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OSHOUGATSU – New Years in Japan

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

There are many interesting public holidays which come with traditional practices in the Japanese calendar, there's the Children's Day on May 5th, where families with boys fly a koi-shaped flags at their homes or there's Labor Thanksgiving Day on November 23rd. However there is no Boxing Day and if … Read More

The ‘Visual Types’

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

By now it is well-known around the world that Japan is the home to some interesting, sometimes borderline peculiar subcultures. The Japanese youth has a lot of commitment and passion for their subcultures - they live and breathe it. Without the maniacal commitment of these youths, some of these sub… Read More

The Freeter Phenomenon

Culture Alison Muir Alison Muir

One Japanese icon that is recognised worldwide is the stereotype of the ‘salaryman’. You’re probably aware of it, even if you’d never heard what it was called. ‘Salaryman’ describes the idea of a typical Japanese businessman (literally: a salaried man), a cut-and-paste clone in a cut-and-paste suit… Read More

The True Face of Geisha

Culture Alison Muir Alison Muir

The world of geisha is one steeped in mystery. The training of a geisha is a strict and demanding process, and the women who undergo this training are discouraged from revealing the secrets of this world to outsiders. Access to this world even by clients is restricted, and is generally only possibl… Read More

Be an Otaku for a day – Part 1: What’s an Otaku?

Culture Ayla Yuile Ayla Yuile

If you google the word ‘otaku’, google describes it as ‘(in Japan) a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills.’ For the most part otakus are a lot like the geeks of the western world, however, the level of obsession… Read More