Jun 26, 2014

Everyone's having a laugh in Kinokuniya

by Akira Okubo

Rakugo, a traditional form of comic storytelling in Japan, deals with anecdotes about human nature. Described as a “performance of imagination,” it is usually done on an empty stage with the artist kneeling on a large cushion and acting out the roles of all ...

Osaka's Aizen Festival begins

Jun 26, 2014

Osaka's Aizen Festival begins

by Akira Okubo

Even though it is mid-rainy season, the Aizen Festival anticipates the hot summer ahead with a parade of women wearing cool and attractive yukata (light kimono). As Osaka’s first summer festival of the year, this is held from June 30 to July 2 at ...

Yokohama's French connection

Jun 19, 2014

Yokohama's French connection

by Magdalena Osumi

Around 150 years ago, silk traders from Lyon in France went all the way to Yokohama to buy silkworm eggs that they heard could resist an epidemic disease that was ravaging the French silk industry. Since then, the two cities have built a strong ...

Dancing the praises of a Hawaiian lifestyle

Jun 19, 2014

Dancing the praises of a Hawaiian lifestyle

by Sei Dickinson

Whether it’s the beautiful flowers, the music or the gentle moves that promise women a flat stomach, hula, the traditional dance of Hawaii, has found international appeal. Hula Lehua, a clothes brand bringing Hawaiian fashion to Japan, cashes in on the popularity of hula, ...

Royal purple surrounds majestic Mount Fuji

Jun 19, 2014

Royal purple surrounds majestic Mount Fuji

by Akira Okubo

Among the photo opportunities featuring Mount Fuji, there’s one that shouldn’t be missed: The majestic icon towering behind Lake Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture, with a bed of vibrant purple lavender in the foreground. From spring to fall, Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the Fuji Five ...

Follow design tips to the letter

Jun 12, 2014

Follow design tips to the letter

by Magdalena Osumi

Recently, letters of the alphabet have become popular decorations in interior design, whether as symbols of the homeowner’s inner thoughts or as simple motifs. They can add a modern and personal touch to a room, especially if hand-painted and self-designed — something that visitors ...

Get dolled up at the 'Rozen Maiden Exhibition'

Jun 12, 2014

Get dolled up at the 'Rozen Maiden Exhibition'

by Sei Dickinson

Now a recognized subsection of culture abroad, manga has attracted people from all around the world. What may be less well known, however, is another interesting part of Japanese culture — ball-jointed dolls and the artists who make them. Gallery parabolica-bis in Tokyo’s Yanagibashi, ...

Getting crafty in Yokohama

Jun 5, 2014

Getting crafty in Yokohama

by Magdalena Osumi

These days, stores and even markets are filled with cheap, manufactured and mass-produced products. It’s no wonder that there appears to be a bit of a rebellious demand for original handcrafted goods. This weekend, Yokohama hosts one of the biggest craft fairs in Japan, ...