Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

A composite picture of the suspect in the 300 Million Yen Incident.
Prince Akishinonomiya and his wife, Kiko, at a press conference.

The 2 Billion Yen Ascension: Japan's Budget-Busting Royal Ritual

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  December 10, 2018 • Tagged with religion, shinto, politics, culture, emperor, royal family, daijousai

When the new Emperor takes his throne in 2019, Japan’s taxpayers will spend billions on a Shinto religious rite. Some - including a Prince - say that’s unconstitutional.

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.

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.

The epic tale of the return of the Japanese-Brazilians to Japan

Conflicted Homecoming: How the Japanese-Brazilians Returned to Japan

By Noah Oskow  ·  December 03, 2018 • Tagged with immigration, brazil, economic miracle, 1980s, 1990s, nikkei, dekasegi, economy

The epic tale of the 300,000 cousins the Japanese welcomed home from Brazil and insisted they needed - until they suddenly didn't.

80% full stomach

Hara Hachi Bunme: The Japanese Art of Eating

By Krystle 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.

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.

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.