The idea of "mottainai" is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, and reflects the belief that resources should be valued and waste avoided. At Shotengai, we strive to uphold this ethos by promoting sustainable products and minimizing waste wherever possible.
Wagakki, Japanese traditional instruments, are an integral part of the country's culture. Each of these instruments has its own unique sound and style, and together they create a unique and beautiful soundscape. Through its traditional instruments, Japan has shared its culture and music with the world for centuries.
Shikki (lacquerware) is a Japanese craft of painting paper, basketry, leather, and wooden items with “urushi.” It is one of Japan's most iconic traditional handicrafts. For centuries, it has been used as tableware, containers, decorations, and even fashion items.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa is a painting that can represent Japanese art. It is a ukiyo-e created by Katsushika Hokusai. Ukiyo-e is a Japanese art form that originated in the Edo Period with a variety of contents, including historical stories, scenery, folk tales, and portraits.
Kyogen is one of the classical forms of theatre in Japan. It is a comic relief between serious Noh plays. Kyogen plays are very short, with few costumes and props. They are normally played by 2-3 actors. Though they aim at amusing the audience, there is also Kyogen telling sad stories.
Noh is the one of oldest performing arts in the world. It is a Japanese theatrical performance that combines dance, drama, music, and poetry. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Stories of Noh are based on traditional literature, depicting both real and legendary events.
Kodo is one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement. It is an art of Japanese incense. The essence of Kodo is experiencing Zen rather than smelling the fragrance. Kodo works on the spiritual world and provides a feeling of peace and calm.
Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, is one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement. It is an art form of Zen and a minimalist aesthetic. Different from the western style, it uses fewer materials to present a more simple and elegant piece of art.
In Japanese, Yokai is a broad and vague term that covers almost all monsters, supernatural beings, ghosts, gods, possessed spirits, urban legends, and other strange phenomena. If you have played Onmyoji, watched the anime Natsume Yojimbo, or watched the Jeep Force movie, you will not be unfamiliar with them.
Yokai is a broad and vague term that covers almost all monsters, supernatural beings, ghosts, gods, possessed spirits, urban legends, and other strange phenomena. If you are a fan of Japanese anime, comics, and games, you'll be no stranger to Japanese Yokai. Here are some of the most famous Yokai!
Fairy tales, ghost stories, and folklore... They are an indispensable part of cultures worldwide. In Japanese, Yokai refers to all monsters and supernatural beings, ghosts, gods, possessed spirits, urban legends, and other strange phenomena. In Japan, Yokai is a culture that nurtures its literature and art.
Manzai is a Japanese comedy acted by a duo. It's a stand-up comedy in which the two comedians (sometimes it will be a three) joke with each other at a high speed. The two comedians have fixed characters: a funny guy and a fool. Compared with Rakugo, Manzai is "more modern" because of its costumes and scenery.
Rakugo is a traditional Japanese art. It's a verbal entertainment performed by one person. The performer will tell a story only through words and actions. Most of the stories are witty and comic, however, there are also some sentimental or horrific stories. Nowadays, the stories still remain popular in Japanese.