Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

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Atomic attack on Nagasaki, Japan
Happy Science logo

The Lord of the Nine Dimensions: Inside "Happy Science", Japan's Far-Right Religious Movement

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  August 12, 2019 • Tagged with religion, history, shinto, buddhism, cults, politics

In the mid-1980s, a Japanese salaryman declared himself the reincarnation of Buddha and Hermes. Now his religious organization claims millions of adherents.

True Ninja Facts: The Reality Behind The Popular Depiction

Essay   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.

Nagoya castle

Nagoya City Suggests the Disabled Use Drones to Scale a Castle

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  July 10, 2019 • Tagged with equality, technology, disabled, history, politics

When the city of Nagoya announced the renovated Nagoya Castle would lack an elevator for disabled access, the response was...less than uplifting.

View of Mount Bandai, in better days.

Cataclysm: The 1888 Eruption of Fukushima’s Mount Bandai

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  June 25, 2019 • Tagged with history, disaster, humanitarianism, fukushima, meiji, volcanoes, earthquakes, tourism

In 1888, "the Mount Fuji of the North" erupted so fiercely that it remade the local landscape. The incredible story of how Meiji Japan suffered - and recovered - from the worst volcanic disaster in modern Japanese history.

Mishima Yukio

Blood Oaths and Seppuku: The "Beautiful Death" of Author Mishima Yukio

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  June 18, 2019 • Tagged with history, biography, literature, nationalism, extremism, far right

What drove one of Japan's most acclaimed authors to raise a personal militia, and take a high-ranking general hostage in an attempted nationalist coup d'état?

Mishima Yukio

Man of Masks: The Strange Life of Author Mishima Yukio

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  June 12, 2019 • Tagged with history, biography, literature, WWII, Showa, LGBT, nationalism, extremism, far-right

A youth who found excitement only in books, Mishima Yukio became a brilliant author who challenged his country's sexual mores - until the day his life became stranger than fiction.

Sugihara Chiune

Japan's Schindler: How Sugihara Chiune Saved Thousands of Jewish Refugees

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  May 30, 2019 • Tagged with history, wwii, judaism, russia, heroism, lithuania, poland

The story of how a Japanese diplomat went against the dictates of his own government in order to issue Jewish refugees with visas to Japan.

New notes on currency

The Revolutionary Faces of Japan's New Currency

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  May 09, 2019 • Tagged with history, currency, money, business

Japan may be pivoting to a cashless society, but cash is still king - and the figures chosen for its new currency express both the nation's pride in its past and its hopes for the future.