Harro Halloween Party 2014: Where to go in Tok-ee-oh (Tokyo)

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Halloween is one of the biggest party events in Japan and some have estimated that Japanese people spend more on the festivities than those in America. And why not? This is the costume play capital of the world. (In the best love hotels, every day is Halloween).

Saying Goodbye To Japan

Goodbye Japan

I count this as one of my teaching successes. One of my Japanese students is a budding illustrator, and one of her characters is Gachico. Last year when she started as a first year student, Gachico’s speech bubble read, “I don’t like English.” I teased her about it a little bit, and eventually we started chatting more and more outside of class. This year when she turned in her English folder at the end of term, Gachico’s old remarks had been erased, and this was written instead…..

The Ministry Of Sickness And Death: An unpublished chapter of Tokyo Vice

Greenpeace action against Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) at Chropyne, Czech Republic, 2001.

How could it be that the people closest to the waste dumps weren’t getting more exposure to the deadly dioxin? The figures seemed very low any way I looked at it.

Japan’s Female Police Commissioner worked with racist & sexist newspaper?

Eriko Yamatani, the head of Japan's Public Safety Commission, posing with a member of the hate group, Zaitokukai. She contributed an essay to his newsletter in which she derides Japan's democratic constitutions and suggests women should not be allowed to divorce.

It’s not just Ms. Yamatani’s ties to a hate group reviled by the UN, Zaitokukai, but in an essay she wrote for a magazine run by a member of the group, she asserts that women in Japan should have their right to divorce taken away from them as part of promoting gender equality. And of course, let’s do something about those tax dollars stolen by capricious single mothers.

Ray Bradbury, Journalism & Mr. Dark. “You can’t act if you don’t know.”

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“Have I said anything I started out to say about being good? God, I don’t know. A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little bit about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know, is bad, or amoral, at least. You can’t act if you don’t know.” (39.22)

Autumn Equinox (秋分の日): Honor your ancestors, remember the departed

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While Shubun no Hi symbolizes the transition of summer into fall, the day also marks a time when Japanese people pay respects to their ancestors.

On Modern Slavery: Thoughts on Human Trafficking

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[Not only do I find it personally abhorrent, but intellectually, it] is a terrible exploit of labor that robs women, men and children of their freedom and dignity. In fact, human trafficking is too polite of a term. “Modern slavery” is a more apt expression. Perhaps if portrayed by this term, more people would share my vehemence to combat it.

無縁仏(Muenbotoke): Buddhas Without Connections

On the 8th and 15th of this month, in Japan and in parts of Asia, they celebrate Nirvana Day. It commemorates the death of the Buddha and his liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth; pain and suffering. In Japan, the Buddha or a Buddha is often referred to as hotoke (仏). Over time, [...]

Mass Exodus of Foreign Men After Japanese Women Stop Sleeping With Them

The expat in Japan anti-hero updated for modern times. This guy will never leave. Dude, the party is over. Heartland closed in January this year. Maybe it's time to to move on?

Japan’s gaijin community is set to shrink to pre-Meiji era levels as they leave in droves due to Japanese women no longer finding them attractive. While male foreigners have long claimed that their continued residence in Japan is down to a love for Japanese culture and sushi, the recent decline in women wanting to bed [...]

US Embassy alert concerning dengue fever in Japan (PSA)

September 5th, 2014 The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo alerts U.S. citizens to the recent outbreak of dengue fever in Japan, the first since 1945.  Japanese media recently reported that 36 people who had not traveled out of Japan have contracted dengue fever.  Some people are believed to have been infected while walking in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.  Insecticide [...]