Japanese Swords: ‘Tatara,’ the Traditional Iron and Steel Culture of the San’in

  The traditional dance performance of Iwami Kagura tells the story of the discovery of steelmaking in Izumo, Japan, through the metaphor of the deity Susano-o quelling the eight-headed, eight-tailed serpent dragon Yamata no Orochi.   I was treated to a beguiling performance of this story when I visited the spiritual and mythical origins of […]

2018 Sakura Photo Contest, and the Latest Fashion Craze for Cherry Blossom Photographers

  JAPAN Forward Announces 2018 Cherry Blossom Photo Contest   The season for Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is fast approaching in Tokyo and the Kanto region. Here and there, early Sakura blossoms are being reported, and the season of full-bloom is predicted to arrive by the end of this month, March. Friends and officemates […]

Almost All Japanese Look Favorably at the JSDF, So Why Do We Keep the Forces in Limbo?

      The debate over constitutional revision within the Japanese government and the Liberal Democratic Party looks to begin in earnest. On March 7, the LDP Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision of the Constitution, chaired by veteran lawmaker Hiroyuki Hosoda, began preparations for the party’s draft proposal on the amendment of Article 9. […]