Santa Rising

Santa's back in town with inflation, inclusion on his mind

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Don't look for plastic partitions or faraway benches when visiting Santa Claus this year. The jolly old elf is back, pre-pandemic style, and he's got some pressing issues on his mind. Santa booker has logged a 30% increase in demand this Christmas season over last year, after losing about… Read


Kanto and Kansai word differences


Throughout history, spoken Japanese has evolved in hundreds of different ways, creating dialects in each region. The two most spoken were the Edo and the Kinai dialect. Once Meiji was restored to the Imperial throne, sweeping political and educational reforms took place. Many dialects were suppressed in favor of the Edo dialect… Read


Asian faiths try to save sacred swastika corrupted by Hitler


Sheetal Deo was shocked when she got a letter from her Queens apartment building’s co-op board calling her Diwali decoration “offensive” and demanding she take it down. “My decoration said ‘Happy Diwali’ and had a swastika on it,” said Deo, a physician, who was celebrating the Hindu festival of lights.… Read


A beginner’s guide to onsen in Japan


One of the best parts of Japan’s winter traditions is going to an onsen (hot spring). Submerging yourself in hot water warms your cold bones like nothing else, leaving you relaxed and ready for bed when you step out of the changing rooms. Going to an onsen for the first time isn’t easy for… Read


Shine on: Campaigners save London's historic gas lamps


Intrigued tourists watch as Paul Doy climbs a ladder outside London's Westminster Abbey and lifts the globe of a gas street lamp. Winding its timer, he then ignites a small cloth mesh, creating a distinctive soft warm light that illuminates the darkness. "I like the historical aspect of it," said… Read


Egg tart vendor promises not to accidentally sell realistic plastic samples a third time


A popular fixture of the Japanese cityscape is the many plastic food samples that grace the windows of restaurants and other food retailers. These fake foods are crafted with such amazing attention to detail that they’re works of art in their own right. Unfortunately, this can be a source of problems for… Read


Murakami, Malone unite in 'flower-butterfly' collaboration


Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s visions have spanned colorful smiling flowers, a zany take on Mickey Mouse and huge erotic sculptures of animation-inspired figures that have fetched enormous auction prices. His latest goes down a musical path, in collaboration with American rapper and singer Post Malone. “To be honest, I really… Read


More than one in three Japanese working women in survey would rather be housewives


Women joining the workforce after finishing their education has been the norm in Japan for quite some time. Transitioning to life as a fulltime homemaker after marriage or childbirth is still relatively more common in Japan than it is in many Western nations, though, and it’s not a lifestyle that’s… Read


How cooking food and gathering for feasts made us human


If you’re cooking a meal for Thanksgiving or just showing up to feast, you’re part of a long human history — one that's older than our own species. Some scientists estimate our early human cousins may have been using fire to cook their food almost 2 million years ago, long… Read


The ups and downs of being ‘half Japanese’ in Japan


irst things first. I hate to start off by putting out a disclaimer, but these are my own personal opinions and thoughts about being a hafu (half-Japanese) and my experience will/may differ from others. I do not expect everyone to agree with me. Please take what I say with a… Read

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