Celebrating Japonica’s One-Year Anniversary

A massive arigatou from editors, and most-read articles of 2022

Omagari Fireworks Festival in Akira. Photo from Pakutaso.

One year ago, Yuko Tamura and I were writing articles about Japanese life on Medium but it was difficult to find a place to publish them.

Medium had publications for everything from travel to health to startups to cryptocurrency, but nothing dedicated to Japan. We were adding our stories to general publications like ILLUMINATION and getting lost among the articles about how to make money writing on Medium or lose weight by eating pizza.

Mostly what was missing was the sense of community that comes from sharing the articles with readers who share an interest in Japan. We realized that if nobody else was creating a publication dedicated to Japanese life and culture, we’d have to build our own. So on January 3, 2022, Japonica was born.

Alvin T., who’d also been writing about Japan on Medium, left our first comment: “It’s about time someone did this!” He soon joined us as editor.

First of all, we want to give a huge, huge thanks to our many writers. Without you, Japonica would be nothing but a blank page. Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu.

And we need to give thanks to all our readers. Without you, there’d be no point.

It’s been a busy, crazy year getting Japonica off the ground. Without false modesty (sorry, not very Japanese), we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Most importantly, the reason we devote our time to building this publication is to bring to the world interesting, informative, well-written articles about Japan by a variety of voices, and we’re proud of every article we published. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.

  • We’ve published 413 stories by over 70 different writers garnering over 300K views.
  • We’ve created a worldwide community of readers and writers interested in Japan on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • We hosted an in-person gathering of editors, writers, and readers in Tokyo in November.
  • We’ve built new friendships between readers, writers, and editors.

Not bad for our first year, especially considering this is a volunteer effort that takes time every day. But it’s time that’s been well-spent creating something more worthwhile than money.

Did we accomplish everything we’d hoped. No, of course not. We want to grow the community larger, bring more readers to our writers, provide more great articles for our community. We want to facilitate more discussions on Japanese life, culture, and language, both the amazing and the frustrating, and there is no shortage of both.

So stay tuned for another year of Japonica and please, please support our writers by following them on Medium, sharing the articles with your community, clapping for articles you like, and adding your comments on Medium, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

If you’d like to make a small donation, sign up as a Medium member for unlimited articles (so you don’t miss a single Japonica story!) using the referral link of a Japonica editor: Yuko Tamura, DC Palter, Alvin Tan. A portion of the $5/mo subscription fee helps the editor pay for coffee as we work late at night editing the articles.

Here are the top 10 articles published in 2022. If you haven’t read all of them, this is your chance to catch up.

Congratulations to Alvin T. for the most popular article of 2022!

🥇 #1: Why So Many Foreigners Who Move to Japan End Up Hating It
by Alvin T.

🥈 #2: BTS and BE:FIRST Showcase the Future of the Music Industry by Yuko Tamura

🥉 #3: Netflix’s “Old Enough” as Viewed by a Mother in Japan by Diane Neill Tincher

#4 This Is Why the Japanese Government Cannot Stop the Declining Birthrate by Yuko Tamura

#5 I’ll Never Raise a Child in Japan. Here’s why. by June Kirri

#6 The Assassination of Shinzo Abe & the Unification Church by DC Palter

#7 Why Japanese People Don’t Understand When Foreigners Speak Japanese by Alvin T.

#8 Why Japan Is Free of Gun Violence and Children Travel to School by Themselves by Yuko Tamura

#9 5 Reasons Why Japanese Is One of the Easiest Languages to Learn by DC Palter

#10 Japanese Salarymen Are Sleeping on the Streets of Tokyo — Guess Why? by Alvin T.

To all our writers and our readers, 本当にありがとうございます!

DC Palter, Yuko Tamura, Alvin T.
Japonica Editors



Japonica: the publication for everything Japan: culture, life, language, travel, food, and everything else.

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DC Palter

Entrepreneur, angel investor, startup mentor, sake snob. Author of the Silicon Valley mystery To Kill a Unicorn: