Tokyo-wan Kannon: a surprising pantheon of peace

For many in Japan, Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of compassion and mercy, has also come to be associated with prayers for peace and the repose of the souls of war dead. Predictably, this association arose in the years after Japan's defeat in World War II, but the association remains these many decades after the war … Continue reading Tokyo-wan Kannon: a surprising pantheon of peace

Kawasaki Reading Room: A Japanese Culture Center for Nebraska

Sitting on the top floor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, the Kawasaki Reading Room is a culture and resource center dedicated to all things Japanese. A cultural connection between Japan and the American Great Plains feels unlikely, but in fact, the Kawasaki Reading Room is a busy little space that is … Continue reading Kawasaki Reading Room: A Japanese Culture Center for Nebraska

Seattle Japanese Garden: a place where samurai could stroll

Step through the wooden gate of Seattle's Japanese Garden and you may think you have been instantly transported to Japan. This garden, opened in 1960 but conceptualized five decades earlier, is well-established with trees and shrubs that thrive in both the climate of Japan and Seattle's climate. It symbolizes the close relationship between two nations … Continue reading Seattle Japanese Garden: a place where samurai could stroll

Hitachino Nest: The Happiness of Beer on a Hot Summer Day

Craft beers have proliferated in Japan since the deregulation of beer production in the mid-1990s. One of the early leaders in micro-brewing is Kiuchi Brewery, an Ibaraki brewery that started making sake in 1823 and first produced beer in 1996. Kiuchi Brewery's beer is branded Hitachino Nest, with a cute little owl on the label. … Continue reading Hitachino Nest: The Happiness of Beer on a Hot Summer Day

A German Advisor and Japan’s Hot Spring Connection to Europe

During the late nineteenth century, when Japan was modernizing/Westernizing, many European and American were invited to Japan to advise the government and business. One such individual was Dr. Erwin von Baelz (1849-1913), a German physician who came to Japan in 1876 to teach medicine at the Imperial University (now known as the University of Tokyo). … Continue reading A German Advisor and Japan’s Hot Spring Connection to Europe