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. Okonomiyaki – Japanese Soul Food at Its Finest Osaka and Hiroshima represent

      | Michael Richey and Mami Suzuki
    2. The Gay of the Samurai All About Homosexuality, Buddhist Monks, Samurai, and The Tokugawa Middle Class

      | Koichi
    3. 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
    4. 20 Differences Between Japanese and Western Schools The things that stand to shock you most as an ALT

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

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

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

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

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

      | Adam Ledford
    10. 4 Foreigners in Traditional Japanese Roles Breaking into a traditionally Japanese art form may be tough for foreigner, but it's not impossible

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

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

      | Linda Lombardi
    14. 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
    15. Navigating Roppongi's Nightlife Making the Best of Roppongi’s Split Personality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      | Michael Richey
    28. 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
    29. The Post JET Acceptance Checklist The forms you need to fill out and the people you need to talk to

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

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

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

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

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

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

      | Rich
    36. 25 Reasons To Join The JET Program (And 8 Reasons Not To) The pros and cons of going on JET

      | Michael Richey
    37. 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
    38. 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
    39. Kanamara Matsuri: The Irony Behind the Infamous Japanese Penis Festival Katajikenai for reading this

      | Shoko
    40. 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
    41. 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
    42. One Foreigner's Story of Becoming a Father in Japan Hospital's different. Language barrier. Wife having baby. What could go wrong?

      | Nathan