Japan, or Nippon, which means "the sun's origin," was almost a complete mystery to the West until the 1850s, when Commodore Matthew Perry sailed a fleet of American ships into Edo Bay, pointed his guns at a nearby town and refused to leave.
Today, Japan is synonymous with modernity and the ancient islands are engines of world culture. Still, Japan has not lost its sense of enigma. Get a taste for the Land of the Rising Sun at Japan Day 2015, set for Saturday, Aug. 29 at the Basque Block. Hosted by the Idaho Japanese Association, there will be Japanese drums; demonstrations of Aikido and Kendo martial arts; flower arrangements; Japanese harp performances; and calligraphy, origami, a flea market, sushi and more.