Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

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Drunk dude
A female cosplayer surrounded by cameramen at Comiket 2017
Atomic attack on Nagasaki, Japan

Japanese Student and Others Speak Out Over US School's Mushroom Cloud Logo

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  August 15, 2019 • Tagged with war, history, education, culture

Japanese people wonder: Why does a school in America revel in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people by calling themselves "The Bombers"?

Scene from commentator's couch of Terrace House

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

Essay   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"?

Kimono vs. KimOhNo

#KimOhNo: Anger in Japan Over Kim Kardashian's "Kimono" Clothing Project

News   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 01, 2019 • Tagged with clothing, culture, cultural appropriation

"Cultural appropriation" usually hasn't made waves in Japan. Then Kim Kardashian came along. Learn why even the city of Kyoto is objecting to the celebrity's latest business project.

English please!

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

Essay   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.

Woman sitting in filthy room

After High-Profile Killings, Japan's Hikikomori Fear Being Stigmatized

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  June 11, 2019 • Tagged with hikikomori, mental health, psychology, society, culture, aging population, elderly

Why two separate sets of killings have Japan's recluses fearing that what little space they have in society will be taken from them.

Samurai against demons

The Original Yokai Watch: Japan's Famous Night Parade of Demons

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  June 10, 2019 • Tagged with fiction, myth, legend, culture, art

How did Japan's "parade of demons" get its start? Learn about the history behind the creatures who haunt some of Japan's most popular games and anime.

Red Square, Moscow.

How The Kremlin Saved Kurosawa

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  April 19, 2019 • Tagged with film, movies, akira kurosawa, russia, culture

Japanese film maestro Akira Kurosawa was at his lowest point - and then the Soviets stepped in.

Dude getting a tattoo

Unseen Japan Kaiwa 3: Tattoo Blues - Japan's Tattoo/Tourist Problem

Video   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 09, 2019 • Tagged with tattoos, tourism, travel, culture, hot springs

How deeply ingrained are cultural attitudes against tattoos in Japan? We sat down again with YouTuber Misaki to talk about her experiences in Japan - and how her thinking shifted after moving to America.