Lifestyle

Shigin: A truly beautiful art form with a rich history

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Imagine you’re sitting behind a silk screen nervously waiting your turn to go up. The person in front of you calmly walks up on stage looking a little nervous as well. They look at the crowd of 100 or so people, bow, and takes a breath. Then they start to sing.… Read

Lifestyle

Feline good: Cats counter stress at Tokyo firm

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Workaholic Japan is known for long office hours and stressed out employees, but one company claims to have a cure: Cats. A total of nine fluffy felines eat, sleep and walk freely in the small office of IT firm Ferray in Tokyo. Hidenobu Fukuda, who heads the firm, introduced an… Read

Lifestyle

Seasonal turmoil: 'Gogatsubyo' and relationships

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With all of the possible upheaval and changes that take place in April, you would think that a month that starts with a week of holidays like May would be a kinder, gentler time. But there is something sinister that may strike at any moment in May: the so-called gogatsubyo. What… Read

Lifestyle

All that glitters: Japan 'nailists' turn manicures into art

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Japanese manicurist Britney Tokyo may not be a household name, but she counts US pop singer Ariana Grande, model Gigi Hadid and TV personality Kim Kardashian among her growing fan base. The nail artist -- whose designs are finding Internet fame -- was one of the chief attractions at this… Read

Lifestyle

Cross-culturalism: The heart of business in a global world

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These days, the world truly is your oyster. Thanks to the advances of the modern world in aspects such as technology, travel and research, we have access to information and resources around the globe like never before. For this reason, cross-cultural understanding has become crucial to any business wanting to… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese men list 7 traits that would make it impossible for them to date some women

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When looking for love, it’s important to evaluate a potential romantic partner as a basket of their attractive and unattractive qualities. No one person is perfect, and so moving forward with a romance is largely a decision born of the positives outweighing the negatives, as opposed to finding a flawless… Read

Lifestyle

What's in a Japanese name?

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When I first arrived in Japan, I really struggled with Japanese names. Trying to get my tongue around even simple ones like 千秋 (ちあき)  and 夏子 (なつこ)  were tricky. I still remember the disappointed looks on some of the kids’ faces as they asked me if I remembered their names only to… Read

Lifestyle

Fidget spinners, the hit toy that spun out of nowhere

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Stores can't keep them in stock. Parents are scrambling to find them. And some schools have banned them. The mania for fidget spinners — the 3-inch twirling gadgets taking over classrooms and cubicles — is unlike many other toy crazes. They're not made by a major company, timed for the… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese schoolgirls in sailor suit uniforms demonstrate 82 sumo techniques

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In Japan, sailor suit school uniforms denote youthfulness and innocence, but there’s plenty of strength behind the image too. Take the gun-slinging schoolgirl from the 1981 movie "Sailor Suit and Machine Gun" and its 2016 sequel, for instance, or the fighting schoolgirls in Japanese pose reference books. These seemingly contradictory virtues of innocence and power make for the ultimate badass schoolgirl, and whenever she makes… Read

Lifestyle

Bawling babies face off in Japan's 'crying sumo'

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More than 100 Japanese babies faced off Sunday in a traditional "crying sumo" ring, an annual ceremony believed to bring infants good health. In the sumo ring at the precinct of the Kamegaike Hachimangu shrine in Sagamihara west of Tokyo, two hulking wrestlers held up toddlers wearing tiny sumo belts… Read

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