Japan Blog Matsuri FAQ

The Short Version:

If you'd like to host the Japan Blog Matsuri or have ideas for themes then get in touch with Ali at the following email address: ali.najaf+jbm@gmail.com


History ^

The Japan Blog Matsuri was founded by Ken Y-N and hosted on WhatJapanThinks.com in February 2007. The topic of the first ever Matsuri was "festivals" and there were only two submissions! Of those two, only one still exists, and that was Videos of the Hounen Matsuri: an amazing fertility festival , contributed by JapanProbe.com.

The Matsuri lasted four editions before fizzling out, only to be later revived by Nick Ramsay in August 2008 as part of JapanSoc.com. Since then, it has been a regular feature on the J-Web, reaching a peak of 34 entries for the "Foreign Food" theme of the February 2009 Matsuri. See Previous Themes for each subsequent Matsuri.

In June 2011, Nick handed over the reigns to Japanalicious, where we're currently looking for our first matsuri host. If that's you, then get in touch!

Upcoming Matsuris ^

The next blog Matsuri will be held in July by Phil at NihongoUp. To enter, please visit NihongoUp and get in touch with Phil directly or wait for the official announcement. The topic will be 'Japanese Drinks' so feel free to get started writing an entry now.

Please get in touch if you would like to host the August matsuri.

Article Submission ^

Everyone is welcome to contribute. The only requirement is that the submitted post is primarily in English. You don't need to be resident in Japan to take part, and you don't even need to be the author to submit a story. The submission must just be somehow related to the current theme, and the host need only occasionally blog on Japan matters.

Please read the Rules and Guidelines before submitting an article.

How to Submit an Article

Matsuri entries should first be posted online. Once posted, the url to the article needs to be sent to the host for that particular Matsuri. Instructions on how to submit an article will be included in the host's Matsuri Announcement post and usually involves sending the url by email or leaving the url in the comment section of the Announcement post.

Rules and Guidelines ^

Japan Blog Matsuri submissions should abide by the following rules:

  • No material that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the material;
  • No falsehoods or misrepresentations that could be considered harmful;
  • No material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate;
  • No advertisements or solicitations of business;
  • No non-English material unless translations are included;
  • No off-topic material, i.e. articles unrelated to the announced Matsuri theme;
  • No articles which have already appeared in a previous Japan Blog Matsuri;
  • No material which insults, belittles, contains profanity or in other negative ways affects those reading it.
  • No more than one entry per author for each Matsuri.

The Matsuri host may refuse inclusion of an article in the Matsuri at his or her sole discretion without the need for explanation.

Here are some tips to ensure your Matsuri entry is well received:

  • Submit your entry prior to the deadline;
  • Recent articles take preference over old blog posts;
  • Stay on-topic;
  • Link to this Japan Blog Matsuri FAQ page, URL: http://blog.japanalicious.com/japan-blog-matsuri.html
  • Link to the Matsuri announcement post on the host's site, and update it later to link to the published Matsuri;
  • The above link can be textual or a Matsuri Banner;
  • Multimedia is acceptable as long as it is embedded within a blog post.
  • Remember that readers may be clicking through dozens of entries, so:
    • Include a picture to catch their attention;
    • Use the first paragraph to summarize what the article is about;
    • Don't make your article excessively long;
    • Thank the host!

Hosting ^

Hosting the Japan Blog Matsuri can bring record breaking traffic to your website and provide a welcome boost to your readership numbers. If you are interested in hosting the Matsuri on your blog, first check the Upcoming Matsuris to see the next available month, then contact Ali at the following email address: ali.najaf+jbm@gmail.com

Hosts should choose a theme that is not too narrow. See examples of Previous Themes for ideas. Broad topics such as "food" or "technology" are preferred to allow bloggers some flexibility.

The Announcement

About a week after the previous month's Matsuri, the host should post an announcement of the new one on their site with the following:

  • A Matsuri Banner
  • A link to the previous Matsuri, with thanks to the host;
  • A link to this FAQ page
  • The theme of the Matsuri;
  • Instructions on how to submit the url of an article (email, contact form, comment section);
  • The deadline for submissions (usually around the 20th of each month, consult with Ali);
  • Tag the announcement and all related posts with "jbmatsuri" so they can be found easily.

Once the announcement has been posted, the host is responsible for getting the word out. That includes:

  • Posting a link to your announcement as a "New Topic" under the Discussions Tab
  • Posting a link to the announcement on the JapanSoc Facebook Wall and optionally other social networks with the tag #jbmatsuri

Accepting Entries

For a particularly popular theme, you may be overwhelmed by entries. It's advisable to read each one as you get them and add them to a draft of the final Matsuri post rather than leaving everything until the last moment. Problogger has some good tips for hosts in the article, Blog Carnivals Are Great, Hosting Them is Better .

Expect spam entries. Some people will submit anything for a free backlink. Use your own judgment to decide what is relevant and what abides by the Rules and Guidelines.

Publishing the Matsuri

As with the announcement post, the published Matsuri should include a Matsuri Banner and link to this FAQ page. Again, the post should be tagged with "jbmatsuri" and publicized via the above channels. Please include a link to the next Matsuri's host site which can be found in Upcoming Matsuris . See Previous Themes for examples of published Matsuris.

Further Suggestions

  • You can include your own Matsuri entry, either on the same blog or elsewhere.
  • Keep comments open on the post to encourage feedback.

Previous Themes ^

Date Host Site Theme Entries
July 2011 Nihongo Up Drinking in Japan
May 2011 Nippon The Bus I Can-Ji 5
April 2011 NihongoUp Education in Japan 12
March 2011 Haikugirl's Japan Faces of Japan 5
February 2011 lonleeplanet Famous Japanese Events 18
January 2011 – non-event – – non-event – 0
December 2010 Just Another Day in Japan Japan Firsts 9
November 2010 Surviving in Japan Fall is the Season for Eating 15
October 2010 Todd's Wanderings Japan Highlights 9
September 2010 Nippon Ichigo Music 9
August 2010 Through Eyes from Afar Nature and Japan 8
July 2010 Daigakudeki Chotto Chigau or "Not Quite the Same" 10
June 2010 Loco in Yokohama Hot Fun in the Summertime 17
May 2010 NihongoUp Japanese How-Tos 14
April 2010 Gakuranman Secret Japan 11
March 2010 Mazikeen: Hell Courtesan Yokai (monsters, ghouls, demons, etc.) N/A
February 2010 Muza-chan's Gate to Japan Japan Top Lists 20
January 2010 lonleeplanet Famous Japanese People
December 2009 Dumb Otaku Technology
November 2009 – non-event – – non-event –
October 2009 sleepytako Hamburgers!
September 2009 ALT Directory Learning in Japan
August 2009 Frugalista Japan Frugal Living in Japan
July 2009 Gakuranman Weird Things About Japan
June 2009 Tune-In-Tokyo Living on a Budget in Japan
May 2009 The Nihon Sun My Favorite Place in Japan
April 2009 What Japan Thinks Slow Times in Japan
March 2009 The Ghost Letters Fast Times in Japan
February 2009 Rocking in Hakata Foreign Food
January 2009 Rising Sun of Nihon How I Resolve to Make the Most of My Stay in Japan
December 2008 JapanSoc Community Blog Christmas
November 2008 Narrative Disorder What has Japan taught you about yourself or your home country?
October 2008 Nihongo Notes Sport in Japan
September 2008 Tae Kim's Blog The Language of Japan
August 2008 The Tokyo Traveler Impressions of Tokyo
April 2007 Rocking in Hakata Tourism
March 2007 Rising Sun of Nihon March Madness in Japan
February 2007 What Japan Thinks Japanese Gadgets
January 2007 What Japan Thinks Festivals

Matsuri Banners ^

Japan Blog Matsuri Banner 1

<a href="http://blog.japanalicious.com/japan-blog-matsuri.html">
                        <img src="http://blog.japanalicious.com/images/japan-blog-matsuri/japansoc-m1.png" 
                          style="height: 117px; width: 468px" />

Japan Blog Matsuri Banner 2

<a href="http://blog.japanalicious.com/japan-blog-matsuri.html">
                        <img src="http://blog.japanalicious.com/images/japan-blog-matsuri/japansoc-m2.png" 
                          style="height: 200px; width: 560px" />

Japan Blog Matsuri Banner 3

<a href="http://blog.japanalicious.com/japan-blog-matsuri.html">
                        <img src="http://blog.japanalicious.com/images/japan-blog-matsuri/japansoc-m3.png" 
                          style="height: 200px; width: 560px" />

Thanks to Philip at NihongoUp online Japanese textbook for those last two Matsuri banners.