How Beijing’s Push for China-Centric Asia Impacts the Indo-Pacific

    The latest China Security Report published by Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS) in February aims to analyze China’s military and security affairs from a mid- to long-term perspective. It assesses the development of China’s foreign and security policy towards the United States and vice versa, and the overall China-US relationship in East Asia. […]

Saved From the 2011 Japan Earthquake, Chinese Businesswoman Returns to Help

       Seven years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake. In Miyagi prefecture’s Onagawa-cho, 160 Chinese citizens were affected by the disaster. Fortunately, with help from Japanese staff at their workplace, none of them lost their lives in the tsunami. Following up on their story, I visited one woman who returned to China […]

Kumano Blossoming Cherry: First New Wild Species in a Century Discovered

  In days past, Japanese people enjoyed different types of cherry blossoms native to different regions throughout the country. The beautiful blossoms of the indigenous variety Yamazakura (Cerasus jamasakura) have been celebrated annually in the Kinki region of southern central Japan, which is home to Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom viewing area from ancient […]

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 […]