Discover Kokoro

Dear reader,

Welcome to our new website, Kokoro Media, that has just opened on July 15!

Kokoro is a Japanese word that is often translated in English as “heart” or “spirit.” However, for the Japanese, the concept of kokoro encompasses what a person thinks, feels, and would like to express. A person’s kokoro cannot be seen or touched, but we can have a glimpse of it by looking at what a person does or makes and by using our imagination. (You can read more about this concept here: What is “Kokoro?”)

At Kokoro Media, we are an editorial team made of long-term foreign residents in Japan and Japanese nationals. We aim at showing the world the different facets of the Japanese kokoro we have captured from people, objects, and other aspects of Japan.

We will concentrate on the human side of Japanese culture with interviews, column articles, unfiltered conversations about Japan, culture articles, interaction with our readers, and more!

To celebrate the opening of our website, we have interviewed a variety of interesting people about their “kokoro.”

Kokoro Opening Special Edition

For this special edition, we have interviewed 10 people to reveal their kokoro. These interviews are divided into three main themes: traditions, regional Japan, and foreign perspective. 

1. Traditions x Kokoro

Namahage Satokagura

For the main long interview this month, we have invited the young and talented artist Kaku. He specializes in calligraphy, using ancient techniques from a modern point of view. You can read about his inspiring personal story and much more here:

Embracing a New Life through Calligraphy: an Interview with the Calligrapher Kaku

Read also our shorter interviews of fascinating people who thrive to get their traditions better known in Japan and beyond:

2. Regional Japan x Kokoro

屋内, 人, 立つ, キッチン が含まれている画像

自動的に生成された説明

Writer Michiru Hasegawa working on the field

How is life beyond Tokyo? The Japanese regions are full of treasures but must also face problems such as depopulation or an aging population. We have interviewed people who work actively in the regions of Japan and whose projects have a positive impact on the local community. 

3. Foreign Perspective x Kokoro

屋内, 人, テーブル, 窓 が含まれている画像

自動的に生成された説明

Richard, a foreign resident who is a Japanese antiques dealer during his free time

How is Japan’s culture perceived from the outside? What are its specificities as seen by new points of view? What can be done to connect Japanese culture to the rest of the world? 

We have interviewed foreign residents as well as Japanese people living overseas to find answer to these questions.

Much More to Discover

On top of our Special Edition articles and other interviews, do not hesitate to have a look at our other article categories:

  • Columns: Slices of life, thoughts, and opinions about where to find kokoro in the daily life in Japan.
  • Unfiltered: Real talks about what it’s like to live in Japan as seen by foreign residents. For now, these are written articles, but expect video talks and interactive live sessions in the near future!
  • Culture: Informational articles about a broad range of topics regarding Japanese culture—habits, beliefs, language, food, and more.

We also invite you to not wait before becoming a Kokoro Member. In the near future, this will allow you not to miss fresh articles, access exclusive content, and actively be a part of our future projects. We promise we won’t spam your email box, so register here!

We hope you’ll enjoy your visit to Kokoro!

Amélie Geeraert

Born in France, I've been living in Japan since 2011. I'm curious about everything, and living in Japan has allowed me to expand my vision of the world through a broad range of new activities, experiences, and encounters. As a writer, what I love most is listening to people's personal stories and share them with our readers.