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About us

Wa-pedia started its existence in 2002 as a minor web page about Japan under the name of Maciamo Japan, and merged its content with Japan Reference in 2004 to create the "new Japan Reference", henceforth commonly known as JREF (from the abbreviation of the domain name japanreference.com to jref.com following the merger). Wa-pedia.com was re-launched independently from Japan Reference under its new appellation in March 2010. Wa-pedia is a sister website of Eupedia, both created by Maciamo.

The "Wa" (和) in Wa-pedia is one of the Chinese characters meaning "Japan" or "Japanese".

The Concept

The concept of Wa-pedia is similar to that of a combined Wikipedia, Wikitravel and Wikicommons dedicated exclusively to Japan, so as to facilitate navigation and keep visitors focalized on Japan. We also strive to provide one of the web's most detailed and completely free guide of Japan in English. Here is what distinguishes Wa-pedia from Wikipedia :

  • A consistent overview of Japan with an easily navigable travel guide featuring interactive maps.

  • Reference articles written only by authors with specialised and first-hand knowledge of Japan.

  • A collection of travel photos organised by theme, region, cities and districts.

  • Personal articles and opinions regarding culture shock, expatriate life, and relations between Japanese and Westerners.

  • A discussion forum to ask and answer questions about Japan, discuss issues relating to foreigners travelling, living, working or studying in Japan, as well as sharing news and tips about the country.

  • Pages about trivia, government statistics, and unique comparative reviews.

  • FAQ about life and work in Japan.

Wa-pedia's Aims

Article sections

The Travel Guide consists of three main sections: Facts for the visitors, Life in Japan, Sightseeing guide. The largest subsection is the Japan sightseeing guide, with over 150 html pages.

The Culture, Glossary, Language, Entertainment, Economy, Demography & Statistics and Politics sections aim at giving both a broad overview and detailed information on all aspects of Japanese society, modern and traditional.

Other sections

The Japan Forum is one of the liveliest places to discuss all Japan-related things, be it learning Japanese language, serious debates about history and politics, travel questions or just chit-chat about pop culture. Please note that the forum was split between Japan Reference and Wa-pedia in March 2010.

Wa-pedia allows its registered members to share their pictures of Japan in the Japan Photo Gallery.

The Japan Forum @ Wa-pedia

As of January 2012, the Japan Forum has over 36,500 members, 55,000 posts in over 2,000 threads.



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