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Category Archives: Culture

Do You Know Noh?

This article originally featured in the November 2021 issue of Connect.   The story behind this unique form of theater and how a tiny island far from Tokyo became Japan’s preeminent center for Noh. Kimberly Fitzgerald (Niigata)   “I think my nose is too big,”

Cosplay During COVID

THE CHALLENGES OF COSPLAYING DURING THE PANDEMIC This article originally featured on page 52 in the May 2021 issue of Connect. Amadara Oguara interviewed by Rhema Baquero (Kobe) Though cosplay, or character play, originated in America, many cosplayers worldwide look to Japan for inspiration when it comes to anime characters. Cosplay


This article originally featured in the May 2021 issue of Connect. The Traditional Sakura Woodworks of a Samurai Village Jessica Craven (Saitama) For all except perhaps those in the very northernmost part of Japan, the sakura have already bloomed, withered, and rained down upon us, marking the end

Oni In! Luck in!

This article originally featured in the April 2021 issue of Connect. by Clarissa Combe (Aomori)   Even if you have only very limited knowledge of Japanese folklore and legend, you have likely come across oni: ogre-like creatures that are the ubiquitous foe to every hapless protagonist. With sharp

Saving Japan’s Gentle Giants

This article originally featured in the March 2021 issue of Connect. Richard Pearce (Tottori)   An overview of the Japanese giant salamander The Japanese giant salamander is a very special creature. It is a large amphibian that can only be found in some of Japan’s rivers. It is one

Steps in Silk: A Journey with Kimono

This article originally featured in the March 2021 issue of Connect. Rowan Hatcher (Osaka)   It took me several years after moving to Japan to try wearing a kimono. While I had always wanted to, for many reasons I didn’t think I could. There were industry-rooted reasons: the

A Day of Chocolate: Valentine’s Traditions in Japan

This article originally featured in the February 2021 issue of Connect. Haruka Matsuzaki (Tokyo) Japan is a very unique country, and Valentine’s Day in Japan is no exception. In most Western countries, Valentine’s Day is a day when all genders express their love by sending cards, flowers, gifts,