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Samurai armor is both brutal and delicate.

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...
Yoshitoshi, Ushiwaka Maru learns Martial Arts from Sojobo, King of the Tengu, 1880

The Dogs of Heaven - Tengu and the Secret Practice of Buddhism

The Tengu ( 天狗 ) are possibly the most recognizable of all the Japanese yokai , with their enormous black wings and faces of either a large crow or a red-faced, long-nosed, goblin . They are often...
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...
Picture of a Shinigami

Shinigami: The Grim Reaper and God of Death in Japanese Folklore

Shinigami are Japanese death gods or death spirits. They are akin to the Grim Reaper in many ways, however these supernatural beings may be somewhat less frightening and they arrived later on the...
Antique Japanese daishō, the traditional pairing of two Japanese weapons which were the symbol of the samurai, showing the traditional Japanese sword cases (koshirae) and the difference in size between the katana (bottom) and the smaller wakizashi (top).

Unknown Weapons of the Samurai: The Forgotten Warrior Arsenal from Feudal Japan

The Katana sword was considered as the Samurai soul. That is why some people treat Samurai and katana as synonymous words. It is true that a Samurai and his sword is inseparable, but believe it or...
Shinto painting from manuscript of Todaiji, Nara, Japan

Purification as the Core of the Ancient Shinto Faith

A ritual based religion, Shintoism is defined as "the way of the gods" in Japan, from the Chinese Shendao. It is the indigenous religion of the country, and survives today as the state religion,...
An old peach pit. Are the thousands of peach pits found in Japan the remains of fruit eaten in a lost kingdom?

Peach Pits, Peach Boy and the Lost Kingdom of a Shaman Queen

Thousands of peach pits have been found at a Japanese archaeological site. It seems there is more to the story than simply a fondness for the fruit - sources suggest that the ancient peaches were...
CT scan of Monju Bosatsu statue conducted by Nara National University.

Hoard of Scrolls and Artifacts Discovered in Antique Japanese Statuette

According to the Japanese State Broadcaster NHK, experts have made an astonishing discovery in a Buddhist statuette in Japan. Investigators, from the Nara National University examined the statuette...
A cuirass known as a “tanko” and preserved in excellent condition, and a stone coffin, left, have been unearthed in Shibushi, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Workers Paving a Japanese Road Unearth Remarkable 1,500-Year-Old Armor and Sword

Could you imagine? You are tired after working for hours on fixing a roadway when you suddenly find a strange slab of stone. This gives you a jolt of energy and you call a coworker over. Together you...
Ninja warrior

Ancient Psycho Secrets of Ninja Assassins

Ninjas or shinobi ("to sneak”) have become kings of popular culture and their acrobatic trained-killer antics have been featured in hundreds of movies and television series. These deadly mercenary...
A tsunami stone.

Japanese Tsunami Stones: These Centuries-Old Monuments Save Lives Today

Japan is often struck by earthquakes due to its position on the Pacific Ring of Fire. At times, these seismic activities result in tsunamis - a ‘seismic or tidal sea wave’. Although such a deadly...
This Chinese-made mirror from the Yayoi Pottery Culture period (300 BC- 300 AD) was unearthed whole from an archaeological site in Fukuoka, Japan.

Rare 1,900-Year-Old Chinese Mirror Has Mysterious Inscription, Which is Coming True

An extremely well-preserved 1,900-year-old bronze mirror has been unearthed in Fukuoka, Japan. The artifact stands out for its fantastic condition and an intriguing description engraved on its...
Left, A stone piece bearing the painting of a human face and found in Kikonai, Hokkaido (Yoshinori Toyomane) Right. A Sketch of the impression.

4,300-Year-Old First Face Offers a Glimpse of Ancient Japanese Culture

Archaeologists in Japan have discovered what appears to be the first piece of stone painted that depicts a human face dating from the mid-Jomon Pottery Culture (2500–1500 BC). Experts describe the...
Detail of ‘Himiko, Queen of Yamataikoku.’ It is said this mysterious shaman queen of Japan had magic mirrors.

Researchers in Japan Discover the Secrets Behind Magic Mirrors and a Mysterious Shaman Queen

Magic mirrors are not just objects found in fairy tales. An experiment conducted on a replica bronze mirror in Kyoto’s National Museum shows that the original may be an example of an actual magic...
Amaterasu, a major goddess of Japan.

Solar Goddess Amaterasu, Divine Ancestor of the Japanese Imperial Family

Amaterasu is a major goddess in the Shinto religion. Although she is considered primarily to be a sun goddess, she is also believed to be the ruler of the Takama no Hara (the High Celestial Plain),...
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...

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