The Otaku Armoury

The Otaku Armoury: Kitana’s War Fans

The Otaku Armoury is a series that profiles Japanese-inspired weapons from popular culture. A variety of Japanese armaments have been utilised in mainstream media, ranging from katanas to shuriken. One of Japan’s most versatile weapons is the war fan and perhaps the most famous character to wield one is Kitana from the Mortal Kombat series. Continue reading “The Otaku Armoury: Kitana’s War Fans”

Pop Culture and Japan

6 Japanese Wrestling Moves Used In WWE

Wrestling is one of the most well-known sports in the world, due to the influence of companies like the WWE. The performers have travelled all over the globe, honing their craft and being exposed to different cultures and wrestling styles. A countless number of wrestling moves have been popularised in the WWE and several have their origins in Japan. Here are six Japanese wrestling moves that have been used in the WWE. Continue reading “6 Japanese Wrestling Moves Used In WWE”

Japanese Mythology

Yomi And The Fate Of Izanami And Izanagi

Every culture has their version of hell, and Japan is no different. The Japanese equivalent of the underworld, Yomi, forms an important part of Shinto religion. But unlike the traditional image of hell being a place where the dead are punished for their misdeeds, Yomi is considered a place where all souls exist in a state of purgatory.

One of the most interesting stories from Yomi depicts the lives of the creator gods of Japan, Izanami and Izanagi. Their tale features themes of sorrow, hope, and sacrifice. Continue reading “Yomi And The Fate Of Izanami And Izanagi”

Poetry

Sky Lantern

An epiphany is like a match struck in total darkness
it illuminates a road you never knew was there
keep the spark alive until it becomes an anchor

But what happens when your tether
is made from grief and regret?
It becomes a spectating sport
a ghost trapped behind glass walls

Cut the strings
turn all doubt into a lantern
wrap it with wishes
until the wick burns brightly
with hope exhumed from
a place of happy memories

Cast your latern off
let it rise among a thousand others
who want the world to see
they aren’t defined by a single moment
let it become a celebration for everything
left behind in the dirt

Worries drift away
into a night filled with small mercies
when final twinkle appears on the horizon
you’ll know you’re free

(This poem originally appeared in EastLit Magazine)

The Kokoro Files

Calling All Japan Enthusiasts For The Kokoro Files

Japan attracts visitors from all over the world because of its unique culture and outlook. The Land of the Rising Sun features various philosophies, and one of the most interesting is the concept of kokoro. Translating to ‘heart’ in Japanese, it should not be confused with shinzou, which represents the physical organ. Continue reading “Calling All Japan Enthusiasts For The Kokoro Files”

The Kokoro Files

The Kokoro Files: John Callow

The Kokoro Files is a series that celebrates Japan through the stories of everyday people. Sake is a well-known aspect of Japanese dining, but some people may be unware of how it’s brewed or what kind of temperature the drink can be enjoyed at. That’s why it’s worth asking an expert like certified sake sommelier John Callow.

I enjoyed interviewing John about his experiences as a sake sommelier and the differences between specific blends of sake. Read on to find out what kind of sake John would recommend and the types of food that work best with this classic Japanese concoction. Continue reading “The Kokoro Files: John Callow”

Pop Culture and Japan

Batman: Ninja Review: An Entertaining Blend Of Comic And Japanese Themes

 

When it comes to superheroes, Batman is one of the most popular comic characters of all-time. The Dark Knight’s story has been told across multiple platforms, constantly reinterpreted to entertain new audiences. With the popularity of anime and Japanese culture, it seemed inevitable that Batman would find his way into a Japanese style setting, and that’s exactly what happened with Batman: Ninja. Here’s my review of a film that takes the best of the Caped Crusader’s world and mashes it together with Japanese culture. Continue reading “Batman: Ninja Review: An Entertaining Blend Of Comic And Japanese Themes”