Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Alyssa Pearl Fusek

Alyssa Pearl Fusek is a freelance Japan and mental health content writer living in Chico, California with her partner and one cat. She graduated in 2015 from Willamette University with a B.A. in Japanese Studies and continues to improve her Japanese language skills. She is also a published poet and fiction writer. You can check out her freelance writing work at The Japanese Pearl.

A Militarized Japan? The Quest to Revise Article 9 of Japan's Constitution

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  January 18, 2019 • Tagged with justice, crime, law, constitution

Will Japan move from maintaining a pure self-defense force to creating an army that can go on the offense?

The Emperor's Residence at night

Dawn of a New Era: Why Japan's Calendars Will Change With the New Emperor

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  January 11, 2019 • Tagged with news, emperor, imperial era, heisei, government, politics, imperial family

When Crown Prince Naruhito becomes Emperor this year, a new era will literally dawn in Japan. Alyssa Pearl Fusek explores the history of era names in Japan.

Kaminari Gate (雷門) at Sensouji (浅草寺).

Hatsumōde: Japan's First Shrine Visit of the New Year

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  January 01, 2019 • Tagged with new years, holiday, culture, religion

How Japan's most popular New Years custom has changed over the centuries.

Kimura Komako Marching in New York

Kimura Komako: The Dancing Feminist

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  December 18, 2018 • Tagged with women, feminism, history, culture

Born in an era in Japan when women's rights were more oppressed than ever, Kimura Komako never gave up the fight - even when that meant taking the fight overseas.

Lonely child on swing

Life in Limbo: How Japan is Failing its Institutionalized Children

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  December 06, 2018

Alyssa Pearl Fusek on how Japanese law and cultural attitudes leave foster kids in limbo.

Businessmen shaking hands

Why Do Adult Adoptions Abound in Japan's Business World?

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  November 26, 2018 • Tagged with adoption, law, business, money, marriage, family

Why are almost 98% of adoptions in Japan of grown men? Alyssa Pearl Fusek looks at the interesting history behind adult adoption.

Yamamoto Yae

Yamamoto Yae: The Warrior Woman Who Never Stopped Serving

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  November 21, 2018 • Tagged with samurai, warrior, war, history, bakumatsu, meiji era

From defending castles to outraging society, Yamamoto Yae never met a battle she didn't pick. Alyssa Fusek on one of Japan's most iconoclastic warrior-women.

Ecstatic dance of the pre-Meiji era.

Why Not? How Japan Danced Away Its Samurai Past

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  November 05, 2018 • Tagged with history, culture, Meiji Japan, Edo Japan

How a weird, unexplained event in the capital of Edo kicked off a frenetic dance movement across Japan that brought the era of the samurai to a close.

Cats mingle with the residents of Aoshima.

Japan's Cat Islands: Threat or Menace?

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  October 23, 2018 • Tagged with animals, cats, public health, society

Japan's cat islands may seem adorable, but Japan's cat epidemic threatens human health - and even the 202 Olympics. Writer Alyssa Pearl Fusek discusses the country's belated response to its cat epidemic.