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Eat Fugu and Live to Tell the Tale

For any foodie visiting Japan, eating fugu should be on their list of must-eat foods, since it’s next-to-impossible to have in other countries. Usually, that would involve a trip to an expensive, high-end restaurant. Unless you have fugu fisheries in a nearby bay, which is precisely the case for Takahama town, located on the Western…

Tsukimi, the “Moon-Viewing” Celebration

Praying to the Harvest Moon As it is often depicted in Japanese pop culture, manga, anime, or video games, you may have already heard about ”tsukimi,” or more formally “otsukimi,” literally “moon viewing.”  It is the most emblematic celebration in autumn, and shops often have decorations or sell items bearing the moon, rice cakes, or rabbits (more about this…

Bouncing Forward: Helping Japan’s Fishing Industry after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

Takashi Suzuki is an assistant professor at Kagoshima University and a former project researcher at the University of Tokyo. Now a specialist in marine life and fisheries, he was a student on the Iwate Prefecture campus of Kitasato University student when the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake happened. Since then, he has been devoting his studies and activities to…

Greetings Used Before and After Meals: “Itadakimasu” and “Gochisosama”

Before eating meals, Japanese people join their hands in front of their chests and say, “itadakimasu.” After finishing, they perform the same gesture and say, “gochisosama.” These greetings are part of a day-to-day manner. Japanese people hold their hands this way to show respect and to put their thoughts and feelings into form. They use the…

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