A Short History of Photography in Japan


In the world of visual arts, photography is a relative newcomer; yet it has surpassed traditional arts such as painting and sculpture in its popularity and the numbers of people who engage in it. The digital age has greatly influenced its reach, as evidenced by the countless photos one can find in the internet.  In Japan, […]

The Ornate and Functional Japanese Rain Chain


With climate change affecting all corners of the world, every little thing we can do to help lessen our carbon footprint is a great help to our planet. Water is something we all need. Collecting rain water and re-using it is just one of the many ways we can contribute to living greener lives. Japanese rain chains are […]

Japan’s Amazing Hundred Year Old Drinking Water


Can water itself go bad? It’s a question that has probably run through our minds at some point or another. It seems like everything nowadays can go bad, including water. Our mouths are riddled with microorganisms. Changes in temperature allow microorganisms to multiply at an alarming rate. Reusing the same dirty glass will greatly increase the risks of […]

The Amazing Ryukyu Culture


Located at the southwest tip of Japan are the islands of Okinawa. Okinawa is made up of 160 islands and is home to the indigenous Ryukyuan or Lewchewan people. They are the largest minority group in Japan, with about 1.3 million living in Okinawa alone and another 300,000 elsewhere in or outside the country, mostly in Hawaii. Ryukyu […]

Thunderous Taiko Drums


Japan has a long, proud history in its unique ancient culture and heritage that span centuries. Musical instruments have been an influential part of Japanese traditions as seen in the many festivals that are celebrated yearly. Some of these traditional Japanese instruments have withstood the test of time, notably the taiko drums, which have attracted quite a number of […]

The Versatility of Green Matcha


Matcha is finely ground powder of specially processed and grown green tea. A popular flavor in Japan, matcha is also used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony that centers on the preparing, serving, and drinking of green tea. Matcha was discovered by a Chinese monk, from a tea plant called Camellia sinensis. The farming and processing […]

Delicious Japanese Fruits


Japan prides itself on its many gastronomical delights. Freshness is an unquestionable factor when it comes to the ingredients used in all Japanese cuisine. Fruits are laboriously cultivated by expert farmers and are packed with care. Here are some popular Japanese fruits to try when in Japan: Sudachi is a small, round, green citrus fruit with […]

The Historical Ueda Castle


Ueda Castle (上田城 Ueda-jō) plays an important part in Japanese history that exemplifies determination and courage. The castle was built in the late 16th century by the daimyo Sanada Masayuki who later became the governor. Sanada Masayuki was known for his resourcefulness and courage. He was skilled in war tactics and strategies and led his limited forces masterfully in bravely going […]

KCP Winter 2016 Students Explore Kamakura


Kamakura, one of Japan’s most popular destinations, has many historical Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, some of which are over a thousand years old. The Great Buddha of Kamakura located in Kōtoku-in (a Buddhist temple of the Jōdo-shū sect), Kamakura City, is one of the famous attractions that draws visitors every year. The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a bronze statue of […]

Ukai: A Traditional Japanese Way of Fishing


Ukai or cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method using trained cormorants (from the family of Phalacrocoracidae consisting of about 40 kinds of species of aquatic birds) to fish in rivers. Fishermen tie a snare by the base of the bird’s throat, preventing them from swallowing the bigger fish they catch. The smaller fish can […]