Badass Chicks in Japanese History: Murasaki Shikibu

Second in a series chronicling—you guessed it—female badassery in Japan. As you might have guessed from the inaugural article in this series, the sword-slinging samurai Tomoe Gozen seems like a tough act to follow. That … [Read more...]

Let’s All Get NAKED! Onsen and Body Image

There’s nothing better than slipping into a hot bath. You feel your muscles relax. The cares of the day float away on a cloud of steam. A butt-naked Oba-chan (old woman) is staring at you… wait! What?! Does that seem … [Read more...]

Surviving Sports Festival

In Japan, summer’s end ushers in a nationwide school tradition. Students, teachers, family, and other guests gather for a day of outdoor events known as undoukai (運動会) or sports festival. Undoukai offers something for … [Read more...]

The Kikokushijo Dilemma: Growing Up Abroad As A Japanese Kid

I am, as my name may suggest, Japanese. I was born to ordinary Japanese parents, and I grew up like any other Japanese girl would in the outskirts of Tokyo. I grew up drinking bottles of Yakult, eating things like natto, … [Read more...]

Is That An Expressway In Your Building, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me? [Osaka Architecture]

Japan is world-renowned for its amazing architecture, and it's not hard to see why. I've written about some of Japan's most jaw-dropping skyscrapers along with some of the more quaint, but still novel, houses. It's … [Read more...]