Japan

The original Japanese packaging emphasized English characters over Japanese ones.

How Cup Noodles Became the Instant Ramen for Americans

Released in Japan 50 years ago, the portable meal proved to be one of the biggest transpacific business success stories of all time

The capsized hull of the U.S.S. Oklahoma (right) is visible next to the U.S.S. Maryland.

The Story Behind Pearl Harbor's Most Successful Rescue Mission

Eighty years ago, civilian Julio DeCastro and his colleagues at the Hawaii base's naval yard saved 32 sailors trapped inside the U.S.S. "Oklahoma"

On October 24, 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf had just begun when two Hellcat pilots U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing spotted a squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes (above: a 1943 photograph of Grumman F6F Hellcats in flight).

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft

U.S. Navy Pilots David McCampbell and Roy Rushing made history in a heroic air battle over the Leyte Gulf

After comparing all genomes, the researchers found that the Japanese wolf is part of an evolutionary branch of wolves that arose 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. Some of the wolves from this branch evolved into the Japanese wolves while others branched off and gave rise to modern dogs.

Ancient Japanese Wolves May Be the Closest Wild Relative of Modern Dogs

The results challenge previous theories about the origin of dog domestication

Scientists studied ancient teeth for their findings.

New Research

New Research Dispels Theory That First Americans Came From Japan

Scientists found no distinct relationship after examining ancient teeth of both populations

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The Sake Master Who Bucks Ancient Tradition—in America

The ancient Japanese art of brewing a fragrant alcoholic drink from rice is being reinterpreted by Atsuo Sakurai in an unlikely setting

Umeno Sumiyama (left) and Koume Kodama (right) with their official certificates

107-Year-Old Japanese Sisters Are the World's Oldest Identical Twins

Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were born on the island of Shodoshima on November 5, 1913

Approximately 71 percent of modern Japanese people's ancestry comes from the newly identified Kofun period population.

New Research

DNA Analysis Rewrites Ancient History of Japan

A new study suggests the island's modern populations trace their ancestry to three distinct groups, not two as previously proposed

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

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