Japan

    The more you learn about Japanese culture and history, the easier it becomes to navigate Japan. This means learning why Meiji-period author Higuchi Ichiyō's face is on the ¥5,000 bill. Or studying the ins-and-outs of omiyage. Or discovering what it takes to land a job in Japan. Check out the articles below, and start growing your cultural understanding.
    1. The Gay of the Samurai All About Homosexuality, Buddhist Monks, Samurai, and The Tokugawa Middle Class

      | Koichi
    2. The Best Teaching Resources for Superstar JET Program ALTs All the best places to find lesson plans, worksheets, games, songs, media, and more for your English classes

      | Michael Richey
    3. 20 Differences Between Japanese and Western Schools The things that stand to shock you most as an ALT

      | Michael Richey
    4. JET Program Survival Resources Helping you live your life on JET

      | Michael Richey
    5. Tsukemono! The Wonderful World of Japanese Pickles Those weird little things in your bento are actually pretty amazing

      | Linda Lombardi
    6. How Monster Strike Conquered Japanese Mobile Gaming ...and saved the country's largest social network from destruction

      | Rich
    7. The Unique Weapons of Ancient Japan As used by samurai, ninja, warrior monks, ruffians and all-around badasses.

      | Rich
    8. Umbrellas in Japan More umbrella knowledge than you can shake a stick at

      | Adam Ledford
    9. 4 Foreigners in Traditional Japanese Roles Breaking into a traditionally Japanese art form may be tough for foreigner, but it's not impossible

      | Ben
    10. How to Plan a Cycling Trip in Japan 4 steps to bring you cycling success in 日本

      | Pia
    11. What the Japanese Royal Family Can Learn from Prince William’s Japan Trip Japan and the UK have a lot in common, which makes their visits to each other a lot more significant

      | Adam Ledford
    12. Ekiben! Japanese Food on Japanese Trains and Beyond Two great Japanese things, even better together

      | Linda Lombardi
    13. Questioning Japanese Creativity: Is Japan Really Creative? Kurosawa, Miyazaki, and Tezuka all seem to say yes. But is a country as creative as its best creators?

      | Austin
    14. Navigating Roppongi's Nightlife Making the Best of Roppongi’s Split Personality

      | Rich
    15. Queen Himiko: Badass Women in Japanese History The people loved her. The gods loved her. 8th century historians didn't love her.

      | Chelsea Bernard
    16. A Japanese Citizen Studying "Abroad" in Her Own Country Japanese by birth. Fluent in Japanese. Living in Japan will be easy, right?

      | Shoko
    17. Anime's Great Deception – The Difference Between Anime and Cartoons Warning: reading this may forever change your perception of anime

      | Rich
    18. Ashigaru – Japan's Overlooked And Underappreciated Warriors They did all the work and samurai got all the credit

      | Nathaniel Edwards
    19. What Is a Butsudan? And Why Are People Paying $630,000 for Them? Convenient worship from the comfort of your own home

      | Mami Suzuki
    20. Jet Program Culture Shock Culture shock can be tough, but understanding it doesn't have to be

      | Michael Richey
    21. The Books Behind Your Favorite Studio Ghibli Films Where Kiki's deliveries started and how Howl got his castle moving

      | Verity Lane
    22. Emoji – Japan’s Talking Pictures How Japan changed the way we communicate

      | Kaitlin Stainbrook
    23. Go to (Japanese) Hells! From Shinto to Buddhist, From Volcanic to Animatronic, There's Something for Everyone in Japanese Hells

      | Verity Lane
    24. Kappa: Japan's Aquatic, Cucumber-Loving, Booty-Obsessed Yokai If you swim in a Japanese river, be as polite as possible

      | Linda Lombardi
    25. What To Do After Arriving in Japan on the JET Program: A Checklist Jump start your life on JET

      | Michael Richey
    26. How To Pack For JET What to pack and, more importantly, what not to pack

      | Michael Richey
    27. The Secret Japan Air Self-Defense Force Gundam – And Other Stories Will all of our giant flying robot space mech dreams come true?

      | Mami Suzuki
    28. The Post JET Acceptance Checklist The forms you need to fill out and the people you need to talk to

      | Michael Richey
    29. Cats in Japanese Art - Printed, Painted, and Sculpted Felines Cat memes from 300 years ago

      | Linda Lombardi
    30. How to Write the JET Program Statement of Purpose Essay The most pivotal part of the JET Program application explained

      | Michael Richey
    31. Japanese Mushrooms: An Umamitastic World of Endless Flavor The funky fungus full of fresh foodie finesse

      | Adam Ledford
    32. The Fabulous World of Japanese Socks! Make your feet - and the rest of you - happy, warm, and fashionable

      | Verity Lane
    33. How to Apply for the JET Program A step-by-step guide for your JET application

      | Michael Richey
    34. Rice Cooker History, Features, Futures, and More We sort through the options so you don't have to!

      | Rich
    35. 25 Reasons To Join The JET Program (And 8 Reasons Not To) The pros and cons of going on JET

      | Michael Richey
    36. The Dragon Ball Training Guide to Self-Improvement How the lessons from Dragon Ball's heroes can help us improve our lives and reach our goals!

      | Rich
    37. Japanese Civic Duty: A Look at the Responsibility of 日本 Returning lost wallets. Keeping streets clean. Japan is the most responsible country in the world, right?

      | Austin
    38. Kanamara Matsuri: The Irony Behind the Infamous Japanese Penis Festival Katajikenai for reading this

      | Shoko
    39. Safety in Japan: Staying Alert in the World's 'Safest' Country Is Japan as safe as everyone thinks? If not, what can you do to protect yourself?

      | Rich
    40. Katsuobushi, The Dried Fermented Fish Rock That's in Almost Every Japanese Dish You've Ever Eaten It's not pretty, it's not fresh, it's hard as a rock, and it's what makes Japanese food taste like Japanese food

      | Linda Lombardi
    41. One Foreigner's Story of Becoming a Father in Japan Hospital's different. Language barrier. Wife having baby. What could go wrong?

      | Nathan
    42. Examining the Japanese Work Ethic So how much does Japan ganbaru anyway?

      | Austin