Gold Fireflies Dance Through Japanese Enchanted Forest in the Summer of 2016

An array of photographers captured these stunning images of gold fireflies during Japan’s rainy season in June and July. A dazzling long-exposure effort, the fireflies resemble a chimerical glittery effect only seen by fairies in enchanted forests.


According to the Western calendar, January 25 is the anniversary of the Battle of Mikatagahara, fought in 1573. (The actual date of the conflict was Genki 3/12/22, but I’ll explain the complexities and problems of dating in the life and career of Tokugawa Ieyasu in another post.) Today I therefore wanted to offer a brief […]

The first colour photographs of Japan: enter a fascinating world of geisha and samurai

  It’s exactly 150 years since Emperor Meiji opened Tokyo to trade for the first time, ending Japan’s long standing policy of isolationism. Among the first visitors to Japan in the years that followed was Felice Beato, the Italian–British photographer. His images, all taken between 1864 and 1867, reveal a fascinating world of samurai warriors and geisha, peasants and courtesans. […]

Sleep like a samurai – Travel provider offers one-night stay in a Japanese castle

Free package includes dinner modeled after meals eaten by feudal lords. Although I spent several years working in the hotel industry, my personal travel style makes me pretty flexible as far as picking as accommodations are concerned. As long as the location is good and the room clean, I don’t need a whole lot of other amenities, especially if […]

10 distinctive features of the Japanese education system that made this nation the envy of the world

Japanese people are known for their intelligence, strong health, politeness, and wellness. But why is this nation so unique and different from the rest of the world? Because they have an incredibly cool education system! Manners before knowledge. In Japanese schools, the students don’t take any exams until they reach grade four (the age of 10). They just take small tests. […]

Tamahagane (玉鋼)- The high quality metal (steel) made in the Japanese tradition.

Tamahagane (玉鋼) is a high quality metal (steel) made in the Japanese tradition. The word tama means “round and precious”, like a gem. The word hagane means “steel”. Tamahagane is used to make Japanese swords, knives, and other kinds of tools. Good tamahagane contains around 1% of carbon and should not go over 1.5%. Tamahagane […]

Tanuki- The Japanese Raccoon Dog

The tanuki has a long history in Japanese legend and folklore. Bake-danuki are a kind of tanuki yōkai (ghost) found in the classics and in the folklore and legends of various places in Japan.   Although the tanuki is a real, extant animal, the bake-danuki that appears in literature has always been depicted as a […]

Genpuku – The coming-of-age ceremony

Genpuku was traditionally considered a Major Rite, an important ritual affecting life course in which a child exchanged their childhood status for an adult status, and continues from the Nara (710–794 AD) into the Tokugawa Period (1603–1868). The ceremony was usually backed by an older society member of political importance, and included the exchange of […]