Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Woman being blamed
My precious manga
Go board

9-Year-Old Japanese Go Player Will Become Country's Youngest Pro Ever

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  January 31, 2019 • Tagged with games, entertainment, culture, south korea

A young girl who can't even turn pro until April is already giving some of the world's top Go players a run for their money.

Comedians doing their shtick

Taking Laughter Seriously: A History of Japanese Comedy

Essay   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.

Ultraman the office worker?

Illegal Hero? China's Legally Dubious Ultraman Movies Rile Japanese Fans

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  January 23, 2019 • Tagged with entertainment, movies, culture, china, ultraman

A Chinese production company continues releasing Ultraman movies that Ultraman's Japanese producers say are illegal. Are they legitimate - or another Chinese "ripoff"?

Mariko Kai and Sally Field.

How Netflix's MANIAC Makes (Some) Strides Melding Cultures

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  October 02, 2018 • Tagged with news, entertainment, movies, tv

Netflix's Maniac, directed by Japanese-American auteur Cary Joji Fukunaga, melds Japanese and American cultures convincingly. But in other ways, the series still shows how far Hollywood has to go.

Retiring Amuro Namie to Japanese Press: Back Off My Family

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  September 13, 2018 • Tagged with news, entertainment, music

The retirement of Amuro Namie has given us proof that, no matter how "polite" your culture is, the press are pretty much a-holes everywhere.

Manhole cover of Chibi Maruko-chan.

Remembering Sakura Momoko: The Very Japanese Life of the Creator of "Chibi Maruko-chan"

News   By Emma Ford  ·  September 12, 2018 • Tagged with news, people, manga, entertainment

The life of the legendary cartoonist and essayist Sakura Momoko was one of juxtaposition between traditional and modern Japan. A look back at the creator of Chibi Maruko-chan.

Aragaki Yui (

Zero-Second Chicken Ramen?! How Instant Ramen's Creator is Bringing Sexy Back to Its Products

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  September 05, 2018 • Tagged with news, entertainment, food

How do you boost sales of an instant noodle product that's been around for 60 years? Nissin found a way.

Chibi Maruko-chan in her original illustrated form.

Manga Artist Sakura Momoko, Creator of Japan's Iconic "Chibi Maruko-chan", Dead at Age 53

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  August 27, 2018 • Tagged with news, entertainment, manga

The author of the manga behind one of Japan's most long-running animes is dead of breast cancer at the young age of 53.