japan

Hashihime.

Demonic Dames: Watch out for the Vengeful Women of Japanese Legends

Japan has had stories about oni (demons or ogres) and yuurei (ghosts) for hundreds of years. As time passes, new vengeful spirits continue to appear and their stories are told even in the present day...
Fight between Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune) and Kumasaka Chôhan at the inn; bales and a torch on the ground, and Kisanda in the distance. (circa 1840-1843) By Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Yoshitsune: The Silk Clad Warrior With a Noble Quest for Revenge

Apart from a very rich mythology, Japan also has numerous histories about heroes. One of these is the story of Yoshitsune. Walking around in fine silk and playing the flute, at first glance he seemed...
A collection of shoes, presumably from those who have taken their lives, inside Aokigahara forest.

The Aokigahara Forest of Japan: Many Enter, But Few Walk Out Alive

The Aokigahara forest is situated on the north-western side of Japan’s famous Mount Fuji. Over the centuries, many people have entered the forest, but fewer have left it. This is because, sadly, the...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
Artist’s interpretation of activity in and around Lake Titicaca

For a Metal or Forgotten Parents: The Mysterious Origins of Lake Titicaca’s Name

Value, status, memory, family… These are ideals encompassed in names. Across cultures, the naming of persons and places hold varying levels of significance. The Norse named their swords; the Scottish...
The archaeological site at Yao, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Mysterious Japanese Second Capital Built 1200 Years Ago by Controversial Empress is Finally Found

Japanese archaeologists working in Yao, Osaka Prefecture believe they have found the remains of Yugeno-miya, an unfinished city began by the orders of an empress who is remembered for a turbulent...
Edited image from the Tokyo National Museum of the actor Nakazō Nakamura playing Goemon Ishikawa (or, in Japanese style, Ishikawa Goemon), a legendary ninja

Ninja Warrior Ishikawa Goemon: Charitable Hero or Violent Outlaw?

Ishikawa Goemon was a legendary Japanese outlaw and folk hero who lived during the 16th century. This outlaw has sometimes been compared to Robin Hood, as he stole from the rich to give to the poor...
Dragon, Broncefigur, Golden Dragon, Thailand

Bermuda Triangle of the Pacific: Devil’s Sea Connected with Missing Ships and Other Strange Phenomena

The Devil’s Sea, otherwise known as the Dragon’s Triangle, is a region in the Pacific Ocean that has come to be associated with numerous accounts of disappearing ships and planes, sightings of ghost...
Deadly Female Ninja Assassins Used Deception and Disguise to Strike Their Target

Deadly Female Ninja Assassins Used Deception and Disguise to Strike Their Target

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got a lot of ninja qualities right: their preference for sticking to the shadows, the emphasis on reconnaissance and espionage, and, of course, their choice of weapons...
This Too Shall Pass: Will Jinichi Kawakami Be the Last of the Ninjas?

This Too Shall Pass: Will Jinichi Kawakami Be the Last of the Ninjas?

The ninja warriors seen in Hollywood are, sadly, born more of myth than reality. Truths were exaggerated and those exaggerations misconstrued as fact. One cannot wholly blame the screenwriters or...
Yamamoto Kansuke, named as author in the Sword Scroll text

Samurai Secrets Revealed: English Translation of the 500-year-old ‘Sword Scroll’ Provides Fighting Tactics Including ‘Egg Them’

A medieval samurai text recently translated into English gives many practical tips on fighting an enemy and advises all warriors to be ‘pure of heart and in balance in their spirit’. Although...
A portrait of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi: How an Adventuresome Peasant Boy Became Japan’s Second Great Unifier

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a powerful Japanese daimyo (feudal lord) who lived during the 16th century. He is regarded as Japan’s second ‘great unifier’, the first being Oda Nobunaga, and the third being...
The Norimitsu Odachi.

Norimitsu Odachi: Who Could Have Possibly Wielded This Enormous 15th Century Japanese Sword?

The Norimitsu Odachi is a huge sword from Japan. It is so large, in fact, that it was said to have been wielded by a giant. Apart from the basic knowledge of it having been forged in the 15th century...
Elaborate Ceremonial Samurai Helmet. The helmet was one of the most important parts of a Samurai’s armor.

The Brutality and Delicacy of Samurai Armor: Superior Protection with a God-like Aesthetic

The Samurai class was officially dissolved over 150 years ago. Nonetheless, the warriors’ elaborate armor is still recognized globally as an iconic emblem of Japanese military strength and virtue...
Hand-colored woodprint by Samuel Coccius, Basle Switzerland 1566. August 7th many black globes moved before the sun at great speed and seemed to be fighting. Was this an ancient UFO sighting or celestial event?

What Did the Ancients See? Unidentified Flying Objects that Made an Impact on Early History

The number of reported UFO sightings has hit an all time high in 2017. In the 112 years since the National UFO Reporting Center began keeping track, there have been 104,947 reported events (Monfort,...
Sirakawa-go, Ogimachi Gassho Village, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Historic Houses for the Silkworm! The Grand Attics of the Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Located in the central Gifu Prefecture, not very far from Tokyo or Kyoto, a beautiful example of traditional Japanese architecture survives in the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. Some of the...

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