Postcards from Japan: Drag, ‘kizuna’, and revolutionising the face covering in Tokyo with Temanda-san

With the explosion in popularity of shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race in the US, Canada and even in the UK, too, the art of drag has never been more celebrated.

Drag in Japan has been alive and well for centuries across its big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo and even Kyoto, but one drag queen recently snatched a headline with her innovative approach to social distancing amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

Postcards from Japan: Coastal beauty, local community and ‘kizuna’ in Tohoku with Kumi Aizawa

On March 11th, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami brought unprecedented damage to the Pacific coast of Tohoku region. It was a major turning point: faced with the fury of nature in a disaster said to happen at this scale once in a thousand years, many people in Japan and throughout the world were forced to consider how we should relate to nature.

Yearning in Yamagata with Tohoku Enthusiast Clarissa Combe

With the Sea of Japan to its west and mountains to its east, Yamagata Prefecture perfectly embodies the natural beauty that Tohoku is so often associated with. Co-ordinator of International Relations (CIR) for Aomori Tourism Clarissa Combe journeyed south to Yamagata for a closer look at some of the prefecture's most revered attractions, including Zao Onsen, picturesque Ginzan Onsen, awe-inspiring Yamadera and Dewa Sanzan, one of the holiest sites in Japan.