Japan

Archival image, July 9, 1973: (Original caption) A woman seems hesitant about buying fish at a shop in Tokyo recently (June 25) after the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry's June 24th warning that no one should eat more than 567 grams (about one pound four ounces) of fish a week to avoid the possibility of dangerous mercury poisoning.

A Dead Cat's Brain Revives Discussion of 1960s Mercury Poisoning Disaster in Japan

The exact molecule behind the Minamata mercury disaster, caused by a chemical plant’s wastewater, remains a point of disagreement

The Games will now take place in the summer of 2021.

Amid a Pandemic, Olympic Committee Postpones Summer Games Until 2021

Delaying the Games for a year is considered by many to be the best course of action for public health

Just in time for this year's bloom, Smithsonian Books presents a delightful new offering Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress.

Not All Cherry Blossoms Are the Same

View these vivid illustrations by Japanese artist Kōkichi Tsunoi of the varieties of trees presented to the United States in 1912

A gyotaku fish print

Traditional Japanese Fish Art Could Be a Boon for Conservation

"Gyotaku," or the art of pressing ink-dipped fish onto paper, represents a wealth of scientifically accurate data on Japan's marine life

Chitetsu Watanabe as a young man (left) and at age 112 (right)

Chitetsu Watanabe, the World's Oldest Man, Dies at 112

The Japanese supercentenarian attributed his longevity to not getting angry and keeping a smile on his face

The Chiba cliff section along the Yoro River in the city of Ichihara shows traces of a reversal in the Earth's magnetic field.

The 'Chibanian Age' Is the First Geologic Period Named After a Site in Japan

The period is named for Japan’s Chiba prefecture, where a cliff shows evidence of the most recent reversal of Earth’s magnetic field

Japanese Americans stand in front of a poster with internment orders.

California to Apologize for Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII

In new legislation, the state will own up to its role in the years-long detention that began in 1942

A Ludus Latrunculorum board found in Roman Britain

The Best Board Games of the Ancient World

Thousands of years before Monopoly, people were playing games like Senet, Patolli and Chaturanga

Great Nature, Storm on Mount Lyell from Johnson Peak by Chiura Obata, 1939

How Japanese Artist Chiura Obata Came to Be an American Great

With landscapes infused with an emotion borne of a life of struggle, this master receives his due in this traveling retrospective now at the Smithsonian

Untitled image from Restricted Residence

Nearly a Decade After Fukushima, Photos Capture Residents' Bittersweet Return

A new photo series titled “Restricted Residence” features 42 thermal images of locals and their changed landscape

Giichi Matsumura was one of 11,000 Japanese-Americans interned at the Manzanar War Relocation Center during World War II.

Remains of Japanese-American Internment Camp Detainee Found on California Mountain

In 1945, Giichi Matsumura set off for the Sierra Nevada mountains. He never came back

The October 31 fire destroyed seven buildings and was probably started by an electrical fault.

Volunteers Digitally Revive Japan's Shuri Castle Following October Fire

The group is seeking one million images in order to create a high-quality reconstruction

When the special finally aired in 1964, it became such a hit that it has been rebroadcast every year since, making it the longest-running Christmas special in history.

The Magical Animation of 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'

The Christmas television special—the longest running in history—was groundbreaking in its use of stop-motion animation with puppets

Boy Viewing Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai, 1839

A Great Wave of Hokusai

The Freer Gallery—home to the largest collection of the popular Japanese artist’s paintings—unveils 120 rarely seen works

This aerial picture shows Shuri Castle after a fire ripped through the historic site in Naha, Japan's southern Okinawa prefecture, on October 31

Fire Ravages Japanese Heritage Site Shuri Castle

The castle, first built more than 500 years ago, was seen as a symbol of the dynamic Ryukyu Kingdom

Dishes and bottles found at the site in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.

Hidden Japanese Settlement Found in Forests of British Columbia

More than 1,000 items have been unearthed there, among them rice bowls, sake bottles and Japanese ceramics

Minke whale on a whaling ship in a Hokkaido port on July 1, 2019.

Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling in Its Home Waters

As of yesterday, the whaling fleet had caught 2 minke whales and set a quota of 227 animals for the rest of 2019

In this handout image provided by Imperial Household Agency, Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attend the abdication ceremony at the Imperial Palace on April 30, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

For the First Time in 200 Years, Japan’s Emperor Has Abdicated the Throne

Emperor Akihito has voluntarily passed the title on to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito

Nostalgia in a can

You Can Buy a Tin of Air to Commemorate the End of the Heisei Era

The nostalgic keepsake goes up for sale in advance of Emperor Akihito's abdication

This photo taken on March 29, 2018 shows Michiko Sato, sister-in-law of Yumi Sato, who was sterilized as a teenager, talking during an interview with Agence France-Presse prior to a meeting with lawmakers in Tokyo.

Japan Offers Apology and Compensation to Victims of Forced Sterilization

Between 1948 and 1993, an estimated 25,000 people were sterilized to prevent them from having ‘poor-quality descendants’

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