Mythological Girls: Benten

Benten, also known as Benzaiten, is one of the ‘Shici-fuku-jin’, or ‘Seven Gods of Luck’, in Japanese mythology. She is the patron goddess of literature, music, and wealth and like many other Japanese deities, had a dual purpose in both Buddhism and Shinto...

Geisha Netsuke

  Did you know it takes years of training to be a geisha? And that “geisha” means “artist”? Geisha and their world are very mysterious. That is part of the charm. However, its complicated and somewhat confused history means that geisha are...

Mythological Girls: Kitsune

The word ‘Kitsune’ means fox in Japanese, and refers to the use of foxes in Japanese folklore rather than the animal in general. Stories show the Kitsune to be intelligent beings, who possess magical abilities that increase with their age. One such ability...

The Tale of Sumiyoshi

From rom coms to stacks of romantic paperbacks, we enjoy a good love story. For many, our first experience with a love story may have been the story of Cinderella. But the Cinderella-style story has been around since long before Disney released their famous animated...

The Tale of Genji

What was the first “real” novel? Who wrote it? Many people cite Cervantes’ Don Quixote as the first modern European novel, and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as the first English novel, but were either of these really the first? Though the modern...

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