Spectacular Seasonal Illuminations in Japan


In Japan, December is just as busy and festive as in other countries as winter as the holiday season kicks off. Several spectacular events are a must-see while in Japan during the holidays. One of these is the seasonal illuminations. Seasonal illuminations are a glorious sight in the larger cities all across Japan. The dazzling light displays […]

Celebrating Christmas in Japan


The holiday season gives us a chance to be thankful for whatever blessings we have and to celebrate with family and friends. No matter what part of the world we are from or how we choose to celebrate, the spirit of the season is always a joyous occasion. The story of Christmas in Japan  began when […]

Traditional Japanese Architecture: Sukiya-zukuri and Shoin-zukuri


Each country has its own unique style of architecture that tells a lot about its history and people. Japan can tell us interesting stories as seen in the wealth of its architectural history—from grand castles to humble farmhouses in the countryside. Staying at a traditional Japanese ryokan (inn) acquaints any visitor with the authentic vibe and feel […]

Japan’s Elegant Imari Porcelain


We have evolved a great distance from our cavemen ancestors, who roasted and ate food on twigs over a fire and, from the burnt wood, began drawing on cave walls. The discovery of kaolin (clay used for pottery) in the village Kao-Ling, China, began our love affair with fine porcelain.  Today, we have become much more refined […]

Looking Back on the Boshin War


The Boshin War is a notable conflict in Japan’s history. It finally ended the military rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate and returned political power to the imperial court. The Boshin War (戊辰戦争), “War of the Year of the Yang Earth Dragon,” was a civil war in Japan from 1868 to 1869 between the Tokugawa Shogunate forces and those opposed […]

The Humble and Rustic Himono


Japan is an island nation, so fish has been an abundant staple in the Japanese diet for hundreds of years. According to early documents, nobility from the Heian period had fish and vegetables as their typical meal. Banquet settings during that time consisted of common fare food such as rice, soup, and condiments such as salt, […]

The Tokugawa Bafuku


Japan’s feudal era brought about a great warrior class we know as the samurai. Japan was in so much chaos that strong leaders and strict reforms were needed to bring the whole country together. The Tokugawa bakufu (徳川幕府) also known as the Tokugawa shogunate or the Edo bafuku, was preceded by the Sengoku period (warring states.) It […]

“Explore to Realize” with Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)


Japan’s version of NASA is the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (独立行政法人宇宙航空研究開発機構, Dokuritsu-gyōsei-hōjin Uchū Kōkū Kenkyū Kaihatsu Kikō), or JAXA.  JAXA, is primarily responsible for research, technology development, and the launching of satellites into orbit, asteroid and moon explorations, and other advanced missions Its corporate slogan is “Explore to Realize.” JAXA was formed on the 1st of October 2003 […]

The Beautiful Haha-jima


Haha-jima, or “Mother Island,” is located in Ogasawara Village, Tokyo. It’s about two hours from Futami Port in Chichijima Island via a liner. Haha-jima is a long, thin island that runs north to south, and is the largest island of Ogasawara. Its main port is Oki Village on the southern portion of the island. Haha-jima, […]

KCP and Beyond by Hector Santiago


KCP alumnus Hector Santiago describes how his desire to learn more about the culture and language of Japan led him to join the KCP program and later, achieve his goal of working in Japan. By the end of my second year in college, after having been involved in my school’s Asian culture club on campus and […]