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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Entered in Micro-site or Blog


365toJapan is a Japanese language and culture blog, written from the perspective of a language learner and culture appreciator. The blog’s objective is to provide readers with an inside look into one person’s learning journey.

Objective 1: Language Perspective. Leading up to his study abroad, Tarun Eswar, aimed to create content in the first-person, which details the highs and lows of learning Japanese. He also aspires to share interesting aspects about Japanese culture as well as research-based articles that inform readers about ongoing or potential concerns for Japan. 

Objective 2: Bridging Gaps. Eswar aspired to demonstrate the connections that can be made between writing, Japanese language and culture, and computer science. As a specialist in these categories, he often observed that the subjects were heavily divided. The creation of 365toJapan ultimately originated from his desire to unite these seemingly unrelated areas. 

Objective 3: Creativity. A key objective for the organization was to promote creativity from all ages and across all regions. For this reason, a haiku contest is one noteworthy feature of the blog. This focus on creativity also would pave the way for audience input and participation.

Objective 4: Community. A final objective came for Eswar when thinking about giving back to the community. Through this blogging platform, he desired to find some method to donate back to a Japanese-related organization in need.

Strategy and Execution

In order to achieve these objectives and bridge the divide often seen between sciences and arts, Eswar decided to construct 365toJapan with native based technologies with React.JS and Node.JS. Rather than utilizing a pre-made framework such as Wordpress or Squarespace, he wanted to demonstrate that building from scratch provides a well-structured blogging platform from custom graphics animations to a staff-only login portal for weekly posts.  

From there, he created articles weekly, touching on topics such as interesting Kanji characters found in Japanese. Each article is written such that the reader is able to take away something important from reading. From language articles, the reader is able to understand more about language learning. From research-based articles, the reader has a more factual background on parts of Japan. From culture articles, the reader gains new knowledge about Japanese culture, as misconceptions often arise.  

Being a smaller publication, Eswar decided that producing content of high quality would be of the utmost importance. He decided that employing this strategy would double by helping him with potential SEO issues. With this extra note, he looked to universities to find a potential lecturer or professor to tackle his weekly posts with him.



This effort has been a success with respect to the size of 365toJapan’s staff as well as the outreach created. With two members, a rising highschool senior—Tarun Eswar—and a Northeastern lecturer—Brett Murphy Hunt—the platform has been able to amass a high volume of visitors. As of June 2023, the platform has reached 3,000+ article reads. Each of these reads signifies someone learning something new about Japanese language and culture, potentially pushing them to start their own language journey. This traffic has enabled the platform to be named as one of the 60 Best Japan Blogs and News Websites for 2023 per Feedspot. Being named as one of these top 60 platforms signifies that the blog is taking new and innovative measures in each and every piece to be driving more traffic than other Japanese language-based platforms. Due to its specificity, Japanese language blogging is often a more niche area; therefore, achieving this list is a testament to the impact that this platform is making in a lesser-known area.

Finally, on the account of paying tribute to creativity, the blog launched its own independent haiku contest that enables aspiring writers to share their expressions with the community. In this sense, readers are able to both gain and interact with the publication.

As of June 2023, the platform’s first haiku contest has commenced, with cash prizes for entrants. This contest comes with a small entry fee that will be utilized to meet the blog’s final objective of giving back to the community. Though the contest has yet to conclude, these cash prizes will be donated to the Nippon Foundation, an organization aimed at social innovation. 

In sum, 365toJapan provides readers with a new viewpoint. From social issues in Japan to simply learning something about Japanese, 365toJapan serves as an all-in-one blogging hub for creativity, innovation, culture, language, and more.


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