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.

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.

A house of yen in flames

Mottainai Culture: The History and Philosophy of Waste in Japan

By Krys Suzuki  ·  December 20, 2018 • Tagged with culture, society, waste, environment

Though sometimes honored more in the breach than the observance, Japan's philosophy of "waste not, want not" strongly influences everyday culture.

The Inari Shrine in Fushimi district, Kyoto, Japan.

Shinto: Japan's Non-Religious Religion?

By Krys Suzuki  ·  December 14, 2018 • Tagged with religion, faith, spirituality, society, culture

Shinto is more than a religion - it's also an indelible part of Japanese culture. Krys Suzuki discusses the structure, beliefs, and complex history of Japan's native faith.

How Japan Re-Branded Christmas

By Krys Suzuki  ·  December 11, 2018 • Tagged with holidays, christmas, new years, celebrations, events, culture, religion

How did a non-Christian nation make a holiday rooted in Christian tradition its own?

80% full stomach

Hara Hachi Bunme: The Japanese Art of Eating

By Krys Suzuki  ·  November 30, 2018

Why does Japan have some of the longest life spans in the world? Krys Suzuki explains how a simple rule of eating might be the key.