culture

Naomi Osaka stirs up debate about what it means to be Japanese following U.S. Open victory

She’s the first Japanese citizen to ever win a Grand Slam singles tournament, but in Japan it’s her race that’s been taking the spotlight.

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The mystery of the disappearing family altar water offering: Man catches the culprit pink-pawed!

A Japanese family wondered why water placed on their family alter kept disappearing. Turns out a furry relative was to blame!

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Can you crack this beautifully minimalist comparison of Japan’s big cities and rural countryside?

Designer cleverly shows a big difference between the two and reflects a unique part of Japanese culture.

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Five reasons there’s no tipping at restaurants in Japan

Guidebooks love to say it’s because Japanese people think tipping is rude, but that’s not even close to the whole story.

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Frustrated foreigner living in Japan calls Japanese punctuality a half-truth

Sometimes Japanese people stick to a schedule, and sometimes they don’t, he says.

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Japanese government proposes driver’s license change to make them easier for foreigners to read

Japanese imperial era targeted as potential source of confusion.

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Anime Spirited Away finds a new way to be beautiful with gorgeous traditional hanafuda card set

The Studio Ghibli classic turns out to be a perfect motif for Japan’s centuries-old “flower cards.”

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Here’s how one Tokyo neighborhood mixes modern technology and traditional culture to beat the heat

Nihonbashi’s beautiful “minamo fireworks” and tempting goldfish sweets are part of its plan for fun even in record-breaking heat.

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Hello Kitty adds Japanese exorcism to her work repertoire, Twitter baffled and amused

Is there anything Kitty can’t do? She can spiritually purify your house or room with salt now, so tell your ghost stories without fear of retribution!
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We go to Kyushu’s Miyazaki Prefecture to feel like giants in (on?) a tiny party train【Photos】

Going slightly loco-motive in the stunning scenery of Japan’s southern Kyushu island, with bubbles!

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Cosmetic wizardry: Asian women removing makeup to reveal their true selves goes viral【Video】

Watch them undergo some serious transformations.

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Centuries-old book of ninja secrets discovered at public library in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture

Shinobi training manual covers ingredients to make sleeping potions and smoke bombs, as well as magic incantations.

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Sado Island: A relatively unknown historical, natural, and tourist gem of Japan

History buffs, nature fans, and Japanese culture enthusiasts will want to check out this island in the Sea of Japan.

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Kyoto code cracked? Japanese bartender translates Kyotoites’ compliments into hidden insults

Buddhist monk who also tends bar says to take complements from Kyoto with a grain of salt.

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Sailor Moon’s Moonlight Densetsu as played on traditional Japanese instruments

The classic theme song comes to life in a brand-new way that evokes a different style of “miracle romance.” 

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Japan’s 10 best cultural experience activities/tours, as chosen by travelers

From traditional tea ceremonies and cooking lessons to relaxing with owls and revving through the streets, these are traveler’s picks for the best things to do while you’re seeing Japan.

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Pop quiz: Test yourself in 5 situations of Japanese manners and customs

Do you have what it takes to rub shoulders properly in Japan? Not literally though, that would be rude.

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U.S. Rapper Lil Baby makes waves in Japan, but for something other than his music

A controversial eating choice that has brought Lil Baby into the minds of Japanese people.

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What would a samurai-era cat cafe look like? Like the brand-new Edo Cat Cafe opening in Tokyo!

Take a trip back in time and into feline cuteness with this new cat cafe in one of Tokyo’s most history-rich neighborhoods.

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Shohei Ohtani amazes Major League Baseball with his impeccable Japanese manners

After making jaws drop both on the mound and at the plate, the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star is winning fans with his performance in the dugout.

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