Have your students asked your ketsueki-gata (血液型), or blood type? Have you noticed that celebrities in Japan often have their blood types listed as part of their vital statistics, and people even know the blood type of their favorite anime character? In Japan, blood type is seen as an important indicator of personality and personal success, similar to the way that Westerners sometimes put faith in astrology. Out of the four blood types, A, B, AB and O, each has positive and negative traits associated with it.
Hiroshima, being the commercial and industrial hub of the Chugoku region, has a solid local music scene. Since coming here, going to local live shows has become a bit of a hobby, and through it, I have not only discovered some fantastic music, but also made some very close friends. Here’s a list of clubs in Hiroshima that you can look to for exploring the local music scene.
Matt shows us how to make a crusty baked vegetable wonder to wow your palate.
Find out how to access Japan-only iPhone applications as well the Japanese iTunes Store.
While Tottori is not the first thing that comes to peoples’ minds when they think of tourism in Japan, Kathy Rice shares her travels around the Tottori Sand Dunes, a destination gradually gaining popularity around Japan.
The hollow clicking sound grows louder as you approach the door on the second floor of an old downtown building. As the door swings open, the source of the clicking becomes clear: around 40 ojiisan clustered around low tables. Looking pensive as they slurp green tea, they take turns forcefully smacking stones down on wooden game boards, occasionally bursting out with a surprised “Ehh!” or frustrated “Bakanaa!” The men are playing one of the oldest, most complex strategy games on the planet. It is the game the Japanese call igo, or simply go, alternatively called baduk in Korean, and weiqi in Chinese.
If you are leaving Japan this year, you may have piles of clothes that you either no longer need or don’t want to pay to transport home. Of course you could put them out for recycling, disguise them as cushions and irritate your successor... or you could donate them to this year’s AJET clothing drive and bask in the smug glow of knowing your togs have gone to people who need them.
Fall is here and with the changing leaves comes cooler weather. It's the season of pumpkin lattes and hot cocoa, of curling up under the kotatsu and hiding indoors from the chilly winds. Hence, it's often the season of weight gain. But it doesn't have to be! Lauren Frederick has compiled a list of expert tips to help you stay fit this fall season. Check them out today!
Our resident fitness expert, Lauren Frederick, is back this week with a rundown of how to create your very own home gym. Take a look inside for some handy advice and a review of the best weights to stock your personal workout haven.
The primary reason many people choose to study tea ceremony (including more than two dozen of my own classmates both in Japan and the U.S.) is relaxation. You see, there’s an unfortunate misconception going around that tea ceremony is a very serious, very rigid sort of practice. However, there’s a great deal more to the art than the formal presentation most people are familiar with. First and foremost, tea ceremony is a powerful sensory experience meant to stimulate all five senses.