Trails to Tsukiji – SOY SAUCE

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, From sashimi to sushi to ramen and more, soy sauce is an essential part of Japanese cuisine. With complex, umami-packed flavor and full-bodied aroma, soy sauce is a fermented condiment made possible thanks to microbes. We visit a traditional producer to see how it’s made. Plus,…

Trails to Tsukiji – KONNYAKU

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, This time, we focus on konnyaku. This jiggly gray ingredient may have subtle flavoring, but it’s an essential part of Japanese cuisine, often used in simmered and fried dishes. Konnyaku is high in fiber and low in calories, and is popular for dieting. It’s even been…

Japanology Plus – Roof Tilers

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Tiled roofs can be found on ancient temples and on countless houses around Japan. They’re an instantly recognizable feature of Japanese architecture. The people who lay them are skilled workers who combine dedication with instinct. This time on Japanology Plus, our theme is roof tilers. Our…

Japanology Plus – Soba Restaurants

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Soba, or buckwheat noodles, are served everywhere in Japan. But soba is more than just a food; it’s also an auspicious way to end the year. This time on Japanology Plus, our theme is soba restaurants. Our main guest is Kyo Amemiya, editor-in-chief of a publishing…

Trails to Tsukiji – FU

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Fu is a processed, flour-based food eaten in Japan since ancient times. At first glance, it may look like bread, but it has few calories and lots of protein. This mysterious food soaks up umami like a sponge, making it a treasured ingredient in dashi soup…

Japanology Plus – School Uniforms

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Uniforms are a familiar sight in Japan, whether it’s the jacket of a taxi driver, or the black suit of a new office worker. Among the most visible examples are the uniforms worn by middle and high school students. They often feature distinctive collars and buttons,…

Japanology Plus – Meiji-era Advisors

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, In the second half of the 19th century, Japan underwent a period of modernization. It happened at an unprecedented speed, and one key to its success was a large number of advisors brought over from Western countries. They gave instruction to the Japanese in fields as…

Trails to Tsukiji – SANMA

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Sanma is a fish that glitters like a sword. In Japan, sanma is both extremely popular and reasonably-priced, at around a dollar per fish. Rich in umami-packed fat, sanma is delicious when grilled with just a punch of salt. It’s also great as sashimi, in soup,…

Japanology Plus – Coffee

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, From vending machines to high-end cafés, coffee is ubiquitous in Japan. It’s a daily staple for much of the population, and although it’s internationally popular, the culture surrounding it in Japan is unique. This time, our theme is coffee. Our main guest is Tatsushi Ueshima, head…

Trails to Tsukiji – SUDACHI

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Native to Japan, like its western counterparts, lemon or lime, sudachi is used as a condiment or for its tangy, aromatic juice and is not consumed as a fruit. Its mellow acidity and aroma add an extra boost to Japanese cuisine. Where it once only grew…

Japanology Plus – Japanophiles: David Stanley Hewett

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, David Stanley Hewett is a contemporary artist who specializes in ceramics and abstract painting. Japanese techniques, as well as ideas like bushido, play a huge role in his work. Hewett has been a resident of Japan since 1988. His artwork features prominently in major hotels, and…

Design Talks Plus – Digital

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, We currently live our lives immersed in a digital world. Advances in digital tech have brought about changes not only in our daily lives but also in the way we create, design and manufacture: the evolution of AI, the development of 3D printing technology and more.…

Japanology Plus Japanophiles Tyler Lynch 2017 09 26

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, This edition of “Japanophiles,” the series within Japanology Plus that profiles foreign residents leading exceptional lives in Japan, centers around Tyler Lynch, an American who runs a traditional inn, or ryokan, in Nagano. In addition to seeing Lynch’s everyday activities, we get a look at Japanese…

Japanology Plus Children and Sports 2017 09 05

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, This edition of Japanology Plus begins with a statement that may seem a bit surprising: “Sports for children are currently booming.” Was there a time, you may wonder, when sporting activities weren’t very popular among children? But in Japan, of course, as in many other parts…

Japanology Plus 2D Characters 2017 08 29

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, With cute characters representing everything from electronics stores to local municipalities to police departments, anthropomorphism is everywhere you look in Japan. A recent edition of Japanology Plus took a look at some of the country’s most eye-catching 2D characters, but the question remained—what are the origins…

Japanology Plus Anthropomorphism 2017 08 22

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes in Japan will be familiar with the theme of this edition of Japanology Plus: anthropomorphism. Inanimate objects and creatures behaving like people are everywhere you look in this country—including NHK, home of Domo-kun, a (somewhat) anthropomorphized television…

Japanology Plus Fireworks 2017 08 15

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Along with the hum of cicadas, the twinkling of wind chimes and the cracking of baseball bats, nothing quite defines Japanese summers like the bursting of fireworks. Literally thousands of fireworks events are held around the country and are attended by millions of spectators. For many…

Japanology Plus Urban Renewal 2017 08 01

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, In 1872, when Japan’s first railway opened between Yokohama and Tokyo, the population of Tokyo was less than one million. Fast-forward 150-odd years, and it has increased to well over 13 million. If you add the larger metro area, that number swells to 35 million. The…

Japanology Plus Japanophiles Nsenda Lukumwena 2017 07 18

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, These days, more and more foreigners are engaging in Japanese occupations that not so long ago might have struck many Japanese (and foreigners) as extremely difficult for outsiders to undertake. In the Japanophiles series, we have encountered many examples: a tea ceremony teacher; a nakai (waitress)…

Japanology Plus Traditional Music 2017 07 04

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, For many people around the world, the phrase “Japanese music” may evoke thoughts of brightly-dressed, hyperactive pop idols or, recently, a middle-aged man combining a writing implement with a piece of fruit. But long before Japan was exposed to Western musical styles, it had a rich…

Japanology Plus Buses 2017 06 27

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Perhaps it’s because of the country’s world-famous bullet trains or its best-selling automobiles, but when you think of transportation in Japan, buses aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. As it turns out, though, Japan boasts some of the world’s best bus systems—and these…

Japanology Plus Capsule Toys 2017 06 20

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Pop quiz: what country has the highest density of vending machines in the world? That’s right: Japan! Okay, that wasn’t a particularly tough quiz – the show is called Japanology Plus, after all. Even those who have never set foot in Japan have likely heard tales…

Japanology Plus School Lunches 2017 06 06

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, What we eat as children helps to shape our food preferences for life. If you were to ask a relatively elderly Japanese man or woman what they remember fondly about school lunch, would you be surprised to be told bread and milk? The show this time…

Japanology Plus Japanophiles Yoram Ofer 2017 05 24

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, Now that Japanese sake is increasingly available wherever you are in the world, you might think that it requires little or no introduction. It’s likely that from time to time many readers have ordered a flask of sake to go with a meal of Japanese food.…

Japanology Plus 2017 05 02 Cafes

This category draws from: Japanology, Travis Wall. and tehaki, When this writer first arrived in Japan in 1981, the sheer number of kissaten (“drink tea shops”) was stunning. Back then many cafes had game consoles built into the tables (arcade cocktail cabinets). But there were various other types to choose from: some cafes would focus…