Emperor Akihito in 2014

What Is the Role of the Emperor in Modern Japan?

While the role is ceremonial, abdication could mean a political battle

Sample of Niku Udon.

Japan's Most Mouthwatering Dishes Are Made of Plastic

Discover <i>sampuru</i>, the art of mind-blowingly realistic fake food


The Sleepy Japanese Town Built Inside an Active Volcano

It’s been about 230 years since the last eruption killed half the population. But locals won't let the volcano dictate their future

Japan Honors the Creator of the California Roll

Some may see it as an affront against sushi, others see an ambassador for culture

Ronald Reagan signing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that apologized for the internment of Japanese American citizens and permanent residents during World War II.

Five Times the United States Officially Apologized

These are a few instances where the U.S. admitted it had done wrong

An artist's representation of an artificial meteor shower.

This Startup Wants to Open the 2020 Olympics With a Man-Made Meteor Shower

Could the only thing better than fireworks be fireworks launched from space?

Japan'a see-through trains

Japan Is Getting “Invisible” Trains That Blend into the Landscape

Admiring the scenery just got even better

A print of Lake Suwa from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.

Japanese Priests Collected Almost Seven Centuries of Climate Data

Historic records from "citizen scientists" in Japan and Finland give researchers centuries of data on ice conditions

The ramen shops.

Discover the Real Ramen at a Shrine to Slurpy Noodles

The iconic dish has surprising regional roots

A wild boar and her little squeakers explore in Duisburg Forest, Germany.

Radioactive Boars Rampage Around Fukushima

A boom in the wild boar population is causing problems for farmers near the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster

This spring, think about looking for cherry blossoms in unexpected places.

Where to See the Best Cherry Blossoms Around the World

The blossoms in Japan and Washington, D.C are breathtaking, but you can see beautiful flowers in places like Stockholm, too

Avenue of Cherry Trees Yoshida Hiroshi, Showa era, 1935

How Cherry Trees Blossomed Into a Tourist Attraction

The fragile and transient blossom may herald the first stirrings of spring, but their significance has evolved since the 9th century

An AI-Written Novella Almost Won a Literary Prize

A short novel co-written by humans and AI passed the first round of a Japanese literary contest

A worker sorts plastic in a recycling plant in Bangladesh. A new bacteria could make her job obsolete

Could Plastic-Gobbling Bacteria Save the Environment?

Japanese scientists discovered a microbe that digests one of the most common plastics

Interacting with a velociraptor robot is just part of the Henn-na Hotel's efficient charm.

Japan Has a Hotel Staffed by Robots

Androids, velociraptors and talking toys are all part of the experience at the Henn-na Hotel

Velvalee Dickinson, suspected spy.

The Spy in the Doll Shop

The FBI was confounded by mysterious letters sent to South America, until they came across New York City proprieter Velvalee Dickinson

Sakurajima spews ash in this undated photo.

Watch a Japanese Volcano Put on a Spectacular Show

Lightning and lava? No biggie

An 89 year-old Korean 'comfort woman' Kim Bok-Dong protests in front of the embassy of Japan in Berlin to demand an official apology from Japan in September, 2015.

After 70 Years, Japan and South Korea Settle Dispute Over Wartime Sex Slaves

Even with this agreement in place, many are still seeking a better resolution

A pair of six-panel folding screens entitled Waves of Matsushima, Tawaraya Sōtatsu, early 1600s

A Renowned, But Forgotten, 17th-Century Japanese Artist Is Once Again Making Waves

Long neglected, the 17th-century Japanese artist Tawaraya Sōtatsu influenced Western art 400 years later

Screenshot from Boogie Belgique - Ms. Yutani (official music video)

Take a Tour of Postwar Tokyo in the 1940s

High-quality archival footage makes a fascinating backdrop in a new music video

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