Japan Cultural Information

Know before you go!
 
The following resources will help you prepare mentally for your study abroad experience! The more you learn about your host destination pre-departure, the richer your experience will be!
 

Japan Official Travel Guide

Culture Gram

Local News

Television and Films

Recommended Readings

  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe 
  • The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

 

 

 

Music

 

Cultural Activities

  • Visit Kyoto’s Ancient Sites
  • Gallery Hop on Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea
  • Soak in a Natural Hot Spring in Dogo, Shikoku
  • Tour Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and Museum 
  • Overnight in a Temple in Eko-in

Recommended Websites

 

Common Japanese Cuisine

  • Oyako Donburi
  • Sashimi
  • Soba
  • Oden
  • Yakitori
  • Korokke

Prominent Japanese Icons

Jiroemon Kimura was a Japanese supercentenarian. He became the verified longest-lived man in history, and the first man verified to have reached 116 years of age. He died of natural causes on June 12, 2013 at the age of 116 years, 54 days in a hospital in his hometown KyMtango, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.

Suzuki Ichiro is the first MLB player to enter the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame (The Golden Players Club). He is a ten-time All-Star and won the 2007 All-Star Game MVP Award for a three-hit performance that included the event's first-ever inside-the-park home run. Ichiro won a Gold Glove Award in each of his first ten years in the major leagues, and has had seven hitting streaks of 20 or more games, with a high of 27.

Yoko Shimomura is a Japanese video game composer. She has been described as "the most famous female video game music composer in the world". She is best known for her work on the soundtrack for Kingdom Hearts and music for Super Mario RPG.

 

Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer and producer for Nintendo. He is best known as the creator of some of the most successful video game franchises of all time, including Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, Pikmin, and the Wii series. Miyamoto was born and raised in Kyoto Prefecture; the natural surroundings of Kyoto inspired much of Miyamoto's later work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politics

The Imperial House of Japan, also referred to as the Imperial Family and the Yamato Dynasty, comprises those members of the extended family of the reigning Emperor of Japan who undertake official and public duties. Under the present Constitution of Japan, the emperor is the symbol of the state and unity of the people. Other members of the imperial family perform ceremonial and social duties, but have no role in the affairs of government. The duties as an emperor are passed down the line to children and their children's children and so on.

Akihito is the reigning Emperor of Japan, the 125th emperor of his line according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He acceded to the throne in 1989. In Japan, the emperor is never referred to by his given name, but rather is referred to as "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor" which may be shortened to "His Imperial Majesty". In writing, the emperor is also referred to formally as "The Reigning Emperor". The Era of Akihito's reign bears the name "Heisei", and according to custom he will be renamed "Emperor Heisei” by order of the cabinet after his death. At the same time, the name of the next era under his successor will also be established.

The Empress, formerly Michiko ShMda, was born in Tokyo on 24 October 1934, the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo ShMda, president and honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Inc..

The Crown Prince, the eldest son of the Emperor and the Empress, was born in the Hospital of the Imperial Household in Tokyo on 23 February 1960. He became heir apparent upon his father's accession to the throne.

The Crown Princess was born on 9 December 1963, the daughter of Hisashi Owada, a former vice minister of foreign affairs and former permanent representative of Japan to the United Nations. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess have one daughter:

The Princess Toshi (born 1 December 2001)

The Prince Akishino, the Emperor's second son, was born on 11 November 1965. His childhood title was Prince Aya. He received the title Prince Akishino and permission to start a new branch of the imperial family upon his marriage to Kiko Kawashima on 29 June 1990.

The Princess Akishino was born on 11 September 1966, the daughter of Tatsuhiko Kawashima, professor of economics at Gakushuin University. Prince and Princess Akishino have two daughters and a son:

Princess Mako of Akishino (born 23 October 1991)

Princess Kako of Akishino (born 29 December 1994)

Prince Hisahito of Akishino (born 6 September 2006)

The Prince Hitachi was born on 28 November 1935, the second son and seventh child of the Emperor ShMwa and Empress Kojun. His childhood title was Prince Yoshi. He received the title Prince Hitachi and permission to set up a new branch of the imperial family on 1 October 1961, the day after his wedding.

The Princess Hitachi was born on 19 July 1940, the daughter of former Count Yoshitaka Tsugaru. Prince and Princess Hitachi have no children.

The Prince Mikasa was born on 2 December 1915, the fourth son of the Emperor TaishM and Empress Teimei. He is the surviving brother of Emperor ShMwa and the surviving paternal uncle of Emperor Akihito. His childhood title was Prince Sumi. He received the title Prince Mikasa and permission to start a new branch of the imperial family on 2 December 1935. He married on 22 October 1941.

The Princess Mikasa was born on 6 June 1923, the second daughter of Viscount Masanori Takagi. Prince and Princess Mikasa have two daughters and three sons.

Princess Tomohito of Mikasa is the widow of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa (born 5 January 1946, died 6 June 2012), the eldest son of the Prince and Princess Mikasa and a first cousin of Emperor Akihito. The princess was born on 9 April 1955, the daughter of Takakichi AsM, chairman of AsM Cement Co. and his wife, Kazuko, a daughter of former prime minister Shigeru Yoshida. Has two daughters with the late Prince Tomohito of Mikasa:

Princess Akiko of Mikasa (born 20 December 1981)

Princess YMko of Mikasa (born 25 October 1983)

The Prince Katsura is the second son of Prince and Princess Mikasa and a first cousin of Emperor Akihito. He was born on 11 February 1948. Originally known as Prince Yoshihito of Mikasa, he received the title Prince Katsura and authorization to start a new branch of the imperial family on 1 January 1988.

The Princess Takamado is the widow of The Prince Takamado (born 29 December 1954, died 21 November 2002), the third son of the Prince and the Princess Mikasa and a first cousin of Emperor Akihito. The princess was born 10 July 1953, the daughter of Shigejiro Tottori. She married the prince on 6 December 1981. Originally known as Prince Norihito of Mikasa, he received the title Prince Takamado and permission to start a new branch of the imperial family on 1 December 1981. Princess Takamado has three daughters:

Princess Tsuguko of Takamado (born 6 March 1986)

Princess Noriko of Takamado (born 22 July 1988)

 

Princess Ayako of Takamado (born 15 September 1990)

 

Page last modified March 10, 2014