Japan

The 6-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide pumpkin was installed on Japan's Naoshima island in 1994.

Typhoon Sweeps Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Sculpture Into the Sea

Experts on Japan's Naoshima island recovered the damaged artwork and are attempting to restore it

Tea Time, Hongkew, Shanghai, China, April 1946

Europe's Jews Found Refuge in Shanghai During the Holocaust

A new exhibition in Illinois centers the stories of the 20,000 Jewish refugees who fled to the Chinese city

Visitors explore during a sneak preview of the newly renovated Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Museum in Independence, Missouri. The $29 million expansion took 2 years to complete.

At the Harry Truman Library and Museum, Visitors Get to Ask Themselves Where the Buck Stops

Interactive exhibitions pose questions about the decision to drop the nuclear bomb, the Red Scare, Truman's foreign policy and more

Yakumo Academy High School karate team members practice a kata. Competitors are judged on such things as strength/power, deportment and interpretation.

The Tokyo Olympics

The Centuries-Old Sport of Karate Finally Gets Its Due at the Olympics

With the games set for Japan, the martial art will at last debut at next month's competition

Many of the tombs in Japan are elaborately decorated. Nearby visitors can buy flowers, buckets. brooms and other gardening tools to tidy up the graves.

'Tree Burials' Are Gaining Popularity in Japan as Gravesite Space Decreases

In some cities, cemetery plots are the most expensive real estate per square foot

This black metal suitcase belonged to Iku Tsuchiya. It went with her to Tanforan Assembly Center, then to the Topaz camp, and back home to San Leandro, California.

Smithsonian Voices

What Happened to the Homes and Businesses Owned by Japanese Americans After Their Incarceration

75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals were relocated to prison camps during WWII, leaving their properties behind

Three of the men featured in Facing the Mountain fought in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The fourth was a conscientious objector who took his case to the Supreme Court.

Meet Four Japanese American Men Who Fought Back Against Racism During WWII

"Facing the Mountain," a new book by author Daniel James Brown, details the lives of four 20th-century heroes

While Koronon is the first covid-19 pandemic-specific mascot, other ones have also popped up to help fight the pandemic.

Meet Koronon: Japan's Bright Pink, Masked Cat Mascot Fighting Covid-19

First seen in fall 2020, the giant fuchsia feline hands out masks to raise awareness and encourages social distancing

The disastrous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident occurred on April 26, 1986, after a flawed reactor design caused two explosions that broke Chernobyl's No. 4 Reactor.

Chernobyl Survivors Do Not Pass Excess Mutations on to Their Children After All

Researchers suggest the results may extend to those exposed to radiation in other nuclear accidents, such as the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi explosion in Japan

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as seen from the coast of Futaba town in Fukushima prefecture.

Japan Will Release Fukushima Nuclear Plant Wastewater Into Ocean

Ten years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the site is running out of space to store tritium-containing wastewater

Wind-screen and cherry tree, unknown artist, (detail) Edo period, 1615-1868

Honor the Tradition of Viewing Cherry Blossoms in These Signature Japanese Works of Art

The timeless glory of the early spring bloom can be found In the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art

Yayoi Kusama with recent works in Tokyo, 2016

Trove of Early Yayoi Kusama Works to Go on Public View for the First Time

The Japanese artist gifted the pieces, which will be exhibited ahead of a May auction, to her doctor as thanks for free medical care

On March 11, 2021, lanterns are released in remembrance of earthquake and tsunami victims in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture.

Remembering the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Ten Years Later

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake in 2011 remains the largest in Japan's recorded history

The National Park Service predicts that peak bloom will take place between April 2 and 5.

Virtually Celebrate Peak Bloom With Ten Fun Facts About Cherry Blossoms

This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival will feature a mix of in-person and online events

A whimsical bag designed to look like a European horse chestnut, made by contemporary British designer Emily Joe Gibbs

How the Handbag Became the Ultimate Fashion Accessory

An exhibition at the V&A in London traces the long history of the purse, from Elizabeth I's court to "Sex and the City"

A female macaque relaxes at Jigokudani. The Japanese word means “hell’s valley,” after the volcanic activity that heats the springs.

What Japan's Wild Snow Monkeys Can Teach Us About Animal Culture

Scientists have been studying the primates at some of the nation's hot springs, and what they have learned about evolution is astonishing

A Japanese space capsule seen falling back to Earth over Australia. The capsule, released from the JAXA space probe Hayabusa2, contains samples of an asteroid called Ryugu that is located roughly 180 million miles from our planet.

Japan Retrieves Space Capsule Full of Asteroid Samples in Australia

The successful landing marks the completion of Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission, which studied the 3,000-foot-wide asteroid Ryugu

A view inside the Asian giant hornet nest that Washington State entomologists destroyed last month.

Asian Giant Hornet Nest May Have Contained 200 Queens

Officials say they’ve counted roughly 500 hornets in various stages of development after examining a nest they found and destroyed last month

A wolf-like robot dubbed "Monster Wolf" photographed in 2017. An updated model was recently installed in the town of Takikawa on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. The robot's motion sensor triggers flashing red LED eyes and a selection of 60 sounds aimed to frighten animals back into the wild.

Robotic 'Monster Wolf' Protects Japanese Town From Bears

No bear interactions have been recorded in the town since the robots' installation in September

Art historians used clues in the paintings' artistic techniques to estimate their age.

Cool Finds

These Newly Discovered Buddhist Temple Paintings May Be Among Japan's Oldest

Art historians used infrared photography to identify images that could date to around 685 A.D.