Japanese tradition

Japanese yokai starts appearing on Twitter to prevent the spread of COVID-19

People in Japan are turning to the mysterious Amabie to help us through the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Gundam portable shrine appears at local Japanese festival【Photos】

Another festival season and summer is coming to an end. The dragonflies are out and the days are getting shorter, which means fall will soon be upon us.

But before the fireworks fizzle away and the festival food stalls have packed up for good this year, one area in Japan decided to go out with a bang and surprise festival-goers with superb portable shrine, or mikoshi, recreations of some of Japan’s most popular characters, including one famous red mobile suit from the anime classic Gundam.

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Broccoli bonsai and sweet sushi: Japanese culture’s evolution abroad【Photos】

Bonsai and sushi are two of Japan’s most well-known cultural exports with fans all over the world. But while Japan may cling to the traditional presentation of these two icons, globalization has taken these Japanese icons and turned them into something new. Not just happy with tiny trees and raw fish on top of vinegar rice, these cultural hybrids have evolved into something far beyond their origins in the Japanese archipelago. Click below to see some very creative bonsai as well as some food that really stretches the definition of “sushi.”

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Online Survey Asks, “When Do You Feel Japanese?”

No matter what country you call home, there are always moments when you feel like a true citizen.  For me, it’s when I’m sitting on the couch watching football (the American version) and eating chips (of the thinly sliced, wavy fried potato variety) and dip.

What about Japan?  What makes Japanese citizens feel distinctly Japanese?  My Navi News asked 1,000 of their members to tell them about a moment when they felt Japanese. Here are the results of their survey:

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[On Location at Somin Naked Festival] I Was So Cold I Actually Thought I Was Going To Die

Japan’s premier naked festival, Sominsai (Somin Festival), was held this year on January 29 at Kokuseki Temple in Iwate Prefecture.

The name “naked” is somewhat misleading though, as participants are required to wear a fundoshi, a piece of white cloth which can best be descried as a traditional Japanese G-string. This scant clothing offers little protection from the blistering, below-freezing cold participants are expected to endure. Nevertheless, the toughest of men from across Japan come to test their mettle by trekking through grueling icy course from the temple to the river that’s cold enough to make you feel like you’re dying.

I know this because I took part.

That’s right, your fearless reporter put his life at risk to bring the experience of Kokuseki’s Sominsai to you, our beloved readers.

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