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Featured image for Samurai Cultivator: the Birth of Modern Apple Cultivation in JapanBackground image for Samurai Cultivator: the Birth of Modern Apple Cultivation in Japan

Samurai Cultivator: the Birth of Modern Apple Cultivation in Japan

Apples, such as the delectable fuji, are ubiquitous in Japan. Yet cultivation of the fruit began relatively recently - during the waning days of the samurai.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study for the JLPT Listening SectionBackground image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study for the JLPT Listening Section

Pass the JLPT! How to Study for the JLPT Listening Section

The JLPT listening section is difficult because it tests very specific listening skills. Here's what you should know to ace that test!

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Three Lesser Known Japanese Zoku: Film, Music, and FashionBackground image for Three Lesser Known Japanese Zoku: Film, Music, and Fashion

Three Lesser Known Japanese Zoku: Film, Music, and Fashion

The Japanese word "zoku" (tribe) often describes alternative youth subcultures in Japan. Here are 3 Japanese zoku you've probably never of!

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Benshi: The Voice and Color of Japanese Silent CinemaBackground image for Benshi: The Voice and Color of Japanese Silent Cinema

Benshi: The Voice and Color of Japanese Silent Cinema

Once when there might have been silence, the voices of the benshi rang out in the theaters of Japan. This is the story of a lost cinema art…

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Ranking Japan’s Best Cities for ImmigrantsBackground image for Ranking Japan’s Best Cities for Immigrants

Ranking Japan’s Best Cities for Immigrants

Eric Margolis decided to use hard data to investigate which Japanese cities are best for immigrants and expats alike. And Tokyo isn't #1.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Queer Echoes: Koike Chikyoku, Unlikely Warrior ArtistBackground image for Queer Echoes: Koike Chikyoku, Unlikely Warrior Artist

Queer Echoes: Koike Chikyoku, Unlikely Warrior Artist

The story of a little-know artist-turned-warrior during the waning days of the samurai -- who just might have been a queer woman.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for What Is My Worth as a Foreigner in Japan? A Pandemic QueryBackground image for What Is My Worth as a Foreigner in Japan? A Pandemic Query

What Is My Worth as a Foreigner in Japan? A Pandemic Query

Our author discusses how the pandemic has laid bare elements of how the Japanese public and government perceive the foreign residents in their midst.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study for the JLPT Reading SectionBackground image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study for the JLPT Reading Section

Pass the JLPT! How to Study for the JLPT Reading Section

The JLPT reading section is the most difficult part of the test, as reading questions tend to be abstract rather than straightforward.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Tsukimi (月見), The Season of Moon Viewing, Has BegunBackground image for Tsukimi (月見), The Season of Moon Viewing, Has Begun

Tsukimi (月見), The Season of Moon Viewing, Has Begun

Tsukimi, the season of moon viewing, starts this week in Japan. Learn about this day's origins - and why the rabbit in the moon is pounding a rice…

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Melonpan: the Bittersweet Armenian History of Japan’s Beloved Sweet BunBackground image for Melonpan: the Bittersweet Armenian History of Japan’s Beloved Sweet Bun

Melonpan: the Bittersweet Armenian History of Japan’s Beloved Sweet Bun

Melonpan, the beloved sweet baked good, was the creation of one Armenian man who made Japan his home. This is his - and his diaspora's - story.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Review: “Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement”Background image for Review: “Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement”

Review: “Black Box: The Memoir That Sparked Japan’s #MeToo Movement”

Ito Shiori's arresting memoir, Black Box, has been credited with starting #metoo in Japan. Now her seminal book has a superlative new English translation.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Sanrizuka: The Battle for Narita AirportBackground image for Sanrizuka: The Battle for Narita Airport

Sanrizuka: The Battle for Narita Airport

Narita, Japan's busiest airport, was once the site of a titanic civil struggle that pitted thousands of armed activists and farmers against the state.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Food from the Wild, Food for Thought: “Eating Wild Japan”Background image for Food from the Wild, Food for Thought: “Eating Wild Japan”

Food from the Wild, Food for Thought: “Eating Wild Japan”

Winifred Bird's Eating Wild Japan is an in-depth, humanistic, and fascinating journey across the wilds of the country in search of foraging.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Explore Japanese Art in an Online, 3D virtual SpaceBackground image for Explore Japanese Art in an Online, 3D virtual Space

Explore Japanese Art in an Online, 3D virtual Space

The virtual Japan Cultural Expo allows visitors to freely explore its museum space, strolling from striking paintings to gorgeous prints.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for How Schools on Remote Japanese Islands are Fighting DepopulationBackground image for How Schools on Remote Japanese Islands are Fighting Depopulation

How Schools on Remote Japanese Islands are Fighting Depopulation

Our author details his family's experience on a remote Japanese island which hopes an exchange problem can solve its depopulation woes.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Review: Coed Revolution: The Female Student in the Japanese New LeftBackground image for Review: Coed Revolution: The Female Student in the Japanese New Left

Review: Coed Revolution: The Female Student in the Japanese New Left

Chelsea Szendi Schieder's new book deftly and fascinatingly reframes the history of Japan's New Left around the women who contributed so much to it.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Appreciating the Moon in Japan, Land of the Rising SunBackground image for Appreciating the Moon in Japan, Land of the Rising Sun

Appreciating the Moon in Japan, Land of the Rising Sun

Although Japan is the land of the rising sun, we cannot overlook the importance of the moon in Japan's tradition and culture.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Mentalist DaiGo and Anti-Homeless Sentiment in JapanBackground image for Mentalist DaiGo and Anti-Homeless Sentiment in Japan

Mentalist DaiGo and Anti-Homeless Sentiment in Japan

YouTuber Mentalist DaiGo caused a furor saying he valued the lives of cats over the homeless. Yet a lack of care for the unhoused is no rare thing…

Unseen Japan

Featured image for The Indomitable Lady Onami of SukagawaBackground image for The Indomitable Lady Onami of Sukagawa

The Indomitable Lady Onami of Sukagawa

Too often, history leaves out the Japanese women who left their mark on the world around them. Meet Lady Onami, who led her clan in defiance of the…

Unseen Japan

Featured image for The Meiji Government’s Failed Attempt to Ban CremationBackground image for The Meiji Government’s Failed Attempt to Ban Cremation

The Meiji Government’s Failed Attempt to Ban Cremation

With the end of the age of the samurai, the new Meiji government set off to curb any sign of "barbarity" within Japan - which, briefly, included cremation.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for FamilyMart Socks Take Over Japanese Social MediaBackground image for FamilyMart Socks Take Over Japanese Social Media

FamilyMart Socks Take Over Japanese Social Media

Innerwear items are a common sight at most Japanese convenience stores. So why have these cheap, simple FamilyMart Socks gone viral?

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Studio Ponoc: The Ghibli Successor in WaitingBackground image for Studio Ponoc: The Ghibli Successor in Waiting

Studio Ponoc: The Ghibli Successor in Waiting

The supposed Ghibli successor just released a new animated short. But with years passing and only one theatrical film, just what is Studio Ponoc?

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Moomin Brand Cuts Ties with DHC Mid-Collab in the Name of DiversityBackground image for Moomin Brand Cuts Ties with DHC Mid-Collab in the Name of Diversity

Moomin Brand Cuts Ties with DHC Mid-Collab in the Name of Diversity

Moomin brand Japan recently cut ties with Japanese company DHC - only one day after announcing their new Moomin x DHC cosmetics collab!

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study JLPT GrammarBackground image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study JLPT Grammar

Pass the JLPT! How to Study JLPT Grammar

Unlike kanji and vocabulary, studying JLPT grammar requires context and a deeper understanding of the language. Here's how to study!

Unseen Japan

Featured image for A Forgotten Samurai Energy DrinkBackground image for A Forgotten Samurai Energy Drink

A Forgotten Samurai Energy Drink

Hundreds of years before Red Bull, the samurai of the house of Date were drinking a powdered concoction said to replenish a warrior's energy.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Last Stand: The Hostage Crisis That Ended Japan’s Red ArmyBackground image for Last Stand: The Hostage Crisis That Ended Japan’s Red Army

Last Stand: The Hostage Crisis That Ended Japan’s Red Army

The disintegration of a far-left paramilitary group led to a standoff that was watched on live TV by 90% of the country - and that changed Japanese politics…

Unseen Japan

Featured image for What Miura Kentaro – and Berserk – Mean to MeBackground image for What Miura Kentaro – and Berserk – Mean to Me

What Miura Kentaro – and Berserk – Mean to Me

In May, 2021, manga legend Miura Kentaro passed away, leaving his opus Berserk unfinished. Our author discusses the true genius behind his art.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for A Forgotten Tohoku “Tree War” and an Enduring RivalryBackground image for A Forgotten Tohoku “Tree War” and an Enduring Rivalry

A Forgotten Tohoku “Tree War” and an Enduring Rivalry

To this day, a rivalry exists between the northern Japanese prefectures of Aomori and Iwate. And its source? A bunch of trees.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Anger in Japan Over “I Know You from P*rnHub!” Video PrankBackground image for Anger in Japan Over “I Know You from P*rnHub!” Video Prank

Anger in Japan Over “I Know You from P*rnHub!” Video Prank

Social media ire breaks out at comedians who chose to accost random women and yell out "you're that person I know from my adult videos!"

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Female Olympian’s Gold Medal Replaced After Mayoral ChompBackground image for Female Olympian’s Gold Medal Replaced After Mayoral Chomp

Female Olympian’s Gold Medal Replaced After Mayoral Chomp

Groans were heard world 'round when the mayor of Nagoya took a bite out of an Olympian's hard-earned gold, but that wasn't his only foul.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for A Japanese Teacher’s Reflections on “Living” LanguageBackground image for A Japanese Teacher’s Reflections on “Living” Language

A Japanese Teacher’s Reflections on “Living” Language

Japanese teacher Chihiro Morioka reflects on a career spent learning and teaching language in both Japanese and English - and the lessons she's learned.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Survey Reveals 10 JPN Politicians Women Want GoneBackground image for Survey Reveals 10 JPN Politicians Women Want Gone

Survey Reveals 10 JPN Politicians Women Want Gone

5000 Japanese women discuss the politicians they want out of government, revealing a litany of controversy and public gaffes.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Blood on the Snow: The Horrifying Implosion of Japan’s United Red ArmyBackground image for Blood on the Snow: The Horrifying Implosion of Japan’s United Red Army

Blood on the Snow: The Horrifying Implosion of Japan’s United Red Army

Pushed underground by vigilant police surveillance, Japan's militant far left went down a dark path that would tarnish its name in infamy for decades to come.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Sex Ed in Japan: TV Doing More for Teens than the Ministry of EducationBackground image for Sex Ed in Japan: TV Doing More for Teens than the Ministry of Education

Sex Ed in Japan: TV Doing More for Teens than the Ministry of Education

The Japanese government is finally revising its approach to sex-ed, but media and creators are still filling in major information gaps.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for As Cases Surge in Tokyo, Shimane Prefecture Offers Safe HavenBackground image for As Cases Surge in Tokyo, Shimane Prefecture Offers Safe Haven

As Cases Surge in Tokyo, Shimane Prefecture Offers Safe Haven

Governor Maruyama of Shimane, openly critical of the central government's COVID response, offers monetary support to prefectural returnees.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for ユダヤ人から見た小林賢太郎氏のホロコーストコント(JPN Editon)Background image for ユダヤ人から見た小林賢太郎氏のホロコーストコント(JPN Editon)

ユダヤ人から見た小林賢太郎氏のホロコーストコント(JPN Editon)

皆さんは情報を発信する時、誰の目に留まるのか意識しているでしょうか?日本人と繋がりの深いユダヤ人から見た小林賢太郎のホロコーストコントに関する本音をお伝えします。(JPN edition of original English post.)

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Olympic Scandal: Musician Oyamada Keigo’s Horrific Abuse of Disabled ClassmatesBackground image for Olympic Scandal: Musician Oyamada Keigo’s Horrific Abuse of Disabled Classmates

Olympic Scandal: Musician Oyamada Keigo’s Horrific Abuse of Disabled Classmates

Highly disturbing elements of famed guitarist Cornelius' past have now come to light - and enveloped the Olympics in yet another scandal.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Licensed in Silk – a Mixed Nikkei’s Journey in Studying Kimono in JapanBackground image for Licensed in Silk – a Mixed Nikkei’s Journey in Studying Kimono in Japan

Licensed in Silk – a Mixed Nikkei’s Journey in Studying Kimono in Japan

Newly licensed in the wearing of kimono, Rin takes a look back at what drew her closer to the traditional clothing - and to her own heritage.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Holocaust Joke Lands Olympics Opening Director in Hot WaterBackground image for Holocaust Joke Lands Olympics Opening Director in Hot Water

Holocaust Joke Lands Olympics Opening Director in Hot Water

An old Holocaust joke comes back to haunt the famed comedian acting as the director of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremonies.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study JLPT Vocabulary for Your LevelBackground image for Pass the JLPT! How to Study JLPT Vocabulary for Your Level

Pass the JLPT! How to Study JLPT Vocabulary for Your Level

Studying for the JLPT? There's even more JLPT vocabulary than kanji! Here's how to learn literally thousands of new words in months!

Unseen Japan

Featured image for What’s in a Tier? Layers of Meaning in the Japanese PagodaBackground image for What’s in a Tier? Layers of Meaning in the Japanese Pagoda

What’s in a Tier? Layers of Meaning in the Japanese Pagoda

We all know the striking image of a multi-tiered Japanese pagoda, but what exactly are they? And what are they called in Japanese, anyway?

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Ito Shiori Wins First Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter TrollBackground image for Ito Shiori Wins First Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter Troll

Ito Shiori Wins First Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter Troll

A Twitter troll claimed Ito Shiori, face of #metoo in Japan, was operating under a false identity - so she took him to court for defamation.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for JLPT Kanji: How to Study Kanji for Your LevelBackground image for JLPT Kanji: How to Study Kanji for Your Level

JLPT Kanji: How to Study Kanji for Your Level

There are far too many kanji to study them all! That's why you need to break it down and only focus on the JLPT Kanji for your level.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Baseball Diplomacy: Babe Ruth in JapanBackground image for Baseball Diplomacy: Babe Ruth in Japan

Baseball Diplomacy: Babe Ruth in Japan

In 1934, Babe Ruth set off with a team of all-stars to visit faraway Japan. Their goal: hit some homers -- and prevent an all-out-war.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for LaShawn Toyoda, Creator of FindADoc: Full-Length InterviewBackground image for LaShawn Toyoda, Creator of FindADoc: Full-Length Interview

LaShawn Toyoda, Creator of FindADoc: Full-Length Interview

Thalia Harris sits down with LaShawn Toyoda to discuss her efforts to make sure English-speaking residents in Japan have access to vaccines.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for The Life and Legacy of Ainu-Japanese Translator Chiri YukieBackground image for The Life and Legacy of Ainu-Japanese Translator Chiri Yukie

The Life and Legacy of Ainu-Japanese Translator Chiri Yukie

Only 19 when she passed away, indigenous Ainu translator Chiri Yukie left behind an invaluable legacy for her people and the world.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Kotobagari: Japan’s Hunt for Taboo WordsBackground image for Kotobagari: Japan’s Hunt for Taboo Words

Kotobagari: Japan’s Hunt for Taboo Words

It's often said that there are no swear words in Japanese. But while profanities may be rare, taboos - and banned words - abound.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for How to Study Kanji for the JLPT Pt.1: Kanji RadicalsBackground image for How to Study Kanji for the JLPT Pt.1: Kanji Radicals

How to Study Kanji for the JLPT Pt.1: Kanji Radicals

The trick to memorizing kanji for the JLPT is... don't! Instead, focus on learning kanji radicals, the alphabet of kanji characters!

Unseen Japan

Featured image for Summer Sonic Festival Promises Foreign Acts Despite Tight Border ControlBackground image for Summer Sonic Festival Promises Foreign Acts Despite Tight Border Control

Summer Sonic Festival Promises Foreign Acts Despite Tight Border Control

With spouses, job-seekers, students and more stuck outside of Japan, a festival's claims at getting foreign talent into Japan grates.

Unseen Japan

Featured image for JLPT Study Guides: Choosing the Right One for YouBackground image for JLPT Study Guides: Choosing the Right One for You

JLPT Study Guides: Choosing the Right One for You

Want to pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test? You're gonna need a JLPT study guide! Here's how to pick a good one.

Unseen Japan