Japanese history

Miyajima, Japan: The great Torii is the boundary between the spirit and the human worlds.
Culture

History, Culture and Words Behind Shinto Shrines in Japan

Japanese shrines are beautiful and awe-inspiring. But what's actually in a shrine? Here's a quick run down of the basics, from kami to Korean dogs.

By 4 min read

Culture

Why is Japan called ‘Japan’ and not ‘Nihon?’

The reason why Japan isn’t called Nihon involves a gradual change over millennia and the many countries that had an influence on it.

By 4 min read

Culture

Following Junichiro Tanizaki, One of Japan’s Greatest Writers

A roundup of significant literary sites in Kobe and Ashiya for fans of one of Japan's most renowned authors.

By 3 min read

Culture

Down the Well: The Real Ghost Story That Inspired ‘Ringu’

Himeji Castle, the real-life location that influenced the hit J-horror movie.

By 4 min read

Culture

The Eel and The Ox: Summer Unagi in Japan

Learn about Day of the Ox and why people in Japan can't get enough eel in summer.

By 3 min read

Culture

Tanabata: The Yin and Yang of Japanese Holidays

How much does Japan's star festival actually have to do with the stars?

By 5 min read

Learn

A Buddhist Look Behind Pets, Food and Funerals in Japan

Why are some animals in Japan eaten while some pets receive funeral services led by religious officials and are then enshrined within Buddhist altars within the home?

By 5 min read

Explore

Five Places Linked to Japan’s Hidden Christians

A journey to the abandoned villages and historical churches of Nagasaki to explore the intriguing story of Japan's hidden Christians.

By 5 min read

Culture

5 Cool Things I Learned About Japan at Ise Shrine

Not only is Ise Grand Shrine Japan's most important Shinto site—but it's also a great deep dive into Japanese culture and history.

By 5 min read

Culture

8 Influential Women and Girls in Modern Japanese History

Celebrate International Women's Day this month by learning about these eight impressive Japanese women.

By 6 min read

Explore

GaijinPot on Location: A Quest for Kurosawa

Discover the real-life locations seen in some of the acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa's most iconic movies.

By 4 min read

Culture

Why are There So Many Summer Festivals in Japan?

What is the history, superstitions and culture surrounding all these summer celebrations?

By 6 min read