Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Jay Andrew Allen

I'm the publisher of Unseen Japan. I hold an N1 Certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and am married to a wonderful woman from Tokyo.

Akutagawa Ryunosuke

Akutagawa Ryunosuke: A Life of Intense and Fleeting Genius

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  December 05, 2018 • Tagged with literature, culture, writing, people, Showa era, whos who

A brilliant author. A tragic trajectory. A powerful legacy. Learn more about the writer whose works inspired one of Kurosawa's most famous films.

A saisenbako, or change collection box used at Shinto shrines.

QR Code of the Gods: Will Tech Save Religion in Japan?

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 28, 2018 • Tagged with religion, faith, culture, shinto, buddhism, technology

From drone-riding Buddhas to monk rentals on Amazon, Japan's temples and shrines are finding unique ways to stay solvent during uncertain times.

Okonomiyaki

The Best Japanese Food Porn on Instagram: A Hashtag Guide

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 16, 2018 • Tagged with food, drink, culture, sake, bento, noodles, ramen

You don't need to know Japanese to appreciate good food. Here are some of the hashtags that people use to post about the scrumptious stuff they're eating.

TV Asahi News

The Five Hot New Japanese Words Even Many Japanese Don't Know

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 12, 2018 • Tagged with japanese, language, culture

The distance learning company U-CAN has announced its list of new and trendy words for 2018. Discover the five words that even had some Japanese people stumped.

Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan

Killer Tee: How a South Korean Boy Band Sparked Outrage in Japan

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 10, 2018 • Tagged with war, nuclear weapons, hiroshima, nagasaki, politics, culture, south korea

How a t-shirt worn by a boy band member might make the bad relations between South Korea and Japan even worse.

Murasaki Shikibu, author of Genji Monogatari

Murasaki Shikibu: The First Lady of Japanese Literature

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 08, 2018 • Tagged with fiction, literature, history, Heian era, feminism, women, whos who

How a grieving widow came to write two classics of world literature: a sprawling novel, and an 11th-century Twitter account.

Next time you go to Japan, make sure to enjoy these Western-style dishes delivered with a Japanese twist. (Picture: ささざわ / PIXTA(ピクスタ))

The 5 Best "Western" Foods (Yoshoku) You Should Eat While in Japan

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 01, 2018 • Tagged with food, drinking, culture, yoshoku

Next time you go to Japan, make sure to enjoy these Western-style dishes delivered with a Japanese twist.

Is anime

Why a Virtual YouTuber Has Some Japanese Women Railing Against Anime Culture

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  October 23, 2018 • Tagged with feminism, women's rights, culture, anime, manga, women

Is anime "The New Orientalism"? A Twitter controversy over a virtual YouTuber has Japanese women questioning how the media depicts them both at home and abroad.

He ended a century-long war and brought about 264 years of peace. So why does no one in Japan like Tokugawa Ieyasu? In this first of five articles in Unseen Japan's Banner Series, I discuss his legacy - and his deep unpopularity.

Tokugawa Ieyasu: The Hero That Everyone in Japan Hates

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  October 22, 2018 • Tagged with history, site news, warring states period, samurai, shogun, whos who

He ended a century-long war and brought about 264 years of peace. So why does no one in Japan like Tokugawa Ieyasu? In this first of five articles in Unseen Japan's Banner Series, I discuss his legacy - and his deep unpopularity.

Three brands of sake at a restaurant in Meguro, Tokyo.

Here's Why You (Think You) Hate Japanese Sake (日本酒)

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  October 16, 2018 • Tagged with alcohol, drinking, food, culture

Do you think you hate Japan's famous beverage made from fermented rice? There's likely a simple reason for that.