By Jasper Sharp. It’s often reported how first-time visitors to Japan find themselves dumbfounded by the cacophony of new colours, sounds and symbols that greet them. What does the jumble of neon-lit hieroglyphs on that building mean? Why is that woman wearing traditional kimono on the metro? Why are there stone statues with little red […]
By Andrew Osmond. “You know how our world values ideas but tends to eschew writing for having little use? Just like a wise man once said, ‘I cannot see why living knowledge should be recorded by a lifeless medium such as writing – pictures are more befitting the attempt.’ But go to the human world, […]
By Meghan Ellis. Continuing the trend of people telling us all about the untold history of Japanese things, The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers by John Szczepaniak sets out to educate Western readers on the pitfalls and practices of the games industry in Japan. Taking the form of a collection of interviews following a […]
By Paul Jacques. As a 12-year-old, I remember wandering the High Street in Mosley (Birmingham) and entering a martial arts shop. There wasn’t much I could afford, but I did buy a 50p pamphlet with a scratchy drawing of the human body, and an English translation on the “ancient Chinese martial art” of Dim […]
By Jonathan Clements. In The Untold History of Ramen, George Solt digs behind invented traditions to tell the story of one of Japan’s most famous dishes, not as a breathless account of urban cuisine, but a hard-nosed anaylsis of demographic changes, supply chains and industrial politics.