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Culture & Society

Articles and resources on Japanese culture and society
Harakiri (腹切り), seppuku (切腹), or jigai (自害, “suicide”) is ritual disembowelment originally reserved for the samurai, the warrior class of Japan...
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12K
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Emoticons (顔文字 (かおもじ, “Kaomoji” or “Emoji”) are facial expressions pictorially represented by punctuation and letters to express the mood the...
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83K
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In Shintoism, kami 神 describes all spirits of divine nature, of essence or natural forces. The Chinese 神 (shin or jin) refers to traditional...
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Torii are the traditional Japanese gates or archways to Shinto sanctuaries or other sacred areas. Torii (鳥居 【とりい】, literally “bird’s perch”) first...
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Sumō (相撲) is a unique form of wrestling with a 2,000-year-old history that easily qualifies as the national sport of Japan. Sumō became a...
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Aum Shinrikyo (now known as Aleph) is a new religious movement. The group was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984. The group gained international...
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12K
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Modern Japanese names (日本人の氏名 nihonjin no shimei) usually consist of a family name (surname), followed by a given name. This order is common in...
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80K
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Shintō - the Way of Gods Meaning “the way of the gods”, Shinto (神道 shintō) is the native religion of Japan. It is a form of animism which stresses...
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30K
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Chonin (“townspeople”, 町 means city ward) were a social class that emerged at the beginning of the 16th century usually settling around castles...
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Toshirō Mifune and Richard Chamberlain in "Shōgun" (1980) "Shōgun" is the first novel in James Clavell’s Asian Saga. It is set in feudal Japan...
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46K
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Research paper written by Jeremy Read, March 2005 Introduction to cuteness Kawaii, meaning “cute” or “childlike”, is the term used for the...
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12K
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With kind permission of Gil Asakawa You’d think in the 21st century, that racial epithet would be so old-fashioned that anyone using them would...
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13K
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In this article, I hope to put together a list of questions and answers concerning anything and everything about the Japanese sword. There is so...
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11K
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