Category Archives: CULTURE

Modern-Day Chindōgu-Maker Marina Fujiwara’s Wasted Creations

Back in the 90s, magazine editor Kenji Kawakami coined the term Chindōgu, literally meaning “unusual tool” and gave birth to a global craze of wonky Japanese inventions that were simultaneously ingenious but also useless. Fast-forward 3 decades to internet-era Marina Fujiwara, who was born right around the time Kawakami was getting ready to publish his […]

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What Is Obon? A Guide To The Japanese Halloween

What is Obon? Obon dance in Tokyo

Equally important as celebrating the New Year’s holidays in Japan is the summer celebration Obon. This celebration usually lasts for four to five days around August 15 and is one of the most important family events throughout the year in Japan. Often compared to Halloween abroad, though quite different in essence and practice, Obon is the Japanese tradition of paying respect to ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. Concretely, what is Obon?

Don’t look for it, Obon won’t appear in red on your yearly calendar because it’s not an official national holiday. In practice though, it is a summer holiday for everyone and most companies will take a few days off.

August 13 — Mukaebi

Obon begins with the so-called mukaebi practice (welcoming fires), during which people make a small bonfire in front of their houses to guide spirits upon their return back home.

mukaebi - small obon bonfire

Decorating the deceased’s altar with small memorial tablets, fruits, flowers, and Japanese sweets is also part of the early preparation stage—a practice used to offer late loved one’s objects they enjoyed in their lifetime.

While practiced mostly in countryside areas recently, some regions will also prepare horses made of cucumbers and cows made of eggplants with wooden sticks for legs. The symbolism behind it is that the horse will help spirits return home as soon as possible, while the cow will take them back to heaven slowly as soon as the festival is over.

A post shared by ゴジカラ村 (@gojikaramura) on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:43pm PDT

Most Japanese people also start Obon with a visit to the cemetery to clean up the family’s grave and …continue reading


Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld 2 Episode 5 Impression

Source: Supaku Blog

On this episode, Eiji and Yuna fights against PoH. Meanwhile, Sinon and Leafa continues fighting and struggling.

Whoa, when Eiji and Yuna made an appearance, I felt like I was a crossover of Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale movie. Also, the action fight between them is awesome until the end. Other than that, seeing Sinon’s and Leafa’s battles is cool. Now will Kirito finally wake on the next episode? I hope he will. Overall, awesome Ordinal Scale duo action and some more dark twists. …continue reading


Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha: Shijou Saikyou no Maou no Shiso, Tensei shite Shison-tachi no Gakkou e Episode 6 Impression

Source: Supaku Blog

On this episode, Anos is invited to a magic sword tournament. Meanwhile, Anos has Melheis investigate his current enemies’ motives.

It’s adorable to see Anos’ mom being clingy with him and reveal his childhood background to his friends. Also, I liked how Anos casually dates Misha in front of his mom. Other than that, I’m a bit surprised that our male lead still allows his parents to heavily influence him even though he’s the Demon King. Now what’s going to happen next during the tournament? I can’t wait to find out. Overall, interesting tournament plot development and more adorable parent moments. …continue reading