Japan has earned a reputation for being one of the most unique countries in the world. Countless tourists flock to discover its wonders, while citizens carry out traditions that have been in place for thousands of years. My personal interest in Japan stems from pop culture, anime, samurai and food. The culture has inspired me enough that I’ve decided to start a Japan-centric publication called Yamato Magazine. Read on to discover the kind of content that will be featured! Continue reading “An Introduction To Yamato Magazine”
Within the world of comics, it’s common for well-known superheroes to have a supporting cast. They are the characters who provide insight into the personal life of a superhero and what drives them on a human level. Wolverine’s supporting cast is made up of many intriguing characters and one of the few who’ve received genuine development is Amiko Kobayashi. The adoptive daughter of Wolverine, Amiko has evolved from a background figure into a multifaceted badass with her own unique path. Continue reading “More Than A Supporting Character: The Evolution Of Amiko Kobayashi”
Japanese mythology is filled with all kinds of supernatural creatures and monsters, ranging from mischievous kitsune, which take the appearance of foxes, to demonic oni, that live in the mountains and look like trolls. In anime, it’s common for characters to be inspired by fantastical Japanese creatures, and a franchise that does it so well is Pokémon. A lot of Pokémon are based on mythical monsters and some of my favourites have been influenced by yokai, Japanese ghosts and phantoms.
Yokai are among the most common entities in Japanese folklore, capable of doing good and bad. Through Pokémon, yokai have been reinvented for a new generation. In this article, I’ll be examining what yokai are, their relevance to modern day culture and the types of spirits that have been featured in Pokémon. Continue reading “How Pokémon Reinvented Yokai For A New Generation”
When I think of Japanese authors, the first name that comes to mind is Haruki Murakami. His surreal fiction is a big hit with western audiences and reading his stories opened a gateway for me to other Japanese writers. So, it’s appropriate that Murakami introduces The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories. The collection covers traditional Japanese themes like bushido and bizarre situations like UFOS, sugar-filled vaginas and nightmarish paintings. But what unites all the stories is a genuine love of writing from each author. Continue reading “The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories Review: Classic And Modern Japan Come Together”
Having a tragic love life is one of the most common themes of being a superhero, especially if you’re Wolverine. Logan has loved many women over the years, such as Jean Grey and Silver Fox, though each relationship has ended in heartbreak or death. Mariko Yashida is someone who has paid the price for being with Wolverine. Mariko died when she asked Logan to mercy kill her after she was poisoned with puffer fish venom.
Recently, Mariko was resurrected as the Scarlet Samurai in the pages of Old Man Logan. With her revival comes the opportunity for Marvel to explore the character in a way that’s never been done before and this can be achieved by featuring Mariko in her own series. Here are four reasons why she deserves to have her story told. Continue reading “4 Reasons Why Mariko Yashida Deserves Her Own Solo Series”
I’ve been fascinated with Japanese history for a while now, particularly with the samurai and their code of Bushido. They dedicated themselves to ‘the way of the warrior’ and lived by its principles in the pursuit of a perfect death. After reading Bushido: The Way Of The Samurai I feel like I’ve got a broader view of what Bushido stands for. Here are my review of a book that charts the history of one of Japan’s most enduring belief systems.
Continue reading “Bushido: The Way Of The Samurai Review: Learning How To Be A Warrior In Japan”
Travelling is one of the best ways to expand your knowledge of the world. But it’s not the only way to embrace a new culture. Exploring local communities and experiences are eye-opening in their own right. I’m fascinated by Japan and there are plenty of Japanese related activities in my home city of Manchester. There’s restaurants, bars, societies and exhibits dedicated to celebrating the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s why I’ve put together a guide for anyone who wants to explore Manchester through the lens of Japanese culture. Continue reading “The Definitive Guide To Japanese Manchester”
Japan attracts visitors from all over the world, with many being drawn to the country because of the samurai. Japanese history is entwined with warriors who followed a strict code of honour, devoting their lives to duty. There were many proud samurai and one of the most famous was Toyotomi Hideyoshi. A capable general and politician, Hideyoshi was considered the second ‘great unifer’ of Japan. He rose to prominence during the 1500s and founded the Hashiba samurai line.
I’m fascinated by samurai history, so I couldn’t help but be excited to interview a descendent of Hideyoshi. I’m pleased to present a conversation with Michiko Hashiba about what it means to come from a family of samurai. Continue reading “Growing Up In A Family Of Samurai: An Interview With Michiko Hashiba”
In Japanese culture, family is an important part of daily ritual. Japanese families are considered multigenerational, linked by a respect for ancestors. Ancestry is a powerful force within society and a comic character that highlights the importance of family is Armour. A member of the X-Men, Hisako Ichiki has the power to create a shield made out of memory. Through Armour, I’m going to explore the concept of memory and how it can hold families together. Continue reading “The Physical Power Of Memory: Armour And The Value Of Family”
Japanese folklore is filled with all types of creatures, with one of the most enduring being the oni. Considered to be a type of yokai, oni took the form of giant, supernatural trolls. Their demonic appearance gave them an evil reputation. Oni have been identified as bringers of chaos, delighting in the punishment of mortals. The connection to the darkness has translated into pop culture, as oni have appeared in art and literature. However, their role has changed over time to reflect modern interpretations. Continue reading “How The Oni Transformed From A Japanese Demon Into A Pop Culture Icon”