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.

Pikachu manhole cover

Designer Manholes: Japan’s Unique Art Trend

By Krys Suzuki  ·  August 20, 2019

They're expensive, colorful, and have their own devoted fan following. Learn how Japan's manhole covers have crossed over from utilitarian objects to objects of art.

The Unique History of Japan's Postal System

By Krys Suzuki  ·  August 13, 2019 • Tagged with history, government, politics

How the Japan Post's unique development and services improved the economy of a nation - its successes, its controversies, and the origin of that famous "T" symbol.

Scene from commentator's couch of Terrace House

Terrace House: How "Unscripted" Is TV's Most Boring Reality Show?

By Krys Suzuki  ·  August 05, 2019 • Tagged with television, entertainment, culture

Known as a uneventful, markedly "boring" show, Terrace House has still gained a massive following overseas. But how much of it is truly "natural"?

True Ninja Facts: The Reality Behind The Popular Depiction

By Krys Suzuki  ·  July 22, 2019 • Tagged with history, ninja, samurai, feudal japan, warring states period

How accurately do movies, cartoons, and games portray the ninja of Japan? Pretty much not at all. Learn about the true tradition of the ninja.

Hay Fever in Japan: A Man-Made Nationwide Epidemic

By Krys Suzuki  ·  July 08, 2019 • Tagged with environment, health, government, politics, economy

How did a condition once thought to be non-existent in Japan become the country's "national illness"? Blame the government, says Krys Suzuki.

English please!

Speaking Our Language: Why Do Some Expats Never Learn Japanese?

By Krys Suzuki  ·  June 24, 2019 • Tagged with language, japanese, culture

How a casual tweet promoting an author's new book about Japan blew up into a discussion of Western privilege and Orientalism.

Takarazuka Theater

The Takarazuka Revue: From Male Stereotype to Safe Haven

By Krys Suzuki  ·  June 03, 2019 • Tagged with feminism, women, art, theater

How did a theatrical troupe with profoundly sexist and homophobic origins end up challenging gender stereotypes instead?

2.5D upcoming musical productions

Bring Me To Life: How 2.5D Musicals Bring Anime and Manga to the Stage

By Krys Suzuki  ·  May 06, 2019 • Tagged with anime, manga, entertainment, theater, technology, business

Many live-action manga and anime adaptations are received poorly. So how has musical theater captured the imagination of fans worldwide?

Woman reaching through water. Kowai!!!

Momo: The Horror Hoax Appropriated from Japanese Legend

By Krys Suzuki Krys Suzuki  ·  April 29, 2019 • Tagged with social media, hoax, urban legend, society, art, yokai

How a sculpture based on a Japanese horror legend became the mascot for a creepy Internet story - and how the artist reacted when he found out about it.

People walking through the Shibuya scramble

Tourism Pollution in Japan Sparks Strife - and Bans

By Krys Suzuki  ·  April 24, 2019 • Tagged with overtourism, travel, tourism, economy

How can Japan reduce "tourism pollution" problems without reducing tourism? ? And how can travelers help reduce friction when visiting?