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. 







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 […]




The 10 Worst Films About Japan*: You Might Only Live Twice But Are These Movies Worth Seeing Once?

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Memoirs of a Geisha starring Zhang Ziyi as a ravishing prewar geisha by the name of Sayuri (‘white lily’), sinks to basement level lows of pigeon-holing and cultural misunderstanding. As a Japanese female I just don’t feel like forgiving this one – the emotional damage is irrevocable. To make things worse, national acting treasure Ken Watanabe makes an appearance and seals his fate as an enabler for Hollywood filmmakers to cater to the white male fantasy regarding all things Japanese – namely, geishas. The one bright spot is Kaori Momoi as a hard-as-nails proprietress of a geisha house. The lone authentic presence in a film hyped up on false pretensions.







The 100 Hour Japanese Work-Week and One Woman Who Escaped






On the other hand, most Japanese – white collar or not, are well aware that clocking in over 100 hours of overtime a month is quite common, and so is not getting paid for that time. Dentsu was raided by Labor ministry investigators earlier this month, and they raked up evidence to show that workers were actually falsifying their overtime records to avoid having to bill the company and cause trouble.







DOGLEGS: THE ABLED AND DISABLED FIGHTING TOGETHER TO BREAK DOWN BARRIERS

At the Doglegs tournament this April






In Japan, the handicapped have to literally fight for their right to live and be treated with dignity. Some of them do. On 27th July, 19 residents of a nursing home for the disabled in Sagamihara, just outside of Tokyo, were stabbed to death while 20 more were injured. The murderer Satoshi Uematsu (26) gave […]




Yakuza University: It’s a hard knock education

Higher education for many yakuza begins in jail.






 Le monde criminel possède souvent son propre langage et ses propres expressions. Les yakuza ne font pas exception à la règle. Par exemple, plutôt que de dire « aller en prison » (刑務所に行く : keimusho ni iku), ils diront « aller à l’université » (大学に行く : daigaku ni iku).







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.







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.







Happy V-Day! What we talk about when we talk about love & sex in Japan

The Japanese language is rich in terms for love and sex--which are definitely not the same thing here.






*浮気 (Uwaki) –1) to describe someone who can romantically love many people 2) infidelity; an affair 3) being in love with in someone other than your partner 4) (old usage) cheerful and gorgeous