Celebrating Easter with Origami


This weekend is Easter Sunday weekend. Easter’s popularity is rising: stores and big companies are creating products and packaging for just the occasion.  Easter is a Christian holiday that commemorates the culmination of the Passion of Christ. It is preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of abstinence, prayer, and penance. Easter celebrates the resurrection of […]

Famous Japanese Olympians Through the Years


Since last September’s announcement by the International Olympic Committee that Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, preparations have been well under way. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) created the Bureau of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Preparation on the 1st of January this year. The bureau is tasked to formulate the plans for […]

The True Essence of the Lotus


Nelumbo nucifera (lotus) is an aquatic plant from the family Nelumbonaceae. Often cultivated in water gardens and considered the national flower of India and Vietnam, the lotus is a symbolic flower in Buddhism. Buddha and bodhisattva images are often seen seated on lotus flowers connoting that the flower can also double as a comfortable chair, which […]

Amazing Pioneering Concepts and Inventions by the Japanese


Japan is known for creating some of the best state of the art technologies of our time. But not everyone is aware of the other groundbreaking ideas and inventions the Japanese have contributed for centuries to our everyday existence from the field of science to literature. Here are just a few pioneering concepts and inventions by […]

Traditional Japanese Dolls


Traditional Japanese dolls are also known as ningyō (人形), literally “human shape.” There are different types of traditional Japanese dolls in various forms ranging from babies, imperial court personalities, and warriors, to gods. Many Japanese dolls have a story and a long standing tradition and are still made today for shrines at homes, for festivals such […]

Contemporary Art: Japanese Manhole Covers


It seems unlikely that anyone would give a manhole cover a second glance as they pass it by.  Manhole covers are generally round, and the reasons for this were made popular in a Microsoft job-interview question of why they were so. (The question was meant to discover a person’s thinking process and had more than […]

KCP Student Views, Part 3


2013 was a fun and memorable year for KCP students. They share with us their takeaways of the language and culture program, and on life as a study abroad student in Japan. In this third installment of a 3-part series, students give more valuable insights into the KCP program. I’m a bargain shopper, so I […]

The Brave Onna-bugeisha


Onna-bugeisha (女武芸者) were Japanese women warriors who came from the Japanese upper class. They were widows, wives, daughters, and some were even rebels. They answered to the call of duty and courageously fought in battle alongside the samurai men. They were skillfully trained in martial arts and wielded weapons such as the naginata (a wooden shaft […]

KCP Student Views 2013, Part 2


2013 was a fun and memorable year for KCP students. They share with us their takeaways of the language and culture program, and of life as a study abroad student in Japan. In this second installment of a 3-part series, students give valuable insights into the KCP program. The culture class for the U.S. program […]

Heroic Women of the Samurai Class


A Japanese woman’s presence in feudal society was  discreet, yet essential to smooth sailing of day to day concerns at the palace or council chambers.  The women of the samurai class had a great influence over the political process, and they played a vital part during the Sengoku period of Japan. Female women warriors of […]