Saturday, November 17, 2018
Home Culture Traditions


In Japanese society, tradition is of the upmost importance and even modern traditions are held with reverence as being integral to the Japanese way of life. Everything from businesses, celebrations, shopping and food are effected by and display the various traditions important to the different elements of this timeless society.

kamata hakensha sharpening

Kamata Hakensha: The Soul Balanced on the Knife’s Sharp Edge

Samurai were said to believe that their soul resided inside their katana swords. Mr. Kamata of the eponymous and worldwide known store in Asakusa gives soul to Japanese blades today. Located in the nostalgic-looking Kappabashi...

The Hina dolls of Sakata

The Shonai area located in Yamagata is formed up of Sakata and Tsuruoka City. In the past, Sakata flourished as a port for Kitamaebune ships, and as a result became a melting pot for...
Tsuruoka hina dolls

The Hina dolls heirloom of Tsuruoka

Northwest of Yamagata-ken lies Tsuruoka town, an important region during the Edo period due to the powerful Sakai family’s presence in the Shonai Domain then. The former Sakai residence, now known as the Chido...
Hina dolls

The Hina dolls of Murakami

Located in the north of Niigata-ken lies Murakami-shi, a once powerful jokamachi ( 城 下 町 , castle town) back in the Edo period. Its legacy can still be seen and even felt till...
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...
Michael Feather Photography from Sanja Festival

The Spirit of Summer Festivals and Portable Shrines

WAttention Tokyo Culture Special 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...