Learn all about Japan: Awesome culture and quirky facts

 

Torii Gate at Itsukushima Shrine (redlegsfan21, Wikimedia CCA 2.0)
  • Agriculture (rice, soybeans, fruits)
  • Alcohol (beers: Asahi, Kirin, Suntory; whisky: Suntory sake)
  • Anime and manga
  • Architecture (buildings, bridges, tunnels)
  • Arts and crafts (woodblock prints, lacquerware, kokeshi dolls, washi paper, ukiyo-e art, shodō calligraphy)
  • Banking, currency, and financial services (yen)
  • Bonsai miniature trees
  • Byobu folding screens
  • Chochin lanterns
  • Cinema and film (Akira Kurosawa)

 

  • Traditional clothing (kimono, yukata) and fashion (Rakuten Fashion Week)
  • Demography–-major cities, aging (Okinawa blue zone/longevity)
  • Economy
  • Educational system (public/private, elementary, junior high school, high school, junior colleges, universities (national, public, private, cram schools/jukus
  • Emperor and Imperial Family)
  • Environmental issues
  • Ethnic groups (Yamato, Ainu, Ryukyuan)
  • Famous Japanese
  • Folding fans/sensu and uchiwa non-folding fans
  • Festivals and holidays (matsuri)

 

  • Flower arrangements (ikebana)
  • Folklore and ghosts (yōkai)
  • Food/cuisine (ramen, udon, sushi, sashimi, tempura, tonkatsu, yakitori)
  • Games (pachinko, shogi chess)
  • Geishas
  • Geography (archipelago, 4 main islands: Hokkaidō, Honshū, Shikoku, Kyūshū)
  • Governmental system (National diet, House of Representatives, House of Councillors, 47 prefectural governments)
  • Haiku poetry
  • Healthcare (kenkō kanri)
  • History (cultural highlights from Jömon, Nara, Heian, Kamakura, Muromachi, Azuchi-Momoyama, Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa periods)

 

  • Industry giants (automotive, electronics, Jujiro Matsuda/Mazda, Kiichiro Toyoda/Toyota, Soichiro Honda, Matsushita Konosuke, Akio Morita)
  • International relations
  • Kites (tako)
  • Lakes, rivers, and mountains (Lake Biwa, Mt Fuji, Japanese Alps, Shinano River, Sumida River)
  • Language origins and scripts (hiragana, katakana, kanji, furigana)
  • Way of life principles (ikigai, wabi sabi)
  • Literature (Murasaki Shikibu/Tale of the Genji)
  • Lucky cats/maneki-neko
  • Martial arts (karate, judo, jujutsu, kyūdū archery, aikido, kendo)
  • Media (NHK, Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, Nikkei Shimbun)

 

  • Museums (e.g., the Tokyo National Museum)
  • Music (hōgaku, gagaku/court music, shōmyō/Buddhist chanting, wadaiko drums)
  • Mythology (Amaterasu)
  • National symbols (flag, crane)
  • National parks (Nikko National Park, Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, Daisetsuzan National Park, Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park)
  • Natural disasters (earthquakes, typhoons)
  • Natural resources
  • Performing arts (Kabuki)
  • Police/kōban and self-defense forces/SDF
  • Political parties and leaders (Liberal Democratic Party, Constitutional Democratic Party, Komeito)

 

  • Religions (Shinto/Itsukushima Shrine, Buddhism, Christianity/Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki region)
  • Samurai, shoguns and bushido
  • Science and technology, robotics, space program
  • Shopping/department stores: Isetan, Mitsukoshi, Matsuya, Parco, Sogo, Takashimaya)
  • Social and business customs (ojigi/bowing, meishi/card giving, nomikai/socializing)
  • Sports (sumo wrestling, baseball, football, golf, tennis)
  • Teas and the tea ceremony (sâdo)
  • Theatre (kabuki, noh, bunraku, geza)
  • Tourism (top attractions by region)
  • Trading companies/sōgō shōsa

 

  • Transportation (trains/shinkansen, airlines (Japan Air, All Nippon Airways/ANA, subway/chikatetsu)
  • Traditional umbrellas/wagasa
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Himeji Castle, Itsukushima Shrine)
  • Weather and seasons (sakura)
  • Wildlife, zoos and aquariums (Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Wakayama Adventure World, Ueno Zoo, Asahiyama Zoo).