2 Year Blog Anniversary
Hey everyone! Today’s post will be a bit different – instead of showing you something cool about Japanese culture, I will look back at the past two years of blog posts, highlighting my favourites and showing you some stuff you might have missed. This is my 52nd post on here, which means I’ve written exactly one every other week on average. That’s only going to increase from now on so selecting the posts for this throwback was really difficult!
Without further ado, I hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane. Here are my top 5 blog posts of the past 2 years.
#5 A Guide to Giving Gifts in Japan
Coming in at number 5 is my first post of 2018. This complete guide aims at teaching you all you need to know about giving and receiving gifts in Japan. It covers everything from wrapping and decorations to general etiquette and useful phrases. Become an Omiyage expert and start giving amazing gifts with this guide.
Another reason why I love this post is because it is the first one using my new illustration style and colour palette. I’m still in love with this design and probably won’t be changing it drastically anytime soon.
Go check out the post here: Gift Guide Japan
#4 Kodou – The Way of Incense
This post has been one of the most consistently popular ones ever since writing it. Kodō is now one of the lesser well known 道 [Dō], next to things like Shodou, Calligraphy, Chadou, Japanese Tea Ceremony and Judo.
It has a long history, and I wish more people were to partake in it, as it really is a lot of fun. I talk a lot about the history of Kodou in this post. Additionally, there’s a little guide on how to do it yourself.
If all of this sounds interesting, here is the full post on Kodou, the way of incense.
#3 Japanese New Year
For the longest time, this was the most read post on my blog. For good reason as well, as I’m still really proud of it. Covering everything from O-sechi, the traditional new years food to Nengajo [年賀状] and Kakizome [書き初め], there is a lot of useful information here.
At the time of writing, the zodiac animal of the year was the bird, which is why the photo I took for the header of this post has a rooster in it. This photograph is among my favourites from Japan, along with the photo of the children at the Daruma burning, which can also be found in this post.
I know it’s in the middle of summer, but if you are for some reason feeling festive, I highly recommend checking out this post about Japanese new year.
#2 Mizuhiki – The Art of Knotting Cords
Another relatively new post, Mizuhiki – The Art of Knotting Cords is about a rather unknown but beautiful Japanese art form. The traditional technique involves intricately tying together cords made out of washi paper. Originating in 607 A.D., during the Ming Dynasty in China, today’s Mizuhiki hot spot is in Iida, Nagano. I lived in Nagano prefecture for a year, and my AFS chapter president took me to a workshop during my visit this Easter.
There’s a video tutorial included in this blog post, and as I’m hoping to produce more content for Youtube in the future, I really like the way this post turned out.
If this sounds intriguing, go check out the full post with lots of information on the history and different types if Mizuhiki.
#1 Kabuki Theatre in Japan
Taking the number 1 spot is my post on Japanese Kabuki Theatre. Written in February of 2017, this post is one of my older ones. Coming in at over 3.000 words, it is also one of my longest.
AFS took me to see Kabuki at the National Theatre in Tokyo, and I fell in love with the art form. So much so that I am currently writing my graduation paper on it. Everything from the long history full of outcasts, bans and persistence, the elaborate make-up and costumes to the gender ambiguity portrayed interests me.
If you want to learn more about Kabuki, I highly recommend you check out this blog post. You might just learn something new.
And that’s all I have time for today. I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. If you are new here; first of all, welcome. I hope you found something that interests you, and I hope to see you again.
To another two years. I hope you’ll stick around with me. If you want to know something about Japan and Japanese culture, leave a comment down below and I’ll write something about it!
Next week will be all about Japanese words I wish other languages would adopt.
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