Climbing Mt. Fuji anytime soon? Forecast the weather yourself!

I have never climbed Mt. Fuji; I have only seen it from afar. I heard that the experience of climbing the mountain is quite exhilarating. When I was researching divination in Japan I came across an article explaining omens¹.  And in a footnote to the article, which referenced a separate book on folklore², was a sampling of the different cloud formations on Mt. Fuji with their respective weather conditions.  Continue reading

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The Curse of the Fugitive Samurai 落人の祟り

Below is an excerpt from my article The Curse of the Fugitive Samurai: A Look at Social Stratification and Conflict in Rural Japan (for details see my Publications 研究業績)

Introduction

The inhabitants of the inland village of Kogata situated in Japan’s Tōhoku region have for generations on end fought famine, flood, and fire in a climate that is widely-known as being less than hospitable. Their community along with its arable land is largely found wedged between thickly forested mountainous terrains. Continue reading

Truck Art デコトラ

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The truck is king of the road in Japan. And there is a special breed of truck that is both distinctively fearsome, yet elegant: kind of like Las Vegas on wheels. These trucks are called decotora, which is a melded abbreviation of the words “decorated” and “truck”.  Decotora can be seen all throughout Japan though it is said that the original decotora was driven by a trucker from Aomori prefecture. Continue reading