I’m old enough to remember when Rubik’s Cube came out: it was in 1981 and suddenly everyone everywhere was talking about that amazing puzzle that put to test even the highest intelligence. Since ...
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The history of their creator himself is not a rags-to-riches story but there is certainly something dramatic in the tale of the first instant ramen, the Nissin Chikin Ramen. A product of the ...
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One of the things that amazes me in Japan is people’s weird relationship to shoes. This is a strange thing to say but I believe I’ve been here enough to have earned the right to not stand in awe ...
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So the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, also known as the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, came and went and, as expected, were enjoyed by the people who wanted to be enjoyed and were ignored by those who didn’t care ...
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We have now entered the final countdown until the second Tokyo Summer Olympics: there are just days left before the Games that, while actually happening in 2021, are still called “Tokyo 2020” to ...
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It shouldn’t really surprise anyone with an interest in Japan: people here do pretty much everything their own way, so why wouldn’t they do the same with candles? Yes, there is such a thing as a ...
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When I first wrote an article about masks in this blog in April 2020, I didn’t think masks would be still a thing one year later -- I mean, I knew they would still be a thing in Japan, as they ...
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We have mentioned it before on this blog that one of the many things that surprise first- (and often second- and third-) time visitors to Japan is the coexistence of two religions, sometimes ...
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The word “monsoon” is hardly ever used in Japan; the Japanese prefer for their rainy season the more poetic “tsuyu.” which means “plum rain” and actually comes from an 8th-century ...
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The world of Japanese swords, collectively known as “katana” or “samurai swords,” is a complex one. It encompasses both the martial artists who study traditional swordsmanship either in its ...
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Like many other aspects of Japanese culture, coffee became a thing in the islands back in the Edo period (1600-1863) and like many other aspects of Japanese culture that are not native, it had to go ...
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My wife says I’m a “tamatama Girishajin” -- a “Greek by accident” -- and, generally speaking, I don’t have a problem with this rendering but I often find myself identifying with another ...
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Dust/pollen allergies and infection protection
It’s been exactly three months since we presented a roundup of merchandise based on the manga and anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and in the meantime, the franchise became even bigger ...
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Like many things in Japan, Hina Matsuri (or Hinamatsuri), the Dolls' Festival or Dolls' Day (also known as Girls Day) celebrated on March 3, must be seen wearing Japanese cultural glasses. If not, ...
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Now, the relationship between the Japanese and cats is long and well known. From the cat illustrations in the ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1600-1868) to Maneki-neko, the beckoning cat ...
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