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The online magazine HIGHLIGHTING JAPAN


  • During the transition from spring to summer, Japan goes through a rainy season, the so-called tsuyu (also pronounced baiu), literally meaning "plum rain." Umbrellas are one of the indispensable items during this season. Wagasa are a type of unique Japanese umbrellas made using traditional paper washi, and original techniques for making wagasa have been handed down through the ages in various regions throughout Japan, such as Kyoto, Gifu, and Kanazawa. In this month's issue of Highlighting Japan, we explore wagasa traditions, the use of umbrellas in Nihon buyo dance plays and events, as well as unique Japanese beliefs, awareness, and culture associated with umbrellas.


  • An interview with Danjo Tatsuo, Specially Appointed Professor of the Department of History and Cultural Properties, Faculty of Humanities, Beppu University

  • We interviewed the owner of a time-honored Kyoto shop established more than 300 years ago about traditional Japanese umbrellas wagasa.

  • Introducing Gifu wagasa created in Gifu City, the largest wagasa manufacturing region in Japan

  • Wagasa made in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, are distinguished by their sturdy structure and beautiful design.

  • Dual-use umbrella-parasols enjoy recent popularity at a venerable maker of handcrafted umbrellas in Asakusa.

  • As one of Japan's traditional performance arts, Nihon buyo is known for dance plays that feature umbrellas in some of their most memorable scenes.

  • Introducing an illumination event that uses wagasa and is held every year in the Otemachi business district in Tokyo

  • We interviewed Komatsu Kazuhiko, the former director-general of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, about an umbrella-shaped yokai that has been part of Japan's folklore since ancient times.


  • The Ministry of Justice of Japan will invite the Justice Ministers and Attorneys General of the ASEAN and G7 Member States to the "Justice Affairs Diplomacy" Ministerial Forum, which will take place on July 6 and 7, 2023, at Hotel New Otani (Tokyo). This article provides an overview of the Forum, which is being held to strengthen cooperation among the participating countries in the field of law and justice. The Forum also represents an opportunity to uphold and promote fundamental values such as the rule of law.