Category Archives: CULTURE

Cherry Blossoms Are in Full Bloom, But This Year Let’s Enjoy Them From Home

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom now across Japan. Tokyo’s parks, in particular, are covered in pink and white blossoms. So yes it’s tempting to go out and enjoy some good food and booze under the trees with your friends. But given the uptick in confirmed coronavirus cases across Japan, there’s an organized effort […]

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The Real Ninjas of Mie and Shiga Prefectures

Source: Gaijin Pot
Koka Ninja Village in Shiga, Japan

Like geisha, samurai, and sumo wrestlers, ninjas are iconic figures universally associated with Japan. However, ninjas have been greatly mythologized over centuries, largely due to the inherent secrecy of their trade. Records of their identities and exploits are rare, and practices were often passed orally from master to apprentice.

Take a moment in between donning the costume and throwing ninja stars to learn the history of these mysterious figures.

In central Japan, neighboring cities Iga in Mie Prefecture and Koka in Shiga Prefecture are known as the heartland of ninjutsu. Both cities were historically hubs for the ninja arts during the Sengoku Period (1467-1568) and are packed with attractions that shine a light into this shadowy world of subterfuge.

Today, visitors to Iga and Koka can watch ninja demonstrations and visit former ninja residences.

Even the name “ninja” is a relatively modern term that spread in Japan via popular novels from the 1950s. Actual ninjas in their time were called shinobi, but a major shift began about 70 years ago with the emergence of authentic writings. The ninja narrative has evolved ever since.

Virtually every historical document unearthed claims the best ninjas came from Iga and Koka. In their heyday, they were hired by warlords across Japan for missions in espionage, arson, ambush, and assassination. Look beyond the silly depictions and skateboarding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with these five spots to learn real ninja history in the homeland of the masters.

1. Koka Ninja Village

This theme park offers plenty of interactive immersion into ninja lore. You can rent costumes, climb walls, throw shuriken (star-shaped blades), and walk on water using special footwear.

Tools of the trade at …continue reading


Somali to Mori no Kamisama Episode 12 Final Impression

Source: Supaku Blog

On this episode, Golem becomes berserk and attempts to fully eliminate the human hunters. Later, Golem starts recovering and visits a town festival with Somali.

Oh my gosh, the finale is just very heart warming to the end. It was fantastic to see how Somali became brave to stop Golem from being berserk. Also, the town festival moments is pretty relaxing to watch. Other than that, the near ending really got me teary because of Golem revealing something due to his relationship with our female lead. Now will there be a second season coming? I want it to happen because I enjoyed this anime from the start and even the VAs did an awesome job to make it more emotional. Overall, awesome heart warming ending and some teary moments. …continue reading


Infinite Dendrogram Episode 11 Impression

Source: Supaku Blog

On this episode, Lucius fights Yuri with his calculations. Later, Ray battles Franklin and learns about a previous incident.

It was satisfying to see Lucius outsmart Yuri and even find out that he’s a girl. Also, the battle between Ray and Franklin is pretty cool due to a bunch of twisted counters. Other than that, I’ve been finding the female villains in male bodies to be quite annoying and cunning in this series. Now what’s going to happen next? I can’t wait to find out. Overall, cool battles and some nice twists. …continue reading


SOUR’s Music Video for Hibi no Neiro was the OG of social distancing

Over 10 years ago, art director Masashi Kawamura teamed up with Japanese band SOUR to produce a fantastic music video for their song hibi no neiro (“tone of everyday”). Needless to say, this was before our current reality, in which millions are staying home due to the coronavirus outbreak. In the video, a cast, selected […]

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