A Look at Japan’s Annual Penis Worshipping Festival

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The Kanamara Festival is held each year in Kawasaki City. Here, phallic objects and candies are in abundance.

Rakuten stops selling whale meat, but will still sell thermometers

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Japan’s biggest e-commerce website, Rakuten, ordered all of its merchants to stop selling whale meat on the website. No news yet on what will happen to the other exotic products such as seal and sea lion curry and ivory.

International Court orders Japan to stop part of its whaling program; Japan wails in protest

Photo: Guillaume Bression / Trois8 / Tokyo-Prod, Wada prt in Minamiboso, Japan

Now that the International Court of Justice has told Japan that in cannot hunt whales as it does now, there is a new concern that the Japanese government will find different ways to prove its whaling is actually for scientific study purposes. And in fact, one worries that as the Japanese government strives to prove they’re correct, the meat taken from the slaughtered whales may just be thrown away without being put on the market, or vanish into darkness (and go into the black market)

Understand Abe & his right wing crew, but focus on Japan. “You’re talking to the wrong people”

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Abe and a slice of Japan’s ruling class believe Japan did a noble deed with its war to throw off the white man’s yoke in Asia and free the colored races (their words, not mine). Moreover, they believe that the Tokyo War Crimes trials were illegitimate, and the Nanjing Massacre and other “alleged wrongdoings” were just that — “alleged.” And, they reason, if Japan did do anything wrong, everybody did such things during the war.

Abe and that small slice of the ruling class believe that as long as Japan accepts this “masochistic” view of history (again, their word, not mine), Japan will never regain its independence and respect – its own self-respect and the respect of other nations.

Stalking in Japan: Another needless death

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(This was originally posted on February 18th, 2014. A day later, a woman in Gunma Prefecture was most probably shot to death by her stalker)  February 21st, 2014 . Updated again on February 22nd, 2014.  Stalking in Japan is a serious problem and the laws can’t seem to catch up with it. On the 19th [...]

“Nothing says love like menstrual blood.” In Japan, V-Day chocolates are really special

Love, blood, chocolate and a love hotel is all you need. Happy Valentine's Day in Japan!

Well, some women in Japan, and probably a very small number of them, in order to spice up their home-made chocolates with a little extra something, or give their store bought chocolates something really special–are reportedly (self-reportedly) putting a little of their own blood and sweat into the cooking of gooey sweets

The Tears of a Cat: Hello Kitty’s Guide to Japan, English and Japanese/ ハローティの英語で紹介する

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There’s something incredibly moving about a single tear dribbling from the tiny eyes of Hello Kitty; her lack of a mouth even makes it all the more poignant

High-Heel Thief Now Cooling His Heels In Lock-Up; Ginza Hostesses Breathe Easy

These high heels were made for stealin'

High-Heel Thief Now Cooling His Heels In Lock-Up; Ginza Hostesses Breathe Easy. Tokyo’s best gumshoes catch high-heel stealing thief.

Happy New Year Of The Horse 2014 (馬年) Come ride with us!

Happy Year Of The Horse! 
Just get on and let the horse go where it goes.

Japan Subculture Research Center has taken a long sabbatical since December of 2013. We meant to get things off with a bang this January but our editor in chief and assistant editor were both out of commission. So we’re taking the opportunity today to relaunch the website and wish you all a happy Chinese new year. The Chinese new year and once upon a time, the Japanese new year as well, followed the lunar calendar, so today’s new moon (Friday) means we can all say goodbye to the (water) snake year and say hello to the (wooden) horse year!

Underwear designer by day, Underworld yakuza boss by night: The Quiet Don

Underwear designer by day, yakuza by night. The Quiet Don

Nitta Tatsuo’s Shizukanaru Don (静かなるドン), translated into English as The Quiet Don, began publication in November 1988 in the men’s manga magazine Shukan Manga Sunday (Weekly Manga Sunday) and ran until the January 2013 issue when it concluded with a 50 page chapter. Lingerie designer by day, yakuza by night. It’s the ultimate double-life.