Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

About Unseen Japan

Torii, or Shinto gates.
A set of *torii*, or Shinto shrin gates, meant to symbolize the separation of the lowly world of humans from the world of the *kami* (神), or gods. Photo by Jay Andrew Allen.

Welcome to Unseen Japan - "the Japan you don't learn about in anime". Our goal is to help educate people about the real Japan. Our posts are largely based on original Japanese sources, both to minimize distortion, as well as to bring you, the reader, the views and concerns of Japanese people in their own words. We also work to fight misconceptions and prejudices about Japan that exist in the English speaking Western world.

We publish short news-style posts multiple times during the week. We also aim, once every two weeks or so, to deliver longer, in-depth reports on some person or event in modern Japan or from Japanese history.

Publisher/Writer: Jay Andrew Allen

Jay Andrew Allen
Me at the Noto Milk Factory in Watami, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Aya Allen.

I'm a long time software product manager who has had a passion for Japan since middle school. And yes, full confession: the first thing that got me into studying Japan and Japanese was anime. My tastes these days, however, lean more toward news, variety, drama, and modern Japanese literature.

I currently hold a Level N1 Certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT; 日本語能力試験), which I earned in August 2018. I am currently working towards additional certifications, such as the Kanji Kentei. My aim is to continuously improve my Japanese skills so that I can facilitate communication and cross-cultural exchange between Japan and the English-speaking West. I hope this blog accomplishes that to some small degree.

Note: I am still learning and perfecting my Japanese. Any mistakes found in this site are my own, and corrections are welcome.

Staff Writer: Emma Ford

Emma Ford

Unseen Japan is very pleased to have Emma Ford as a contributing writer! Emma holds an MA in Advanced Japanese Studies from Sheffield University. The child of a Japanese mother, Emma grew up in Japan as well as England, and is fully fluent in both Japanese and English. Besides contributing news updates that pique her interest, Emma also contributes longer essays based on her experiences growing up as a child of two cultures, and occasionally corrects the worst of my mistakes.