Home Culture History

History

Every country holds the important of its history in high esteem but few do so with the enthusiasm that Japan has for its own. Japanese history not only predates nearly every western society but has survived and thrives still in the modern world. The important of Japanese history is displayed in every corner of Japan and is represented in every piece of culture.

Shinjuku’s main street circa 1935

Legendary Establishments as Landmarks of Shinjuku

Keeping Pace with Time Bearing Witness to the Changes of Shinjuku  Where it all began for Shinjuku? The busiest junction of Shinjuku-sanchome was known in the past as “Shinjuku Oiwake”. During the Edo period (1603-1868), this is...
Shinjuku panorama

SHINJUKU – A City of Rebirth

The Humble Origins of Shinjuku Tokyo’s Shinjuku is like no other place in the world, although many like to compare it to Las Vegas. On the surface, it’s easy to see why some people would...
Tokyo Bay Odaiba

Tokyo Bayside Story

WAttention Tokyo Culture Special Tokyo is a large, vibrant city with a long, colorful history. This summer, WAttention Tokyo takes magnifying glass to the south of the city and the Tokyo Bay area. Focusing first...
Utagawa Toyokuni I "Women and an Infant Boy in a Public Bath House" 1799

Bathing Culture in Japan – WAttention Special

A nice hot bath is universally enjoyed and communal bathing has been a cultural element in various times and places in history. People have enjoyed bathing together in Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the...
sento inside

Bathing Culture: Mysteries of Sento: Q and A

Mysteries of Sento Japanese public bath or sento has been and still is big part of Japanese culture. However, many of those new to Japan are hesitant to visit sento because they don't feel they...
TOYOHARA KUNICHIKA "Naked bodies compared to irises in hot water, comparing hips to a snow laden willow in hot water." 1868

Bathing Culture: Sento Keywords

A lot of the items in a Japanese public bathhouse or sento have very specific names that are usually left untranslated. Instead of translation, they are best understood through explanations. Below, we delve into...
Tennozu Isle

Tokyo Bayside Story: Kita-Shinagawa and Tennozu Isle

A historic checkpoint station in a modern, stunning coastal setting Back in the Edo period (1603-1868), Kita-Shinagawa thrived as a shukuba, or checkpoint station, on the Tokaido, one of the five ancient roads that connected Tokyo...
Utagawa Toyokuni I "Women and an Infant Boy in a Public Bath House" 1799

Bathing Culture: The History of Sento

Beginnings of Sento A lot of people from various cultures have felt that bathing cleans more than just their bodies; there is also a feeling of cleansing your mind and soul. This is no coincidence,...
Odaiba Kurofune Ukiyoe

Tokyo Bayside Story: History of Odaiba

The Japanese Islands That Matthew Perry Helped Build In 1852, America’s 13th president, Millard Fillmore, ordered Commodore Matthew C. Perry to sail to Japan and open its ports for trade. At the time, Japan was...
Nishiasa Sankita (Nishiasakusa Sanchome Kita Chokai) mikoshi carrying

Backstage at Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa

Hot nights, traditional costumes, portable shrines and the rhythmical beating of drums immediately spell out matsuri, summer festivals, to any Japanese person. One of the three biggest in Tokyo and one of the earliest,...