Masamune steel

Sword crafted by legendary swordsmith Masamune has been discovered

I would love to see this in person
Sep 09
If you're anything like me, the sheer mention of traditional Japanese steel gets you excited in ways you dare not mention publicly, especially if you want to stay off of government watch lists, and be able to freely travel wi... read

Jump in the Wayback Machine to watch old-timey kendo

Watch how they used to fight back in the day
Mar 10
Watching films from the infancy of the medium is an interest of mine. It's neat to see how people lived back in that time and how they reacted to this new device that not only captured their image, but their movement as well... read
100 Yen's DVD release

Insert coin to play: 100 Yen film is out on DVD

The experience is definitely worth over 100 yen.
Apr 30
I am feel ashamed that I've never gotten the chance to go to the arcades like most people in my age group. Instead of hearing me whine about a great era that I missed out upon, let's rejoice over the idea that 100 Yen: The Ja... read

Learn how samurai did seppuku with this handy diagram

Apr 17
Have you messed up so bad that only in death can you reclaim your honor? Ever wonder just how to commit seppuku or harakiri? Thanks to an infographic from Tumblr user error88, now you too can engage in ritualistic suicide![Ed... read

A documentary that's worth way more then '100 Yen'

Mar 21
If I had make a top 10 of the things I miss most about my childhood, this would so be in the top 2. Arcades are something I believe most of us that read this site miss terribly. The memories of begging your parents for quarte... read

Mie University hires "Last Ninja" as a professor

Feb 01
Everyone thinks that ninjas have more or less vanished in the modern age, replaced by plucky little kids with powers out of Dragon Ball Z. But if you happen to attend Mie University in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture, you might come... read

Welcome back to JapanaTour, the series of articles that are written in my spare time, between watching Pokémon, Godzilla and Ghibli films.  The next few JapanaTour articles are going to feature places outside of T... read feature

You've asked the question, and I've heard people ask the question. Heck, even I asked myself the question: "What is a Japanator?" Well, after a lot of research, I'm 85% positive I've came up with the right answer. But rather ... read feature

News flash: A-bomb jokes still not funny

Mar 09
A show on the BBC by the name of QI committed quite the social faux pas last December, and is still causing worldwide debate today. What could possibly be so offensive? A few panelists on the show joked about about Tsuto... read

Press misses Japanese Foreign Minister's war apologies

Nov 30
The Japanese press is not the best at covering its own history-making events, it seems. Our Man in Abiko caught wind of this, and brought to light the news that the ultra-conservative Foreign Minister of Japan, Seiji Maehara,... read

The 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography, by Tetsu Sawai is...a manga biography. I don't think I've read a manga biography before. Yoshiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life came out fairly recently, but that was an autobiography, so it... read feature

Ukiyo-e prints show doctors and drugs fighting diseases

Sep 14
Though normally thought of purely for use as artistic canvases, ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) have at times served a more informative role. The University of California San Francisco owns a collection of 400 health-themed pieces... read

Never Forget: 8/6/1945

Aug 06
Skin hung from their faces and handsSome were vomiting as they walkedOn some naked bodies the burns had made patternsOf the shapes of flowers transferredFrom their kimonos to human skin.- "Hiroshima" by Sherwood Ross  read

South Korea punishes people for their ancestor's crimes

Jul 21
Yes, this article does have to do with Japan, before you ask.During the colonization of Korea at the turn of the 20th century, there were a number of pro-Japanese Koreans that decided to help facilitate their new overlord's d... read

Torn Memories of Nanjing tackles topic from Japanese view

Apr 06
The topic of Japanese atrocities during World War II is always ripe for filmmaking. Sometimes films don't turn out so great, as Yang Li's Yasukuni proved, to me anyways. It seems to have been a "critical success: elsewhe... read

What the hell is Daicon?

Jan 23
You may have heard the name "Daicon" before, perhaps from an anime trivia quiz, or your smartass friend who likes to flaunt his old-school otaku knowledge. During those moments, you've probably wondered to yourself,... read

Check out a trailer for this prehistory-based anime

Jan 21
There's a lot more to Japanese history than the sengoku period and World War II. One period in particular is the Joumon, named for the cord-patterned markings found on artifacts from this time in Glorious Earthenware-loving N... read

All samurai fashionistas must wear Chanel-designed armor

Jan 07
While Glorious Nippon's revived interest in its samurai history may have been triggered by pop culture schlock that is everything but realistic, but one cannot deny that the so-called 'samurai boom' has produced some positive... read

It's best you listen to the BBC samurai primer this week

Dec 27
Comforting (and hilarious) though it may be, viewing the world through the otaku filter can sometimes distort reality a bit, and it can do a mind good to be reminded that Japan Isn't Completely Like That.Therefore, I encourag... read

How would you like an 18th century Japanese scroll? How about for $15,000?

Oct 20
I've always had a strong interest in Japanese history, and I must say that traditional artwork and scrolls have always held an interest. That's partially why when I've considered grad school, I cast my eyes towards Columbia U... read

A look at Yi Ling's documentary Yasukuni

Aug 24
Last week I got the chance to head into New York City and see the documentary Yasukuni. It certainly wasn't what I expected, and I've been having a hard time coming to terms with all of my thoughts and feelings on the piece. ... read

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