Japan’s 47 Ronin of Ako – The Greatest Example Of Bushido

Have you ever heard of Japan’s 47 Ronin? Nope? Ok, but do you know what a ronin (ろうにん、浪人) is? The short version: A ronin is a former samurai. The long version: During the feudal period of Japan (1185-1868) a samurai who lost his master was called “ronin”. A samurai could become masterless if their lord […]


Ame Onna – Rain Woman

I’m often told that I’m a so-called “Ame Onna” – and I have to agree. It has even become my nickname. When I tell Japanese people my travel stories, I often hear them laugh, saying: “Oh, you’re an Ame Onna!”   But what is “Ame Onna”? It has nothing to do with “Himono Onna” or […]


Omikuji: Fortune-telling paper strips

In the last Wiki entry I introduced “ema” (Japanese wooden wishing plaques). Today I want to explain about another thing that you’ll find just as often in many shrines and temples: OMIKUJI You possibly could explain omikuji (御御籤, 御神籤, or おみくじ) in a very short phrase: fortune-telling paper strip. And yes, that’s pretty much what […]


Ema: Wooden Wishing Plaques

Today I want to introduce “Ema” (絵馬) – wooden wishing plaques of Japanese shrines. I’m sure most of you have seen them when visiting Japan or on various photos, but you maybe weren’t sure what exactly they are or what they’re called? “Ema” are wooden wishing plaques. This is a Shinto custom and thus can […]

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Japan FAQs


Blog Posts

Recent Comments

Upcoming events in 2017: