Viewing entries tagged
concept-central

A Glimpse of Japanese Architecture

A Glimpse of Japanese Architecture

From simple farmhouses to ornate castles, Japan is full of awe-inspiring architectural wonders. It is home to seven architects who have won the Pritzker Prize, the highest honor that a person can receive in architecture. With its unique blend of tradition and innovation, Japanese architecture has continued to influence architects all over the world.

"Omotenashi": The Philosophy of Japanese Hospitality

"Omotenashi": The Philosophy of Japanese Hospitality

How many of you have heard the word "omotenashi" before? The word essentially translates to Japanese hospitality. The term's popularity has grown since it was used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics candidate speech.

Kominka: Japan's Traditional Lifestyle

Kominka: Japan's Traditional Lifestyle

The Japanese word "kominka" literally means "old house," and the term usually refers to houses built no later than the Second World War. It also usually refers to houses built using traditional Japanese architectural methods, often without using any nails and choosing the type of wood depending on its use.

Introduction to Japanese Aesthetics

Introduction to Japanese Aesthetics

The appreciation of beauty and its effortless integration into the daily rituals of life in Japan constitutes a history of ‘cultural addition’ as Japanese composer Ito Teijii points out. As such, the aesthetic concepts of wabi, sabi, and miyabi, explored below, have not only survived, but rather flourished over time.

The World of Sake

The World of Sake

When people are asked to think of a food or drink they associate with Japan, one of the first things that comes to mind is none other than sake, Japan's national beverage. Global consumption of sake has been growing steadily in recent years, and people around the world are coming to recognize its distinct qualities.

Mingei - The Revival of Japanese Folk Art

Mingei - The Revival of Japanese Folk Art

The Mingei Movement focuses on the overlooked beauty of art and crafts made by average people that are practical and used in daily life. Mingei can also be seen as a response to Japan's rapid industrialization, as it elevates things made in large quantity by the hand's of the common people, rather than in a factory.

Onsen: A Culture of Bathing

Onsen: A Culture of Bathing

If you are planning a visit to Japan and wish to experience one of the heights of Japanese luxury and culture, including a trip to an onsen is highly recommended. Onsen (温泉) are naturally-occurring hot springs that are found throughout the island nation. Onsen are an incredibly relaxing way to enjoy one of Japan’s oldest and most popular traditions.

How to Participate in a Geisha Dinner

How to Participate in a Geisha Dinner

So you've decided to take part in a formal Japanese dinner, maybe at a tea house.Today's topic is probably the most important for our readers making plans to go to Japan: How to prepare for and participate in a geisha dinner. What should you wear? What will happen during the dinner? What interactions can you expect?

The History of Geisha in Japanese Culture

The History of Geisha in Japanese Culture

Believe it or not, the original geisha hardly resembled modern geisha in any way. The first geisha were actually male, appearing around the year 1730. It was only about 20 years later that female geisha began to appear in the forms of odoriko (踊り子, meaning dancers) and shamisen players, and they quickly took over the profession, dominating it by 1780.

The Life of a Geisha

The Life of a Geisha

Geisha, at the most fundamental level, are professional entertainers. They are trained in a variety of Japanese traditional arts, such as dancing, singing, flute, and shamisen (a traditional Japanese three-stringed instrument), as well as the art of hospitality. They also play games and engage in conversation with visitors, all in service of providing the most welcoming and intimate environment possible.