Japan Culture NYC

NYC's best English-language resource for all things Japanese in New York City

All Stories by Japan Culture NYC

Taking a page from Japan, Meow Parlour, KittyKind team up for NYC’s first cat cafe

Cat lovers in New York City have rejoiced since mid-December, when Meow Parlour, the city’s first cat cafe, opened its doors.

For the uninitiated, lets explain what a cat cafe is. It’s not a place where you take your own cat to hang out and have coffee. It’s not a restaurant that has cats on the menu. It is a place where you can enjoy the companionship of cats while sipping on coffee and munching on a cat-shaped macaron.

Read More

Japanese Americans tell STORIES FROM TOHOKU

Filmmakers Dianne Fukami and Debra Nakatomi are sansei (third-generation Japanese Americans) from California who met while serving on the 2009 Japanese American Leadership Delegation, a cross-cultural program sponsored by the U.S.-Japan Council. When the triple tragedy of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster hit the northeastern region of Japan on March 11, 2011, Fukami and Nakatomi decided to make a documentary that told the stories of survivors.

They met a woman who managed to recover her old kimono and makes dolls out of the fabric; a struggling organic farmer in Fukushima; a cafe owner who cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner to refugees in a shelter during the first six months after the disaster; and mothers in Fukushima who commute to a kindergarten an hour away so that their children can play outside.

Read More

New York City’s Barcade is all about the classic Japanese games

Nostalgic for Japanese video games from the late 1970s and ‘80s? Barcade, a combination bar and arcade, recently opened in Chelsea, Manhattan with about a dozen classics from Japanese game developers such as Taito, Nintendo, Namco, and Konami.

The games are still only a quarter (there are change machines on site), and the machines are in great condition. Marvel at the old-school graphics of Space Invaders, Galaga, Mappy, Crazy Climber, and Frogger.

Read More

Nago mayor says US bases “a legacy of misery” in Okinawa

Nago is located in northern Okinawa, a tourist town with beautiful beaches and a pineapple park. Its waters are home to gorgeous coral and seagrass beds that serve as the feeding grounds to Japan’s last remaining population of dugong, an endangered sea mammal related to the manatee. Nago is also the site of the proposed relocation of Futenma airbase, the US Marine complex that is at the core of a controversy between the Okinawan, Japanese, and US governments.

The mayor of Nago, Susumu Inamine, was in New York last weekend to deliver speeches and have informative discussions regarding the issue.

Read More

Deconstructing Lolita fashion

Since Her Excellency Tomomi Inada, Minister in charge of Japan’s “Cool Japan” strategy, visited New York, JapanCulture•NYC has been trying to define “Cool Japan” as it relates to New Yorkers. The broad range of the term can encompass an overwhelming number of areas: Food, fashion, design, travel, the list goes on.

To focus on one type of fashion, JapanCulture•NYC turns to the expertise of New York-based accessories designer Jen Green, who attended Japan Society’s Lolita fashion discussion on February 5. In this special guest post, Jen deconstructs the Lolita look and phenomenon for the uninitiated.

Read More

What will Ma-kun mean for New York?

New York Yankees’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 14, and among the new faces will be Masahiro Tanaka, a 25-year-old phenom from Japan who signed a seven-year, US$155 million deal in late January.

Ma-kun, as Tanaka is affectionately known (“kun” is an informal Japanese suffix generally used to address young boys or subordinates), is coming off an unbelievable season, going 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA. He also had eight complete games, more than any MLB team in 2013. Now it’s time to test his arm against MLB lineups.

Read More