Your red dress is waiting. love and leukemia and coming home

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Michiel “Mimi” Brandt passed away on July 9th 2012, from complications of her third bone marrow transplant. She was thirty years old. She was one of the founders of this blog and my BFF (Best Friend Forever). If you’ve read Tokyo Vice, you’ll find the following acknowledgement: “Michiel Brandt, the most cheerful researcher and two time leukemia survivor in the world. She’s inspirational”.

I’ll have to correct that.

“She was the most cheerful researcher and four-time leukemia survivor in the world. She was inspirational and the best friend I have ever had.”

ASKA comes out with new hit…. “Say yes—to meth”

Japanese singer-songwriter ASKA is known best for his 1991 hit single with music duo CHAGE and ASKA, “Say Yes,” but his recent arrest over drug possession shows that he just can’t say no to meth. ASKA, whose real name is Shigeaki Miyazaki, confessed to police that he had smoked stimulant drugs several times in his [...]

In regards to “Questions surround reporter’s revisionist take on Japan’s history”

The controversial book by Henry S. Stokes. Does it represent his views or those of the extremist "translators" who put it together?

On May 8th, Kyodo News published an article concerning former New York Times Tokyo bureau chief Henry S. Stokes and his recent best-seller 英国人記者が見た連合国戦勝史観の虚妄  (Falsehoods of the Allied Nations’ Victorious View of History, as Seen by a British Journalist).  The Kyodo News article raised questions about the veracity of the book and whether it really [...]

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)

The bad aftertaste of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox’s collapse

Mt.Gox claimed to be one of the oldest and most reliable Bitcoin exchanges. It didn't quite live up to its PR. It went bankrupt on February 28th.

“Essentially,” said the former employee, “Mt. Gox was a dysfunctional organization. Nobody was doing accounting reconciliation and there was an exploitable fault in the transaction system that allowed people to get paid twice—or in other words, withdraw more or less the same amount of Bitcoins two times. Think of it this way—if Bitcoins were like frozen hamburger patties being served at a diner with a touchscreen menu, someone figured out that by tapping the screen twice you could get two hamburgers for the price of one. One day someone at the diner went to the freezer and realized that they were completely out of hamburgers—and they’d only served half the customers they thought they had.”

Stalking in Japan: Another needless death

Stalking Comic Book _Page_3

(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 [...]

A Benediction For The Bereaved

Buddha

May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed.
May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting each other.

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!

Japan’s Designated Secrets Law: All you ever wanted to know but should be afraid to ask. (LOL)

2. Overview Cover

The Lawyer’s Federation of Japan points out that if a journalist or citizen were to stubbornly ask about SDS (specially designated secrets) to a government official that this could be construed as “instigation of leakage” and result in him/her being called in for questioning, their laptops and phones seized, possible arrest and conviction. Even when acting in the public interest, and without knowing they were seeking information about a “specially designated secret” an individual would still face up a year in prison or a fine under 300,000 yen.