Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Festival)

Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Festival) is held on March 3rd. This is a day to pray for young girl’s growth and happiness. Find out more.

The Year of the Rooster

2005 is the year of the Rooster. The Japanese use animal zodiac symbols like the Chinese. Learn more about the zodiac symbols (like what they say about your personality) and some Japanese expressions including bird names.

New Year’s Holidays

Shogatsu (New Year’s holidays) is a time when everybody takes a few days off to celebrate the arrival of the new year. Find out more.

Writing New Year’s Cards

The Japanese send New Year’s cards rather than Christmas cards. Try sending them to surprise your Japanese friends!

The Number Seven

It seems that every culture has lucky numbers and unlucky numbers. Seven appears to be a universally lucky or holy number. Find out how the number seven is used in the Japanese language, including Shichi-fuku-jin (the Seven Gods of Luck in Japanese folklore).

Japanese Ghosts

Namiko Abe describes the different kinds of ghosts in Japanese culture and even includes an interesting famous short story (in romaji and English translation) called “Bancho sara-yashiki (The Story of Okiku)”

Relationships with Nature: The Firefly

The Japanese word for a firefly is “hotaru.” In some cultures hotaru might not have a positive reputation, but they are well liked in Japanese society. Find out more.

Japanese Festivals & Celebrations

This site offers some photos and commentary on Japanese nationwide festivals and celebrations.

Japanese Manners & Etiquette

Here are a few do’s and don’ts you should know when in Japan…

Japanese Culture – A Primer For Newcomers

This site is to familiarize you with a few basic characteristics of Japanese culture and behavior that the westerner will encounter. There are many reactions and attitudes that Japanese will give off — many of them the typical westerner would ordinarily not pick up on. But if you come to Japan and want to have better relations, as well as a better understanding of how … [ Read more ]

Folktales from Japan

This site has eight folktales from Japan, written (translated) in English (no Japanese version available apparently). The eight are:
1. The Two Frogs
2. The Mirror of Matsuyama
3. Visu the Woodsman and the Old Priest
4. Little Peachling
5. The Tongue-Cut Sparrow
6. A Woman and the Bell of Miidera
7. The Stonecutter
8. Danzay駑on, Chief of the Etas

The Japanese tea ceremony

The essence of the Japanese tea ceremony is harmony. Every move or every component about the ceremony brings out the serenity of the whole.

Read about the:
– The art and essence of Japanese tea
– How to drink tea
– History, benefits and ingredients
– Equipment for Japanese tea ceremony
– The state of mind
– The founder … [ Read more ]

gate39.com – webzine on Japan

gate39.com is an online magazine featuring information and articles from writers who know Japan.


iKjeld.com is a place for images and information about Japan…

Check out these features:
– Photo Essays
– Trendy Japanese
– Japan Link Guide
– Special Places
– Biographies
– Books, Music, Movies
– Free e-Cards
– Free Notice Board
– Magazine News Watch
– Tokyo Market Tracker
– Breaking News
– Weather Forecasts

Old Japanese Christmas and Samurai Santa

An “account of a Christmas unknown to Westerners – and to most Japanese too! Including an amusing account of Santa dressed as a Samurai.” This article follows the observance of Christmas in Japan from 1549 to the present day, with examples of “mirror customs of European traditions.” Originally written in Japanese by a writer for the Felissimo Christmas Museum in Hokkaido, Japan.


This site presents articles and information about the Japanese tea ceremony. It features sections on the history of the tea ceremony, the tea room, traditional Japanese fabrics, and philosophy. Also includes a directory of tea ceremony classes and related links. From “a group of people in London and in New York who are interested in Japanese tea ceremony.” In English and Japanese.

YesJapan.com Culture Center

This is one of the free areas of the larger YesJapan.com site and it offers quite useful short cultural overviews on the following topics:
– Bed and Bath
– Currency
– Eating Etiquette
– Festivals
– Hot Springs
– Hotel Etiquette
– House Rules
– Links
– Pachinko
– … [ Read more ]

JP NET Kimono Hypertext

The kimono is the traditional clothing of Japan. Kimono styles have changed significantly from one period of Japan’s history to another, and today there are many different types of kimono worn by men, women, and children. The cut, color, fabric, and decorations of a kimono may vary according to the sex, age, and marital status of the wearer, the season of the year, and the … [ Read more ]

Japanese holidays and cultural events

An illustrated guide to Japan’s holidays and cultural events. Just click on the month for details of all events and holidays during that month.

Japan Still Life

“Japan Still Life” is a collection of short stories about life in Japan. The central focus is three friends, J.D., an American, George, a Canadian, and Yoshi, a Japanese. They meet at a Gaijin House in Tokyo and experience both the good and bad of Japan together. These stories vary in style from the very silly to the very serious.