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A-Z Japan & Japanese Culture

Japan flag. Japan & Japanese Culture A-Z

Japan A-Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A Sony Aibo robotic dog.

A = About Japan, Aging Japan (20% over 65), Aibo (robotic doggy), AIDS in Japan (preventing it), AKB48, Ako Festival, Alita, Momofuku Ando (father of instant noodles), 12 Animals (of the Chinese horoscope), Anime, (animated cartoons), Anpanman (kiddies' cartoon character created in 1968 by Takashi Yanase), Atami, Aum Shinrikyo (1995 Tokyo subway gas attack).


A Bonsai Tree.

B = Banks, Battle Angel Alita, Lake Biwa, Bonsai (small trees), Bento (small lunch box), Baseball (play ball), Blog, Bubble Economy (it burst), Bosozoku (motorbike punks), Books on Japan, Blood Types, Byobu (Folding Screens).


Culture & Customs of Japan: buy this book from Amazon.
Culture & Customs
of Japan
There are estimated to be over 74 million mobile phones in Japan.

C = Capsule Hotels (tight squeeze), Cell phones (74.3 million; Feb. 2003), Cars, (62 million), Cha (more honorifically known as 'o-cha', i.e. tea), Chankonabe (sumo food), Cherry Blossom, Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park (an expansive mountainous hiking paradise just west of Tokyo), Chubu, Claska Hotel, Climbing Mount Fuji, Conbeeni (convenience stores - everywhere), Cosplay ('costume play'), Counting in Japanese (not as simple as 123), Culture Shock (getting past the zen and the kimono)



The manga character Doraemon - popular with children worldwide.

D = Daidogei, Daikoku (the Indian god who got a sex change), Daruma (good luck doll), Osamu Dazai (ennui unlimited), Dazaifu (Japan's old gateway to Asia), DesignFesta, Donburi (filling rice dish), Doraemon (blue robotic manga cat), Disposable chopsticks (24 billion a year), Drugs (shabu, or methamphetamine, the drug of choice in Japan)


The aftermath of the Kobe earthquake in 1995.

E = Earth Embassy, Earthsea, Earthquakes, Ebisu (god of plenty, born boneless), Echizen, Heian era pottery, Edo (old Tokyo), Edosan Ryokan (old inn in Nara Park), Enjo Kosai (schoolgirls meet salary men for cash), English (foreign teachers meet salary men for cash), Expo (Aichi Expo 2005).

Teaching English in Japan: buy this book from Amazon.

Fugu - a delicacy in Japan.

F = Ferries, Fetishes (see Lolicon and Roozu Sokkusu), Film, Firefly Dreams (homegrown movie - in English), Festivals, Food, Fugu (blowfish), Fuji (the mountain), Fuji (the Rock Festival), Funerals, Furoshiki


A Kyoto Geisha in full make-up.

G = Gardens (in Spanish only!), Gay Japan, Gifu, Godzilla (fire-breathing lizard, now in New York), Geisha (ultimate lounge lizard), Geography, Geology, Gero Onsen (hot mountain waters), Gods (Ebisu, Daikoku), Graying Japan (Japan's grows older - and older), Gujo Hachiman (mountain-clad history), Gundam (from the future).


Hello Kitty - a design smash with young women in Japan and now worldwide.

H = Hadaka Matsuri (naked festival), Haiku (17-syllable poems), Hakata Ningyo, Hakone (resort par excellence), Hamada, Hamamatsu Fighting Kite Festival (wind power), Ayumi Hamasaki (Goddess of J-Pop), Handmaid (a pink salon service), Happi (cool coats), Hello Kitty (cute cat), Hibiya Park (a riot!) Hida Furukawa (for the Fox Fire Festival), Himeji (out of Osaka), Hina Matsuri (doll festival), Hinomaru, Hiragana, Hiraizumi (a glorious past), History (in a nutshell), Hi-Tech (an index), Hokkaido (way up north), Homosexuality in Japan (gay boys), Honda Soichiro (the motorbike man), Honshu (main island), Huis Ten Bosch.


Ichiro: buy this book from Amazon.

I = Ice Hockey (cold pucks), Idoru (pre-pubescent popsters), Iga-Ueno (with a ninja museum), Images of Japan (worth 1,000 words), i-mode (the phone), Ichiro Suzuki (baseball superstar), Internet Cafes (home away from), Inuyama (castles and cormorant fishing), Investing (making the yen go), Ise (Shinto's holy ground), Iwakuni (white snakes and arched bridges), Iwo Jima (by Clint Eastwood), Izakaya (eat & drink).


Japanese soccer fans raise the flag.

J = japan (lower case = lacquer)
Japanoise, J.pop
J.League (latest Japan soccer news)
J.phone (rent a phone while in Japan)
Japan Rail Pass (get around cheaper)
JET Program (teaching ticket to Japan)


Karaoke: buy this book from Amazon.

K = Kabuki (traditional theater), Kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine), Kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi), Kakunodate, Kamakura, Kamikaze (divine wind), Kamikochi (hiking paradise), Kanamara (phallus festival), Kanazawa ("little Kyoto"), Kanji (Japanese characters), Kansai people (a breed apart), Karaoke (singing in boxes), Kanto (J-East), Kansai (J-West), Katakana, Kendama (trad toys of skill), Kewpie Dolls (kawaii!), Kii Peninsula (breathtaking scenes), Kill Bill, Kiso Valley (taste of the feudal), Koban (police boxes), Kobe (Japan's most liveable city?), Koinobori (carp streamers), Koshien High School Baseball Tournament (it's a spiritual thing), Kote-e (plaster relief art), Koyasan (esoteric Buddhism's HQ), Kumamoto (for Japan's 3rd biggest castle), Kurashiki (Ohara Art Museum), Yayoi Kusama (polka dots and pumpkins), Kyoto (ancient capital), Kyoto A-Z, Kyujo (ballpark), Kyushu hot springs (hubble bubble), Kyusu (Japanese ceramic tea sets).


Love Hotels - this one in Osaka charges 2,700 yen for a 'rest' time.

L = Lacquerware (AKA urushi), Lafcadio Hearn (early foreign writer), Lake Biwa Aqueduct Museum (brickwork engineering), Les Rallizes Denudes, Lolicon (Lolita complex), Last Samurai (making way for the modern), Love hotels (sex complex), Liberal Democratic Party, or 'LDP' (power complex), Lost in Translation (Japan with a smile).


Manga DVD cover.

M = Magome (a taste of the feudal), Maneki neko (here puss puss), Manhole covers (like never seen), Masuda (for Gran Toit), Matsuri (festivals), Maiko (Kyoto trainee geisha), Manga (the comics), Magic mushrooms (no longer legal), Match-making (nice to meet you), The Matrix, Matsushima, Michelin (starred restaurants in Japan), Minoru Mori (Tokyo real estate mogul), Minshuku, Mishima Yukio (spilled his guts), Miyazaki Hirao (the King of Anime), Movies, Murakami Haruki (hard-boiled novelist). Murakami Ryu (hard-core novelist).


Hidetoshi Nakata - Japan's most famous and successful soccer export.

N = Nanzenji, Nara, Nabe (one-pot stew),Nagoya, Nakata (Hide to friends), Naoshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea, National Stadium, Tokyo, Nengajo, Nikko, Ninja, Ninomiya Chuhachi (Japan's aircraft pioneer), Nintendo, Ninja (not just turtles), Noh (traditional drama), Noren (it's curtains), Noodles (also see 'Raamen'), Noodle Museum, Nori AKA laver: Japan's favorite edible seaweed, Nudity, Numbers in Japanese.


The Tokyo Olympics in 1964 brought new self-confidence and optimism to post-war Japan.

O = Okayama, Okonomiyaki (Japanese 'pizza'), OLs (office ladies), Olympics in Tokyo 1964, Yoko Ono (screaming fifth Beatle), Onsen (hot-springs), Osaka, Otaku (nerds: see Nintendo'), Oze.


Pokemon - a global marketing phenomenon.

P = Pachinko (gamble with ball-bearings), Parasols, Parks (and gardens), Pharmaceuticals (17,800 pharmaceutical products available in Japan as of 2009), PlayStation, Podcasts of Japan - the real sounds of Japan, Pokemon (pocket monsters), Pottery Village, in Fukui prefecture, Prefecture, Purikura = 'print club' (print out your mug-shot).


Tokyo Q Review: buy this book from Amazon.

Q = Q-chan (marathon runner Naoko Takahashi), cool website with a capital Q = TokyoQ, Queer


High School girls wearing loose socks.

R = Rainy season (wet and steaming), Ramen (Chinese noodles - hot and steaming), Ramen Museum, Raamen Noodles: the birth of a new variety (also see 'Noodles'), Religion (articles by journalist Alan Wiren), Restaurants (in Tokyo), Rice (white and steaming), Right Wingers - a movie clip, Robots (1 for every 310 Japanese), Roozu Sokkusu ("loose socks" on high school girls - steamy lenses, see 'Fetish'), Roppongi, Ryokan (Japanese-style inns).


Go to Sumo images.

S = Ryuichi Sakamoto (electro pioneer), Sake (rice wine), Sakura (cherry blossom), Samurai (all gone now), Sapporo (Hokkaido's metropolis), Sapporo Snow Festival (winter wonderland), Scuba Diving, Seaweed (finish your greens!), Seishun Juhachi (cheap rail ticket), Sendai, Sen to Chihiro no kamikushi (Japan's box office smash), Sento (public baths), Sex Museums (hihokan), Shamisen (the Japanese lute - mp3 podcast), Shinjuku Ni-Chome (Tokyo's gay/lesbian town), Shinkansen (bullet train), Shinto (the Way of the Gods), shirouo (serious throat tickles), shitamachi (working-/merchant-class area of a city), Shodoshima (island beauty spot), Skiing, Ski resorts near Tokyo, Skyscrapers (watch a slideshow), SMAP (aging boy-band), Soapland (pubic baths), Soba (buckwheat noodles), More Soba (a second helping), Sounds of Japan (JapanVisitor podcast), More sounds of Japan (extra JapanVisitor podcast), Sounds of Korea (JapanVisitor podcast of Japan's nearest neighbor), Soy Sauce (shoyu), Suicide (about 80 cases a day), Sumo, Surgery (this won't hurt), Sushi (say 'ah').


A Yakuza (gangster) tattoo.

T = Tabi (straw sandals), Takayama (trad mountain town), Taketombo (whirlygigs), Takoyaki (Osaka's favorite snack), Tanabata (celestial lovers), Tatami (mats), Tattoos (also see Yakuza), Taxis (cabs), Tea (o-cha), Temples & Shrines (let us pray), Toba, Tempura (deep fried), Time, Tofu (beans gone white and wobbly), Toi (gold & silver town), Tokonoma (alcove), Tokyo (metropolis), Tokyo Drift: The Fast and the Furious, Tokyo history, Tokyo Motor Show (revving the capital), Tokyo Story (a Yasujiru Ozu work), Tokyo Tower (Tokyo's Eiffel), Torii (entrances to shrines), Totoro (troll next door), Tour de Lac, Toyama (history with sea air), Toyohashi, Toyota, Tsumago, Tsuwano, Twilight Samurai.


An ukiyo-e print showing Mt. Fuji.

U = Underwear theft, Ukiyo-e (wood-block prints), Umbrellas (you'll need one), Udon (oodles of noodles), Ueno Park and Zoo, Tokyo, Uji, Japan's tea capital, Unagi (eels), UNESCO World Heritage sites, Union (General Union for teachers of English in Japan), Usagi (rabbit): a foreigner-friendly gay bar in Tokyo.


Visas for Japan.

V = Vending machines, Video games (see Otaku), Visas (also see Embassies in Japan).


The Book of Whales: buy this book from Amazon.

W = Wakayama Marina City, Washi (handmade paper), Wasabi (horse radish with your sushi), Weddings, Whales (big bones of contention), Waribashi (disposable chopsticks: 24 billion a year), William Adams.


An election poster for Junichiro Koizumi of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

X = XJapan (former PM Koizumi's favorite band), XL (see Sumo).


Japanese yen.

Y = Yabusame, Yakitori (grilled chicken), Yakuza (the men in black), Yanagawa, Yojimbo (classic movie), Yoshimoto Banana (cult novelist), Yen (you'll need some), Yamanote Line (Tokyo loop line), Yoiyama Matsuri (festival), Kyoto, Yokohama, Yokozuna (see 'Sumo'), Youth Hostels, Yu-gi-oh, Yunohira, Yuzen.


The Way of Zen: buy this book from Amazon.
The Way of Zen

Z = Zatoichi, Zen (the sound of one hand clapping), Zaibatsu (big business), Zainichi ('Japanese Koreans'), Zodiac, Zori.


Books on Japanese Culture