Japanese Artistry: Paintings and Painters


Every culture has its own artistic style that expresses the proud tradition and history of the forever evolving nature of mankind and gives us a glimpse of the treasured past. Japan has a continued philosophical and cultural belief in the preservation of arts that is quite different from contemporary preservation techniques.  Japanese art preservationists give importance to the terms […]

Gwen Taylor on the Joys of KCP


KCP alumna Gwen Taylor describes how studying at KCP and experiencing Japan have touched her life. She also offers valuable insights about the program. Thanks, Gwen! I had always felt held back by the speed of language courses at my university. And I thought Japanese culture was something easily understood through textbooks. I wanted to learn so […]

Izu Ōshima : Paradise Island


Izu Ōshima is just 45 minutes away from bustling Tokyo via a high-speed jet boat from Takeshiba Pier in Minato-ku, Izu Ōshima Island. A breathtaking retreat to paradise, it is the closest and largest island to Japan’s capital. Sunset over Izu Ōshima. | Ignat Gorazd The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake that caused so much devastation  in Tokyo […]

The Craft of Japanese Swordsmithing


Japanese samurai, the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan, have long captured the interest of many. The teachings of the samurai are an important aspect of Japanese culture and way of life. It isn’t difficult to be in awe of their strict adherence to their set of rules known as bushidō, their code of […]

The Sakoku Years of Japan


The 17th to the 19th century saw Japan adopting a policy that isolated the whole country from the outside world. This long period of national isolation was called sakoku.  During sakoku no Japanese could leave the country on penalty of death, and very few foreign nationals were permitted to enter and trade with Japan.  Sakoku […]

Riveting October Festivals in Japan


For most Japanese, religion is a combination of elements from various religions known as Shinbutsu shūgō (神仏習合 amalgamation of buddhas and kami).  In 1886, the Shinto and Buddhism Separation Order officially ended the syncretic practices of religion known to Japanese, but they are still observed. Though Shinto and Japanese Buddhism are officially considered two separate faiths, they are more […]

Japanese Supernatural Creatures to Look Out for on Halloween


As a country that has popularized cosplay, performance art, and wearing costumes and fashion accessories to look like a particular character, Japan is a natural at celebrating Halloween with just as much pomp. Japan has its own fair share of supernatural creatures, or yōkai, from stories passed on from one generation to the next.  There are creepy […]

Wagyu: A Slice of Red Meat Heaven


Any carnivore would appreciate a big, fat, juicy slice of steak, a mouthwatering cheeseburger, or a slab of barbecued ribs smoked for hours and slathered with sauce.  Early American settlers had bountiful resources for meat, including beef. The renowned English writer Charles Dickens wrote about his visit to America, mentioning “no breakfast was breakfast” without a […]

Sake: Japanese Wine


Sake, or rice wine, is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice.  Japanese culture considers sake to be more than just a drink to enjoy. Sake is an important part of Japanese culture—it is a celebratory drink in almost every defining moment of a person’s life, from birth to honoring someone at death.  Sake has […]

Remarkable Bridges of Japan


As civilization advanced through the years, bridges became more and more important in connecting lands that were separated by bodies of water. The very first bridges were natural and as simple as a tree trunk that had fallen across a stream. Then, crude bridges were made by man using cut wooden logs or stones that […]