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A new study of the Japanese population reveals the true origin of the Japanese people. Source: Monkey Business / Adobe Stock.

Archeological Mystery Solved with Modern Genetics: Y Chromosomes Reveal Population Boom and Bust in Ancient Japan

The current thinking on the origins of the Japanese population holds that the original inhabitants, the Jomon people , were met about 2,500 years ago by a separate group coming mainly from the Korean...
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...
A scene from The Ballad of Narayama

Ubasute: Is the Ancient Tradition of Dumping the Elderly in a Forest Encouraging Modern Murder?

Ubasute is an ancient practice from Japanese folklore in which a sick or elderly relative is dumped in a remote place to die. Although ubasute is attested in a number of Japanese legends , it is...
Amazonian native

Ten of the Most Critically Endangered Languages in the World

There are 195 countries in the world, but a staggering 7000 living languages. UNESCO’s list of endangered languages , which functions in a similar way to the lists for endangered animals and plants,...
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...
A Japanese samurai sword with Chinese script that reads "killed 107 people during the war in Nanjing, (China)" was used on Aug 18 by an attacker that slashed a military police guard at the Taiwan Presidential Palace.

Man Steals Samurai Sword From History Museum and Launches Attack Outside Taiwan Presidential Office

A Taiwanese man stole an antique samurai sword inscribed with the words “Nanjing battle, (this sword) killed 107 people” and used it to try to break into the Presidential Office, injuring a military...
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...
Sword Guards Confirm Samurai Warriors Secretly followed Christianity

Sword Guards Confirm Samurai Warriors Secretly followed Christianity

At least 48 sword guards used by samurai warriors during the feudal era belonged to hidden Christians. The artifacts are related to the early history of 16 th and 17 th century Japan, which saw the...
Page from Serat Babat Tanah Jawi, the Chronicle of Java, Inset: King Jayabaya

Jayabaya — The Seer King of Java who Predicted the Dutch and Japanese Occupation of Indonesia

Nostradamus (1503 – 1566) was best known as an author of prophesies. He is credited by some with predicting a number of events in world history, including the French Revolution, the atom bomb, the...
Goddess Council 4900-4750 BC Neolithic Culture of Cucuteni-Tripolye exposed in Cucuteni Museum of Piatra Neamt

Ancient Ink: How Tattoos Can Reveal Hidden Stories of Past Cultures

The English word tattoo is commonly said to be derived from the Polynesian word tatau or tatu . This Polynesian word means ‘to mark something’. Additionally, this word is an onomatopoeia, and is...
Nen-ho Makotokyo, head temple Kongoji Haiden, constructed by Kongo Gumi

Kongo Gumi: Oldest Continuously Operating Company survives 1,400 Years before Crash

For 1,400 years, Kongo Gumi was a successful Japanese company involved with the construction of spectacular Buddhist temples. Until its fall in 2006, it was the world’s oldest continuously operating...
Illustrations of Muramasa blades for the game 'Muramasa: The Demon Blade'

The Curse of the Samurai Muramasa Blades

In Nitobe Inazo’s 1899 work exploring the way of the samurai, Bushido, the Soul of Japan , the sword is dubbed as the ‘Soul of the Samurai’. As swords were so highly revered, the swordsmith’s work...
Japanese Sun goddess Amaterasu emerging from a Cave

The Age of the Gods: The Legendary History of Japan

Japanese mythology is collectively chronicled in the Kojiki , the oldest historical record written in Japan in 712 AD, and in the Nihon Shoki written in 720. As was common practice before the age of...
47 Ronin

47 Ronin: The Samurai Warriors that Sought to Avenge the Death of their Master

The Japanese samurai are arguably among the greatest warriors known in history. Their code of conduct was romanticized and popularized at the end of the 19 th century in Bushido: The Soul of Japan, a...
Rare ritual jars found buried under ancient ruins in Japan

Rare ritual jars found buried under ancient ruins in Japan intended to purify, bring eternal youth

Japanese archaeologists have made a surprising discovery beneath ancient ruins in Japan. An arrangement of coin-filled clay pots aligned to the cardinal directions have been found buried beneath the...
Baku: The Legend of the Dream Eater

Baku: The Legend of the Dream Eater

The baku, otherwise known as the ‘dream eater’, is a mythological being or spirit in Chinese and Japanese folklore which is said to devour nightmares. The baku cannot be summoned without caution,...

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