To set the tone of this series of articles straight away: the Japanese culture does not exist. Despite many ‘scientific’ attempts, all under the banner of nihonjinron, to describe and prove the uniqueness of Japanese culture and its people, there is no unique Japanese essence, passed on from time immemorial, that units each and every…

歌舞伎の導入 (culture introduction)

[These culture introductions are short introductions of Japanese cultural aspects written in easy Japanese.] 歌舞伎の導入 歌舞伎(かぶき)は、日本固有(にほんこゆう)の演劇(えんげき)で、17世紀(せいき)に始(はじ)まりました。歌舞伎(かぶき)は歌(うた)や踊(おど)りのある芝居(しばい)です。

Culture Files: Introduction

Introduction Each person has their own way of travelling. For some nature is important, for others culture is most important. Some organize their trips around regional dishes. And some like a mixture of all those things together to create a balance that satisfy their needs. Nevertheless, the greater part of the people who travel to…

Foodfiles Nagoya: RedRock

Introduction Can Nagoya really be considered “the most boring city in Japan”, as Philip Brasor ( 2016/10/08) puts it, or is this general thought about Nagoya making the city bleaker than it really is? We are convinced that the latter is the case. In our view, if your focus is either on regional cuisine, Japanese…

Mono no aware: An addendum to Umimachi diary in springtime

“The poetry of Yamato has one 􀂝heart􀂞 as seed and myriad words as leaves. This kokoro is the one that knows mono no aware.” (In preface of Kokinshū, see note 1). An Introduction for springtime. The Sakura trees are blossoming, the casket of nihonshu has been broken, the time to enjoy Ohanami with friends, lovers,…