JAPANESE CULTURE BLOG

Tokyo Olympics 1964

Tokyo Olympics 1964

Go back in history and celebrate the legacy of the 1964 Summer Games in post-war Japan, the first ever Games to be held in Asia.

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Gendai Budō (現代武道)

SPORTS

Gendai Budō (現代武道)

While most people have heard of jūdō, kendō, aikidō and karate, many haven’t heard the term that they fall under, gendai budō . It’s used to describe modern Japanese martial arts, specifically those founded after the Meiji Restoration in 1868.  Unlike traditional martial arts, gendai budō focus on self-improvement first and self-defense second. Some, like jūdō and kendō, have sporting and competitive elements, and karate has been recognised as a new Olympic sport.

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Doyo no Ushi no Hi (土用の丑の日)

FOOD KITCHENWARE

Doyo no Ushi no Hi (土用の丑の日)

Eel is firmly reserved for the fish and chip shop in the UK, but it’s a fairly common feature of Japanese cuisine, particularly in summer.  Eel is known as unagi in Japan, and Doyo no Ushi no Hi (土用の丑の日) is a tradition that sees people eat unagi to maintain their stamina in the hot weather. 

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Hanabi (花火)

FESTIVALS

Hanabi (花火)

If cherry blossom symbolise spring in Japan, then fireworks, or hanabi (花火), signal the hot, humid summers. Learn about the popular hanabi taikai that draw thousands of spectactors every July and August.

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Furoshiki (風呂敷)

HOME TEXTILES

Furoshiki (風呂敷)

In celebration of World Environment we’re honouring traditional furoshiki (風呂敷), reusable, square Japanese fabrics used to wrap gifts, transport goods and accessorise or decorate.  We’ve talked about the humble tenugui (手ぬぐい) in the past, but if you’re looking to elevate your sustainability efforts, look no further than furoshiki. 

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