Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Krys Suzuki

Krys is a Japanese-fluent, English native currently based in the US. A former Tokyo English teacher and translator for several Japanese companies, Krys now works full time as a freelance artist, writer and translator with a focus on subjects related to Japanese language and culture.

Drowning in a Sea of Trees: Understanding Aokigahara, Japan's "Suicide Forest"

By Krys Suzuki  ·  March 21, 2019 • Tagged with society, psychology, health, mental health, travel

Why has Aokigahara, a forest full of legend and history, gained notoriety as a haven of death? (TRIGGER WARNING: Sensitive material)

Gyaru girl in Tokyo

Gyaru and Ganguro: The Upper-Class Fashion Rebellion of 90s Japan

By Krys Suzuki  ·  March 13, 2019 • Tagged with culture, fashion, women

How a rebellion by rich girls against their own status became a rollicking fashion phenomenon.

Hiratsuka Raicho

Woman Was The Sun: The Life of Japanese Feminist Hiratsuka Raicho

By Krys Suzuki  ·  March 06, 2019 • Tagged with history, feminism, women, women of japan

From her scandalous love life to her campaign to have men with STDs barred from marriage, Hiratsuka Raicho was like nothing Japan had ever seen.

Okinawan Cuisine: Not Your Typical Japanese Food

By Krys Suzuki  ·  February 18, 2019 • Tagged with food, cuisine, lifestyle, okinawa

Sushi? Yakitori? That's so mainland. Learn about Okinawa's own unique style of food.

Girl shoving chocolate in dude's face

Is Valentine’s Day in Japan a Male Power Trip?

By Krys Suzuki  ·  February 11, 2019 • Tagged with love, society, holidays, feminism, women

Why is a popular Japanese chocolate-giving tradition once rooted in gratitude and appreciation now being called out as a form of power harassment?

Father lecturing son

Hikikomori: Is There a Path Forward for Japan's Social Recluses?

By Krys Suzuki  ·  February 04, 2019 • Tagged with mental health, psychology, society, culture

Why does Japan drive some to remain secluded their entire lives? A look at Japan's "shut-ins" - and how professionals and volunteers are trying to help re-integrate them back into society.

Comedians doing their shtick

Taking Laughter Seriously: A History of Japanese Comedy

By Krys Suzuki  ·  January 25, 2019 • Tagged with comedy, arts, entertainment, tv, movies

How comedy and the concept of laughter in Japan evolved from seriousness to silliness.

Gavel

99.9%: Is Japan's High Conviction Rate a Product of "Hostage Justice"?

By Krys Suzuki  ·  January 17, 2019 • Tagged with justice, crime, law

The prolonged detention of Carlos Ghosn has led to scrutiny of Japan's 99.9% conviction rate - and the tactics used to maintain it.

Woman sitting on counter

Singles Culture in Japan: Personal Freedom or Impending Disaster?

By Krys Suzuki  ·  January 10, 2019 • Tagged with culture, society, dating, life, sex, relationships

Why singles life in Japan tends to be less like The Bachelor and more like The 40 year Old Virgin.

The History and Traditions of New Year's Celebrations in Japan

By Krys Suzuki  ·  December 27, 2018 • Tagged with culture, celebration, holidays, new year

How the oldest celebrated holiday in Japan has changed throughout the years, and the traditions that have come along with it.