The Cherry Blossoms are coming. Time to Go Out On the Town In A Modern Kimono!

Since the Taisho era, the staple of Japanese fashion, the kimono, has been rethought. Here are some of the coolest new versions around.

The kimono is a wonderful piece of Japanese fashion and tradition that has changed and evolved in recent years in a delightful way. This is a great introduction to the modern kimono. Later, we’ll post some good places to go kimono shopping.

Make It A Swinging Sunday Night: Pole Dance Tokyo Student Showcase

Getting down from the pole is easy. Getting to the top--hard work.

Pole Dance. It started as something sexy, turned into an art-form, a fitness boom, and it’s still as sexy as hell. From the people who made Pole Dance an International Event. I saw a sneak preview in January—was impressed. Worth the price of admission and maybe worth the price of lessons if you have the time and stamina.

US citizen dies after being taken in to protective custody in February/赤坂警察署の説明が正しい模様

Akasaka Police holding down the 29 year old English teacher who had been reportedly acting wildly in Akasaka. He had a heart attack on the scene and was taken to a hospital after ambulances arrived.

On February 2nd, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Agency announced the death of an American national who allegedly went on a rampage in the street of Akasaka,  was taken into protective custody and then was carried to a hospital, where he died. According reports in the Japanese press, the Akasaka Police Station, said the autopsy on the dead body did not reveal the cause of his death.

Japan’s Peace Constitution, Article 9, And Why Abe Wants To Dismantle It: A short primer

RENUNCIATION OF WAR

Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

Should Fuji-Sankei Group be red-faced over scheduled blackface music program in Japan?

This photo of two Japanese musical groups posing together in blackface, white gloves and costumes, gained attention when tweeted by several journalists and many others. Some consider it racist.

Brand Japan, Brand Abe: A Clash of Narratives

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Written by Nancy Snow Two decades ago I was working at the United States Information Agency (USIA), an independent foreign affairs agency of the U.S. Government. We were separate from the Department of State—the counterpart to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, and our primary task was Public Diplomacy. Some called what we did […]

“The Only Woman in the Room”/ How The Amazing Beate Wrote Equal Rights For Women Into Japan’s Constitution

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Is Japan’s peacetime constitution going to be trashed by the ruling party and returned back to the Imperial Constitution, which did not give suffrage or equal rights to women?
This question will be on the mind and haunt your waking hours after reading “The Only Woman in the Room” by Beate Sirota Gordon. In this memoir, she takes us through the various events in her life made remarkable by the fact that in late 1945, she became a member on the US Occupation team that drew up Japan’s National Constitution. Not only was she the only woman in the room, she was just 22 years old.

The Clear Skies Of Winter Tokyo Are Gorgeous.

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The winters are cold; the skyline is ethereal.

I’m not the Jake Adelstein you’re looking for.

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Jake shows me his phone, sharing a photo he claims is worth a billion dollars. It’s a yet to be released shot of a crime family boss with the president of Japan University, who’s also the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The implications for corruption are obvious. “I’m publishing a story on this. The reporter who originally had this was beaten severely.” It was my idea that we meet and get dinner in the first place so I naturally offered to treat when we first corresponded. When the waitress brings a to go bag with dishes never intended to be eaten during dinner I can only laugh to myself… journalism never has, and maybe never will pay, but I’m more than happy to subsidize the honest work of a damn good investigative journalist.

Jake clearly feeds off the danger. Sure enough the piece was published days later. I get a strange feeling, not that I’m a clairvoyant, but just sometime tells me that Jake is pushing his luck. He insists that he knows what he’s doing. But that’s what I’m afraid of.

Japan’s Establishment Is A-Okay With Apartheid! 日本へようこそ!

The Japanese government is looking for a mascot for its oppressive State Secrets Act. This monsters with eyes to monitor the media and hands to arrest them may be ideal--no ears to listen to reason and no mouth to speak secrets--it can only attack.

The Newspaper Columnist & Close Associate of Prime Minister Abe Who Wants to Bring Apartheid to Japan http://t.co/QugHdjlsK6 — Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) February 14, 2015