Japan is known for having some of the most unique art in the world. Building on centuries of feudal culture, Japanese art has its own style. A famous example of Japanese art is jizai okimono, which translates to ‘move freely decorative object.’ Jizai okimono involves the crafting of articulated sculptures. Beginning in 17th century Japan, the art form is highly specialised and fascinating.
Ninjas are undoubtedly one of the most well-known tropes in Japanese pop culture. As practitioners of ninjutsu, the warriors who followed this path were referred to as shinobi. But it would be incorrect to assume that the role of black-clad assassin was reserved solely for men.
Samurai have earned a reputation for being honourable and stoic warriors. They have come to represent the spirit of Japan. Portrayed across countless mediums, the image of the samurai has fascinated scholars, writers and fans of popular culture.
A traditional Japanese tea ceremony is one of the most important aspects of Japanese culture. A celebration of harmony and the transience of life, the tea ceremony can be a transformative experience, and like many traditions, the ceremony was a crucial part of the samurai lifestyle.
The Kokoro Files is a segment that tells the everyday stories of people who are connected to Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun has served as an inspiration for many writers, and EMMY-nominated author Mike Garley counts himself among that list.
Women Warriors is a series that puts the spotlight on Japanese women who have left their mark on history. Many formidable Japanese women could be found among the onna bugeisha, female fighters who became a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. One of the most badass onna bugeisha happened to be a 12th century woman called Tomoe Gozen.
The wife of Minamoto no Yoshinaka, Gozen earned a reputation as a legendary warrior during the Genpei War. Gozen’s story took place at a time of great social upheaval, making it an even more inspiring tale. Continue reading “Women Warriors: Tomoe Gozen”→
Samurai were known for their deadly skill in combat and over the years they have been reimagined in various forms of media. But few stories have reframed the legend of Japan’s greatest warriors quite like the Samurai Slasher graphic novel series. Created by Mike Garley, the Samurai Slasher comic is based on an idea for an ‘80s movie that never came into being. Pulpy, violent and darkly entertaining, Samurai Slasher: Volume 1 follows the birth of a terrifying new monster. Continue reading “Samurai Slasher: Volume 1 Review: A Darkly Entertaining Graphic Novel”→
Women Warriors is an ongoing series that celebrates the lives of inspirational Japanese women throughout history. And while historical figures like Empress Jingū laid the groundwork for what can be accomplished, it’s worth looking into fictional characters as well to appreciate how Japanese women are represented in popular culture.