Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Drawing of Ichikawa Fusae

Ichikawa Fusae: The First Woman of Japanese Politics

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 12, 2019 • Tagged with history, feminism, women of japan

In an age when women had few rights, Ichikawa Fusae fought for hers - and used her hard won career to give a voice to the voiceless.

Japanese delegation arrives to sign Japan's declaration of surrender.

Resistance and Acceptance in the Allied Occupation of Japan

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  January 28, 2019 • Tagged with history, culture, society

How the Allied Occupation plunged Japan into a national Five Stages of Grief - and how it permanently changed Japanese society and government.

Sakamoto Ryoma

Sakamoto Ryoma: The Samurai Who Ended the Samurai

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  January 07, 2019 • Tagged with tokugawa, feudal japan, history, war, america

He remade Japan, not with a sword, but with his wits. Read more about how a low ranking samurai brought down the Shogunate.

Tray of colored pencils

Colors in Japanese: Not as Black and White as You'd Think

Essay   By Stephanie @ Kotobites  ·  January 03, 2019 • Tagged with colors, language, japanese, history

Did you know that Japanese once only had four colors? A look at the interesting evolution of color vocabulary in the Japanese language.

Kimura Komako Marching in New York

´╗┐Kimura Komako: The Dancing Feminist

News   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  December 18, 2018 • Tagged with women, feminism, history, culture, women of japan

Born in an era in Japan when women's rights were more oppressed than ever, Kimura Komako never gave up the fight - even when that meant taking the fight overseas.

Akutagawa Ryunosuke

Akutagawa Ryunosuke: A Life of Intense and Fleeting Genius

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  December 05, 2018 • Tagged with literature, culture, writing, people, Showa era, whos who, history

A brilliant author. A tragic trajectory. A powerful legacy. Learn more about the writer whose works inspired one of Kurosawa's most famous films.

Yamamoto Yae

Yamamoto Yae: The Warrior Woman Who Never Stopped Serving

Essay   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.

The epic tale of the Japanese who immigrated to Brazil

The Japanese Who Came to Call Brazil Home

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  November 13, 2018 • Tagged with history, immigration, brazil, japan, world war ii, meiji, nikkei

Why are there so many Brazilian-Japanese in Japan? The answer goes back to the Meiji era, and the government's need to get rid of its own citizens.

Murasaki Shikibu, author of Genji Monogatari

Murasaki Shikibu: The First Lady of Japanese Literature

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  November 08, 2018 • Tagged with fiction, literature, history, Heian era, feminism, women, whos who

How a grieving widow came to write two classics of world literature: a sprawling novel, and an 11th-century Twitter account.

Ecstatic dance of the pre-Meiji era.

Why Not? How Japan Danced Away Its Samurai Past

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  November 05, 2018 • Tagged with history, culture, Meiji Japan, Edo Japan

How a weird, unexplained event in the capital of Edo kicked off a frenetic dance movement across Japan that brought the era of the samurai to a close.