The Yakuza That Stole Halloween: They tricked cops, rival gangs, the media & treated the kids.






It was a grisly grim and horrific Halloween in Japan but it wasn’t all bad news–there was a yakuza Halloween, after all. After the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest organized crime group (yakuza), announced that they would be calling off their annual Halloween party this year, they surprised and delighted the neighborhood children by holding it anyway.







Make Up Your Mind…by October 30th. aMaz(e)ing art by Ian Anderson






The opening reception party for the show “Make Up Your Mind” was held on October 21st, featuring a living painting performance with guest artist, dominatrix and fashion designer Lehysl. Using ropes (縛り), paint, and a cooperative model and a body stocking, the three worked together to create a living painting.







Heal your heart and body: Find Your Element in Fall 2017






As much as we love Japan, it’s a stressful place. If you don’t know the language, even more so. And actually, sometimes knowing the language makes it even worse. If you’re looking for some spiritual healing, relaxation, leadership skills and or guidance try attending the Find Your Elements Workshops this coming fall .







Good signs: Japan’s APU graduate creates successful deaf cafe in Indonesia






“Fingertalk” a cafe run by the deaf in Indonesia has become a successful philanthropic business in Indonesia. It owes its success to the experience and determination of Dissa Syakina Ahdanisa, a graduate from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU). APU is a university located in the famous hot spring city of Japan — Beppu, Oita prefecture. […]




O-bon: Festival of The Dead or “Please Feed The Hungry Ghosts Day”






The “bon” in O-bon (盆) itself refers to the vessels (plates, bowls, tupperware etc) in which offerings are placed for the spirits of the deceased. The physical bowl has come to refer to the holiday or the period where the holiday is celebrated in modern lingo. Of course, O-bon as a holiday could be translated as “honorable container day” but then it wouldn’t sound as cool as “Japanese Festival Of The Dead.” The practice of offering food and drinks (such as Pepsi-Watermelon Cola and Wasabi Potato Chips etc) to the visiting spirits is believed to have spread from the original ceremony in Japan’s hip 600s.







The Amazing Japanese Wife Part 3: A Man Needs His Carcinogen






Seiko and I still share the same bedroom but sleep in single beds placed two feet apart, because she claimed my snoring bothered the hell out of her. I understand this arrangement is the most popular among Japanese couples. Salariman husbands only come home after the wife and kids are asleep anyway. Two single beds work just fine. The other day, one of the younger Japanese men at my company, said casually that he hadn’t spoken to his wife in a month even though they’re currently sharing a double bed inherited from his brother. “And that doesn’t worry you?” I asked.







Swimming With Dolphins In Tokyo (Miyakejima)






    How many of you have ‘swimming with dolphins’ on your bucket list? Well, I am one who have always wanted to do that ever since I saw a dolphin show in a Sea World as a child. Dolphins are very friendly and smart mammals and I have been fascinated by them for a […]




Zeppin(絶品) #2/The Eyeglass Frames Of Sabae. Looking ahead to a better Japan?






One small city in the heart of Japan produces 96% of all glass frames in Japan and 20% of the world’s eyeglass frames, including high-end brands you’d never think were made in Japan. Sabae, located in Fukui Prefecture is an anomaly in Japan but perhaps it could be a model for the future.







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






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 […]




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






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.”