage photos of Samurai in the 19th century

    These are beautiful vintage photographs of Samurais taken between 1863 and 1900 in Japan. In the 19th century, people who took photos were called camera artists, not photographers as we know today. Camera artists believed that a...

    • Posted May 23, 2017
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  • Places to eat somen noodles from bamboo gutters. Kids love it!

    Eating nagashi or flowing somen noodles from a long bamboo gutter is a popular summer activity for Japanese kids. The longest distance to flow noodles down a line of bamboo gutters ever made measures 3,317.7 m (10,871...

    • Posted May 20, 2017
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  • What these foreign words actually mean in Japanese

    Since Japanese speakers have a tendency to shorten words by means of contractions and use many ‘false friends’ (words that look similar to a word in another language but have a significantly different meaning), understanding the correct...

    • Posted April 9, 2017
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  • Japan’s Best Chef Knives: A Cut Above

    Highly skilled sushi chefs in Japan will tell you that one way to tell a great chef from an amateur is by looking at his knife. Japanese sushi chefs take pride in using professionally crafted extra thin,...

    • Posted December 17, 2016
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  • “Cross-cultural marriage, a double-edged sword”

    Polish mum, poet, and book author Yoanna Shigenobu talks about her book, parenting style and her cross-cultural family life. Eight years ago, Yoanna was a Tourism student in Poland. Today, she lives in Japan. It all started...

    • Posted November 16, 2015
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  • Note from the teacher

    “Swimming cap?” I asked my first grade son. “Swimming cap,” he said as he handed me a note from his teacher. “I need to have a cap for swimming class. By Friday.” Friday? Wait a minute. That’s...

    • Posted September 10, 2014
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  • Winter warmers

    Photo © Elena Derevstova Usually Japanese winters last from December through February, and while not as harsh or bitter as some Western winters, the cold can still creep into your bones. There are of course a myriad...

    • Posted November 29, 2008
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  • Back to basics

    Getting your feet wet

    • Posted June 1, 2008
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  • One man and his brolly

    Weapon, prop, fashion accessory, and a good umbrella should be treated like an inseparable best friend during this season. It should be one with spokes of unbendable steel, light enough to tote around in a bag or...

    • Posted June 1, 2008
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