Hey, Baby? You’re fired & don’t come back. Maternity Harassment (MATAHARA) and The Working Woman in Japan

Fighting Against Maternity Harassment is a grass roots effort










According to Japanese Trade Union Confederation, matahara is an abbreviation of “maternity harassment.” The word refers to mental or physical harassment that some workingwomen go through when they announce to their colleagues that they’re pregnant or after they come back to the office from maternity leave. Some women come back to find themselves demoted or receiving a pay cut. In the worst-case scenario, some are even pressured to quit or fired. Harassment comes not only from men in the office but other women as well—sometimes out of irritation that their workload will increase, sometimes out of a kind of jealousy.







Heal Your Expat Heart: Find Your Element Workshops Starts September 14

Well-known and respected Yogini, Mae Yoshikawa will be conducting a workshop in June.










If you feel like you’re on someone else’s path, feel creatively blocked, are bored with your current job, and remain unsure about whether you are maximizing your potential and/or whether you ever will, you are not alone. We created the “Find Your Element Workshop” and the “Enhance Your Element: Introduction to Mindful Meditation” to help connect you with what you want and with who you are.







How did Japan’s Whalers Of The Past Feel About Their Job & The Whales They Killed?

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Despite the popular opinion that Japan’s dedicated pro-whaling community comes from a background of legendary, barbaric whalers who slaughtered whales without mercy, some reports show that pre-harpoon whalers were actually very considerate for the feelings of these giant creatures. Sociologist Hiroyuki Watanabe’s book titled Japan’s Whaling, takes a broad look at the entirety of the […]




Governmental Parties to Youth: ‘We can be cool too!’

The bands on the lineup for Shimokitazawa's youth voting and rock event for Sunday's election.










Prime Minister Abe and opposing parties have been vying, sometimes with music, to attract the first-time youth voters to join their sides.







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.”







Manga and Dating Sims: The Real Path to Japanese Mastery

Check out our review of Benjamin Boas' story of how he got interested in Japan through games and manga.










Boas also provides some useful vocabulary for the basic Japanese learner, particularly while exploring manga and anime’s odd visual effects to communicate emotion, such as veins popping to signal anger which often resemble traffic intersections, and teardrops the size of ostrich eggs to symbolize embarrassment. Boas also touches on the fact that characters often respond to getting excited by girls’ underwear by getting intense nosebleeds or 鼻血(hanadji), which I first thought to be chopsticks sprouting from their noses (pictured below).







Japan Loves Trump! Banzai!











TOKYO—Japan loves Donald TrumP—so much it wants to hug and kiss him—at least that’s the impression you might get from the Japan Supports Donald Trump For World President 2016 Banzai! video that has now been seen over 14 million times on Facebook and 3 million times on YouTube







AKB48: A Microcosm Of Dark Corporate Japan. Sexual exploitation of child labor is sooo cute. (Book review)

AKB48 aren't just a band of  teenage girls creepily sexually exploited by a money-grubbing management team that includes an ex-yakuza associate, they're also symbols of how badly workers in Japan get screwed over--in every way.










Shohei Sakakura has linked Black Companies with the nation’s most famous and lucrative girl group AKB 48. “AKB48 and the Black Companies,” and his indictments make Walmart look like a towering monument to worker’s rights. Yasushi Akimoto was a Zegen with a vision – having never been popular in high school himself, he recognized the deep sexual frustration and vast need for sexual fantasies festering in the educated and dateless Japanese male.







TGIF in Tokyo! Tonight June 17th “This and That Cafe” to Feature Amazing Lineup of Artists

Friday (June 17), enjoy great music at This and That, a collaboration of Tokyo's brightest artists.





Tonight (Friday June 17) at 7:30, the Super Deluxe performance venue in Roppongi will be hosting the 29th incarnation of This & That Cafe, an event where artists, both international and local, come together for a great night of art, music and fun. The musical acts range from the soothing alternative rock sounds of Metro […]




Japan’s Classic (Misleading) Pro-Whaling Book: “You can’t tell us what to eat!”

Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) tells shows you the many ways to utilize whale meat!





Japan’s fishing traditions have long-been one of its most important aspects, surviving hundreds of years mostly on fish as well as obscure seafood such as sea urchins, squids and eels instead of red meat. But now with the world’s human population reaching new heights, many organizations have requested Japan stop hunting certain endangered species, particularly […]