The latest contents

  • Happy New Year 2023

    Cheers to a great new year of the RABBIT!Wish you a year filled with peace, good health and happiness.Challenge always, jump like a rabbit, and bite the carrots!! Twitter:   @japan2theworld

  • Reopen to Individual Travelers

    Japan has eventually reopened to individual foreign travelers. Here are the guidelines released by Japan Tourism Agency. Look through it before you come and enjoy your stay in Japan.일본은 결국 개별 외국인 여행자에게 다시 문을 열었습니다. 다음은 일본 관광청에서 발표한 가이드라인입니다. 일본에 오시기 전에 잘 살펴보시고 즐거운 시간 보내시기 바랍니다.日本最终对外国个人游客重新开放。 以下是日本观光厅发布的指南。 在您来日本之前先看看它,享受您在日本的逗留。やっと日本(個人)旅行解禁、観光庁がガイドライン出してるのでチェックしてみて!訪日外国人観光客の受入れ関連情報Information for Foreign Visitors

  • Happy New Year 2022

    Cheers to a great new year of TIGER! Tiger is a symbol of braveness and we know you are ready for more fantastic experiences and adventures. Let's challenge anything you want this year. It's also an excellent occasion to express your appreciation to your beloved people. Let's celebrate love, friendships, anything extraordinary in your life. It's so exciting to feel what 2022 will bring to you, isn't it? May you have an amazing new year. Instagram:  japantotheworldcom Twitter:   @japan2theworld

  • Winter Greetings 2021

    Time flies and the end of the year is coming soon. It’s been another tough year but we can see things are getting far better than 2021. We wish you joy, peace and good health this holiday season.  Wish you all beautiful holidays. Stay Happy, Stay Safe. Instagram:  japantotheworldcomTwitter:   @japan2theworld



Japanese culture and history

  • SHODO - Japanese calligraphy -

    SHODO means Japanese calligraphy.SHODO is a kind of Japanese traditional art and also the way of writing Chinese characters (KANJI) and Japanese characters (HIRAGANA). SHODO needs special writing tools; brushes (FUDE), ink or an ink stick (SUMI), an ink well (SUZURI), special Japanese paper (HANSHI), a felt mat for the paper and a paper weight (BUNCHIN). These tools have been used for writing since the 5th century.First people need to rub an ink stick (SUMI) on an ink well (SUZURI) and concentrate on writing on the paper. They need to focus on the color tone and shading of the ink, also how they handle and move a brush (FUDE) in the creation. Great calligraphy impresses people by its beauty as well as it can express the creator’s character and emotion.Calligraphy came from China around Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Japanese calligraphy was affected by many great Chinese calligraphers such as Wáng Xīzhī (王羲之). In those days, the high skill of SHODO was essential for those in upper class including Samurai.Nowadays, most of students in Japan learn how to write calligraphy and SHODO is a typical homework during a long holiday and eventually displayed on the wall of the class at school. Some people use a brush (FUDE) to write the seasons’ greeting card and some write their name in the list by FUDE at formal occasions such as wedding parties or funerals. SHODO is not just an art but is an important skill to communicate with people in their daily lives.KAKIZOME, calligraphy for the first time in the year, is a Japanese traditional writing ceremony held on the 2nd of January. People usually write down their New Year’s resolutions.There is a traditional fire event called DONDOYAKI or SAGICHOU on the 15th of January at shrines and temples. It means the end of the new year and is believed the new year spirits go home with the smoke and the fire. People burn the New year’s decorations together with the paper they wrote at KAKIZOME, hoping to improve the writing skills and to make their wishes.SHODO has taken a part in a traditional part of Japanese culture for many years.


    The town called Kumano is in a small basin surrounded by mountains, located at Aki, Hiroshima prefecture (the southern part of Japan).Kumano has been producing brushes for over 180 years. In the Edo period (around the late 18 century) people in Kumano started purchasing brushes and ink from Nara (a former capital between 710 and 792) and resold them for their living during the agricultural off-season. Since then, under the Hiroshima local government support, they learned and improved the special skills of handling brushes, and consequently, Kumano became a famous place for brush making. All the steps to produce one brush are manually proceeded. The tips of Kumano brushes are intentionally uneven producing an extremely soft touch. It is said that it takes over 10 years to handle animal hairs properly. All the materials such as natural animal hairs and wooden handles are imported from outside of Kumano and Kumano is the place for finishing brushes by highly skilled and officially authorized craftsmen.Therefore, the skilled makeup artists and celebrities in and outside of Japan are obsessed to use Kumano brushes. Our Kumano Fude Makeup Brushes are created by the officially authorized and oldest members with over 100 years of history in the Kumano area. We offer the finest range of high-quality brushes. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. You can access us by + Contact on this web site+ E-mail -> Twitter -> @japan2theworld                             

  • MANEKI NEKO - Happy Cats -

    As you can see on the internet, it is a global fact that cats are beloved icons all over the world without any exception. People just love cats, no matter what, cats are one of the most adorable creatures in this world. Hope you all agree with it.Since ancient times, cats are preferable animals as they get rid of mice. Here in Japan, there is a special cat called “MANEKI NEKO” in a waving pose. This special cat is called Happy Cats, Good Luck Cats, or Beckoning Cats. It is believed that MANEKI NEKO raising the right paw brings money and the left paw people (customers). Some say both paws raising brings both money and people, but some say it is too greedy. These cats are widely known as a lucky charm in Japan.Many old legends in Japan came from other countries such as China, India, but MANEKI NEKO is said the story was originally from Japan, especially from the place use to be called EDO (the place currently called Tokyo), though some insist it was from Kyoto.There are many myths on MANEKI NEKO. The most popular is the story of GOTOKU temple. In the Edo period around the 17th century, a poor monk lived in a temple with a cat. He took great care of the cat and shared his meals with the cat. One day Lord II NAOTAKA took shelter from rain under a big tree near the temple. The cat of the temple suddenly beckoned to him with its paw. Right after he came close to the cat, a lightning struck the tree and he was saved his life by the cat. He was so delightful, made a great donation for the temple. After that, the temple became prospered. When the cat was dead, a statue of MANEKI NEKO was made to commemorate this miracle lucky cat. GOUTOKU temple is also called Lucky Cat temple. It is located at GOTOKUJI station in Setagaya, Tokyo.Another popular story is origin from ASAKUSA shrine. Again, in the Edo period, an old lady had to let go of her loved cat. One day the cat appeared in her dream and said if you made a figurine of her car, fortune would come. The lady made a ceramic cat figurine and sold at ASAKUSA shrine in Tokyo. The cat figurine became popular, sold very well, and brought her fortune. ASAKUSA shrine is also known as SANJASAMA among the local people and the festival (SANJA festival) is one of the three major Tokyo festivals. ASAKUSA shrine is located just next to SENSOU temple, one of the most famous temples in Tokyo, and both are located at ASAKUSA, an undoubtedly well-known sightseeing spot in Tokyo.Back to the Edo period in the 17th century, people used cats drawn on paper as a lucky charm and put it at the entrance of their stores wishing more customers come and praying for good business.The style of MANEKI NEKO has changed with the time. They usually stand on their two hind feet, raise their forefoot or forefeet, and feature a collar with a bell sometimes written FUKU (Fortune). You might see some holding a KOBAN (Japanese old coin) in their paws. The coin is written a unit of Japanese old money used in the Edo period such as 1,000 RYO, 10,000 RYO, etc. RYO is considered as a quite fortune. Traditionally the colors used for MANEKI NEKO are white, black, and red. Nowadays, there are more color variations based on your wish.The 29th of September is Lucky Cat Day established in 1995 by Association for MANEKINEKO Japan. It is a day to be thankful to MANEKI NEKO. It is also called KURU FUKU NO HI in Japanese, means “Fortune Coming Day”.In September, there are some festivals related MANEKI NEKO at AICHI and MIE prefectures where are famous for its production.MANEKI NEKO is one the popular icons representing traditional Japan. It is interesting to visit those MANEKI NEKO related sites when you come to is ready to introduce more Japan oriented stories, please inform us if you have any specific themes you would like to know.

  • KIRIKO - Cut Glass -

    There is a unique traditional glassware called KIRIKO in Japan. Putting colors onto transparent surface of glass and scrape the surface to create special patterns. Finally, it is covered by caved surface of glass with extremely beautiful radiance. It is cutting glass but sandblast. There are two famous KIRIKO made by skilled glassware craftsman in Japan, which are EDO KIRIKO and SATSUMA KIRIKO.It is said that EDO KIRIKO was first introduced in the Edo period (1834) by a glassware craftsman, KAGAYA KYUBEI. He carved on glass surface by using emery and made beautiful glassware. There is a story that EDO KIRIKO was presented as a gift to Commodore Matthew C. Perry when he came to Japan by the Black Ships at the end of Edo period (1853) and he was fascinated by its beauty. After the opening of a country late 19th century, new glass-cutting technique from Europe and the Japanese traditional technique were combined together, developed further and established the current style of EDO KIRIKO. Nowadays, to protect the traditional high quality of products, it is only allowed to use the name of EDO KIRIKO under the definitions stated by EDO KIRIKO cooperative association. + must be glassware+ must be handmade by skilled craftsman+ must be produced at designated areas in Japan by the association+ must be mainly used and produced by special KIRIKO machines+ must join the associationIn 1985 EDO KIRIKO was designated as a traditional handcraft industry of Tokyo and in 2020 it also became designated as a traditional craft by the Minister for Economy in Japan.At the same time of EDO KIRIKO was developing, the area of the southern part of Japan called SATSUMA also produced KIRIKO glassware. Unfortunately, the production of SATSUMA KIRIKO was stopped during many upheavals in the 19th century. However, the technique was taken over by EDO KIRIKO and merged together. In 1985, they were recreated and started the production again.SATSUMA KIRIKO features its color after cutting glass. The colored part of EDO KIRIKO is smaller and the boundary lines between color and transparent become sharper and more remarkable than the one in SATSUMA KIRIKO. On the other hand, SATSUMA KIRIKO can create ambiguous borderline with gradation provides fine EDO KIRIKO products. Please contact us if you have any questions and request.



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