An Introduction To Yamato Magazine

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”

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More Than A Supporting Character: The Evolution Of Amiko Kobayashi

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”

How Pokémon Reinvented Yokai For A New Generation

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”

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories Review: Classic And Modern Japan Come Together

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”

4 Reasons Why Mariko Yashida Deserves Her Own Solo Series

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”

Bushido: The Way Of The Samurai Review: Learning How To Be A Warrior In Japan

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”

The Definitive Guide To Japanese Manchester

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”