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. Wabi-Sabi and Understanding Japan A philosophy and aesthetic as worldview

      | Jack
    2. Chindogu: The Unuseless Inventions of Kenji Kawakami The inventions that you could almost see yourself using...almost.

      | Michael Richey
    3. Japanese Sign Language and Being Deaf in Japan Improve your Japanese and learn something new at the same time!

      | Kaitlin Stainbrook, Rochelle, and Kristen Dexter
    4. Bowing in Japan Everything you've ever wanted to know about how to bow, and how not to bow, in Japan.

      | Mami Suzuki
    5. Okonomiyaki – Japanese Soul Food at Its Finest Osaka and Hiroshima represent

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

      | Koichi
    7. 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
    8. 20 Differences Between Japanese and Western Schools The things that stand to shock you most as an ALT

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

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

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

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

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

      | Adam Ledford
    14. 4 Foreigners in Traditional Japanese Roles Breaking into a traditionally Japanese art form may be tough for foreigner, but it's not impossible

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

      | Pia
    16. 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
    17. Ekiben! Japanese Food on Japanese Trains and Beyond Two great Japanese things, even better together

      | Linda Lombardi
    18. 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
    19. Navigating Roppongi's Nightlife Making the Best of Roppongi’s Split Personality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      | Michael Richey
    32. 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
    33. The Post JET Acceptance Checklist The forms you need to fill out and the people you need to talk to

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

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

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

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

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

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

      | Rich
    40. 25 Reasons To Join The JET Program (And 8 Reasons Not To) The pros and cons of going on JET

      | Michael Richey
    41. 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
    42. 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