Life In Japan AKA The (Super Painful) Game Of Life

Life in Japanese Hell.






  So you’ve just arrived in Japan and you’re experiencing culture shock. Will you ever acclimate? If you want to understand Japanese life, try playing “The Game of Life.” It’s not the US version and if you really want to understand the game, play the SUPER PAINFUL GAME OF LIFE edition. It’s as close to […]




Happy New Year 2017! 謹賀新年

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Gentle readers, Thank you for spending another year with JSRC (Japan Subculture Research Center). This year we’ve posted some great articles, some useful reference materials, and next year we hope to publish more. We will be back in mid-January of 2017, with a new sense of purpose, new material, and hopefully more frequent updates. As […]




Snake Venom, Bee Toxin, Horse Oil, Snail Slime: Saving Face in Japan is Icky Fun

Post CHOOSY Fruit






Japan is a country where saving face is paramount—even if that means covering it with snake venom, bee toxin, horse oil, or snail slime. One company in Japan has been tremendously successful by catering to the Japanese love for looking good, thus saving face, and exotic ingredients. Their array of face masks, which are applied to the skin as shown in the photos, are almost all reasonably priced at 100 yen and are always exciting to find in the local pharmacy. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the tingly sensation and fresh skin feeling you get from spreading cobra venom on your face?







Celebrate Japanese Cinema Day: 映画の日! Ninja! Yakuza! Cyborgs! Reviews!

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But I think that the reason the general public identified with the roles I played, was that they were struck by my stance as a man who unrelentingly stands up to absurd injustices. It wasn’t just that I was just going off to a sword fight, but that my character was willing to sacrifice himself in order to protect the people important to him. JSRC: Mr. Takakura, you have been called the Clint Eastwood of Japan, what do you think of that?
Ken Takakura: It’s what someone else thinks, so I have no thoughts on the matter. 







Some parting words from Yakuza movie icon Takakura Ken on yakuza films, his favourite movies, and acting

昭和残侠伝 破れ傘(プレビュー)






But I think that the reason the general public identified with the roles I played, was that they were struck by my stance as a man who unrelentingly stands up to absurd injustices. It wasn’t just that I was just going off to a sword fight, but that my character was willing to sacrifice himself in order to protect the people important to him. JSRC: Mr. Takakura, you have been called the Clint Eastwood of Japan, what do you think of that?
Ken Takakura: It’s what someone else thinks, so I have no thoughts on the matter. 







Let’s Convenience Store! The Musical: コンビニへ行こう!






What’s not to like about a Japanese love song that is dedicated to konbini and the people who staff them, that consists of a handful of exchange students kanpai’ing and dancing in store aisles? If Yahoo! Japan’s video charts serve as any indication, absolutely nothing.







Aliens Versus Yakuza: 宇宙人対極道: A Masterpiece Of Bad Genre Films

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I wouldn’t want to spoil the rest of the film for our readers but it does solve the ancient question: in a battle between an alien and a yakuza, who would win?







The Hardest Men In Town: Chronicles of Sin, Sex, Violence and 1975 classic gangster film THE YAKUZA

John was tattooed by Horiyoshi III for several years






In honour of Japan’s Celebration of Cinema Day, December 1st, we’ve reposted some reviews and articles on classic films. Some good, some bad, some epic.This was originally posted on March 10th 2011. (Wow, who would have guessed what would happen a day later.) It has been reposted to commemorate the passing of yakuza movie icon, Ken Takakura, on […]




Ghost in the Shell: The Matrix of Sci-Fi Anime

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With the newest Ghost in the Shell film in theaters, and a live-action version on the horizon, it’s important to take a look back at what made the original so popular.







The Realities and “Legal Slavery” of Japan’s Porn Industry

Executives of this firm were arrested for illegally dispatching women to work in pornographic films, allegedly coercing them to do so as well.






業界全体で知らなかっては済まされないほど若い女性や男性が無理やりポルノに出演させられている現状が我々などの支援団体は目の当たりにしている。ファッションモデル契約と聞いて契約に同意したのに、当日にいきなりポルノ出演と聞かされ台本を渡され、帰りたいやめたいと懇願しても数百万円の違約金を払えと脅され屈する、若干10代の若者たち。使い捨てにされ、その後の進学・就職や結婚にも大きな影響が出ている。