The 70 Year Fallout: A Lament for Hiroshima and Nagasaki


Editor’s note: This year it will be 70 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. What is not widely known is that Japan was working on building its own atomic bomb, and if they had been faster, many believe that Imperial Japan would have used it. It does not lesson the horror of what was done […]

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.”

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.

What’s really obscene in Japan? It shouldn’t be the vagina.

Is the vagina boat so obscene that that creator should go to jail for two years? Is a plaster cast of a vagina art or obscenity?

A vagina shaped boat. A blueprint for printing a vagina on 3D printer you have to download to see. Is it more obscene than these replicas of porn star vaginas known as 女ホール (women holes) sold on Amazon, and made of silicone? They are openly displayed on the internet and in stores.

From 98-Pound Weakling to Black Belt


  By Benjamin Boas Mou ikkai! Do it again! Punching someone properly is an incredibly difficult thing to do. It was not enough to simply drive my fist forward and connect with the target. No, when selected to play the role of the model attacker for the Aikido training of a Japanese police officer, this […]

Yakuza Rapper Releases Spoken Word Album: Yamazin/Collected Short Stories

Japanese rap has a bad rap.  It doesn’t rhyme, not really, it’s almost impossible to follow if you don’t understand Japanese, and most of it is crap.  Most of the “gangster rappers” in Japan are about as tough as Vanilla Ice and about as talented.  The bravado is show, the source material puerile and the […]

Freedom: A Small Tokyo Bar Where Someone Knows Your Name


The tiny neighborhood bars and watering holes distributed throughout Tokyo are probably as numerous as the stars on a clear night in the Himalayas. Perversely, they’re often the kinds of places that are easy to miss, at least in the daytime, even if a given joint is open when one happens to walk by.

The most obscene thing in Japan isn’t a 3D vagina model

The most obscene thing in #Japan isn't a 3D model of a vagina. It's something more insidious. — Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) December 7, 2014

Tokyo Pop: See it, believe it, breathe it. (Especially if you’re human sculpture)

RUBBER BRAIN party (in club Mandala). Tokyo.
RUBBER BRAIN party is more about the fashion of dressing up in rubber (with a very strict dress code! you don't get in unless you are dressed up as something) and watching the shows which are quite artistic. In this party, there was Butoh dancing, a comedy show and in the end there were sheets of rubber and a rubber chamber where people would go in wearing a mask to breath with when the air between their bodies and the rubber was extracted. They would stay there for a few seconds until they had their picture taken as a live sculpture, and then an other person would take their place.

“Tokyo is a place where tradition and new trends exist side by side. There are zones in the city that have specific character and others where everything is possible. From the surface uniformity of salarymen, the mania of Otaku, to the extremes of fetish culture, there is space for everything. Popular culture in Tokyo isn’t something fixed that can be described in one set of photos. It flows and changes all the time.”

A Second of Satori: Sunset in Nara

Wherever you live becomes the capital.

Note: Now and then at JSRC, we come across a whimsical or interesting post about Japan that captures some of the quirkiness or beauty of this place. This is from @tomoshiga aka Jessica Tomoko Perez who is now living in Nara, Japan and working on the JET program. (It’s short musing–but if Tomoko was a Japanese old […]