Tag Archives: Japan

Nanami and the Five Whys

One of the best things about teaching in Japan was that most of my students were quite young. Most of them hadn’t developed the reserve that Japanese people are known for, and once they got to know you they were … Continue reading

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Guns of the Samurai

When people think about historical Japan, samurai and their swords come immediately to mind. Perhaps we have images of masterless ronin wandering the lands and getting into thrilling adventures, or maybe we envision the noble families and their loyal retainers. … Continue reading

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The Katana

If there’s one thing everyone knows about Japanese history, it’s the katana. Samurai and their swords are perhaps the most iconic image of Edo-period Japan in our mass media consciousness, and they get used whenever a piece of fiction wants … Continue reading

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Japanese Castles

Ever since I arrived in Japan I was interested in Japanese castles. They look quite different to the stone fortifications my Euro-centric upbringing made me consider normal, and it took me a while to realise that it was because they … Continue reading

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Top 3 in Japan

My time in Japan will soon be at an end, so I thought it would be appropriate to look back on some of the places I’ve been and talk about the things Japan has to offer. It’s been a difficult … Continue reading

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The Koku System

If you’ve read anything about Shogunate-era Japan you’ve probably come across the term koku. It is mostly used to describe the wealth of an individual and measured in bales of rice. But this description significantly oversimplifies the implications of the … Continue reading

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Tastes of Japan Pt 2

Having talked previously about convenience-store foods in Japan, now it’s time to turn to the drinks that accompany them. No, I’m not talking about alcohol (although you can get that at the konbini easily enough). These are the drinks you … Continue reading

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The Watermelon Watchers

Summer is now well underway here in Japan, and I’ve had a chance to see what it’s like. Before we get too much further through it, I thought I’d talk about some of the more idiosyncratic experiences you get in … Continue reading

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Tastes of Japan

Japanese food is famous worldwide. In fact, it is listed as one of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Treasures: teishoku meals are probably what most people think of when Japanese cuisine is mentioned, but other types of food such as sushi … Continue reading

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Hydraulic Power

Here in Japan the rainy season has started, and if you live in a rural area – like yours truly – its effects are fairly obvious. What might be less obvious are the ways in which those effects have shaped … Continue reading

Posted in History, Japan, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments