Happy Uniquely Japanese Valentine’s Day! What we talk about when we talk about love & sex in Japan

*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

Love Hotels Are Not Meeting Rooms. #MeToo doesn’t take off in Japan’s Hollywood

I’m a female actor in Tokyo. I thought I was safe from the filth of Hollywood, safe here in “innocent” Japan. But the truth is that Japan’s entertainment business is full of Harvey Weinstein-like individuals. Here is my first-hand experience. In December 2016 I responded to a casting via a Foreign Actors facebook page. After […]

Japan’s Pakuchi (Coriander) Craze is Just Crazy! But Also Crazy Delicious!

Pakuchi or ‘パクチー’ is derived from a Thai sounding word ‘Pakchee’ meaning coriander. It is an herb seen in many Thai dishes, either sprinkled on top or put in the soup. When I first moved to the Tokyo vicinity in 2011, it was actually the first time I saw pakuchi sold in supermarkets and even spelled with a Thai sound. I was very surprised to see the Japanese knew of the existence of this little herb we find so cheaply anywhere in Thailand.It is hard to pick a favorite but mine would probably be pakuchi roots tempura, pakuchi chichimi, and pakuchi cheesecake. What makes it good is how pakuchi has a faintly sweet taste with a lovely smell. Who would have imagined it to be this tasty.

6 murderers are paroled in a small Japanese town. Will they bring the place back to life or bring more death? See “The Scythian Lamb”

Rumor has it that since the early nineties, rural towns have been recruiting parolees to become part of the local populace. This information cannot be verified. The people involved will never admit to such a program even existing. But it’s there, and “The Scythian Lamb” is a brilliant fable about what happens when this program kicks in (pun fully intended) on a sleepy little coastal town. A town where, “the people are kind and the seafood is delicious.” The slowly building impending violence sneaks up on you like Nororo.

Japan’s Season Of Culinary Death Is Almost Over; Goodbye And Thanks For All The Mochi

Mochi are a glutinous Japanese specialty, often turned into a dessert, made from pounded steamed rice that Japanese usually eat to celebrate the coming New Year and other festive occassions. The rice cakes are very chewy and sticky, like hot taffy; people can choke to death on them…and they do.

Banzai To Japanese Print Media! Kaori Shoji’s Picks For Excellence In Japan’s Written Word World 2017

As far as bad years go, 2017 pretty much did us in and it’s not even over yet. Still, the news isn’t all bad, at least in the Japanese publication world. Paper and ink is still around. The Japanese language is not dead (though it may be mired in poop – more on that later). Here are some of the best publications that restored my faith in print, life and native country, and shone through like beacons of light on a dark and murky sea.

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

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.

Cursing in Japanese…but not the way you think.

It an illustrated history and textbook of cursing people and magic in Japan. You can learn how to make a Japanese voodoo doll, revive the dead, stop a lover from being unfaithful (via pickled seafood) by making them impotent. It is sadly out of print but you can find used copies, if you’re lucky (or unlucky—see the words of caution at the bottom).

Tokyo Comic Con 2017. Tokyo Ghoul ♥️ Tokyo Comic Com but the cosplayers?

Tokyo Comic Con is a festival celebrating Japanese and American pop culture, while keeping its genetic American style foundation. Unlike other existing comic, film, animation festivals or game shows, this is a place where everyone can share and enjoy the revolutionary and enthusiastic experience.”

Japan’s PSA: “Don’t Work Yourself To Death So You Can Keep Working!”

Well, just when it seemed that Japan Inc. just didn’t care, the Ministry Of Health, Labor, and Welfare, took decisive action. They declared November to be, “Special Month Of Raising Awareness Preventing People From Working to Death And Other Things” and have adorned the stations with these powerful (not) eye-catching (not) posters. But the unintentional irony is the sub-text of the poster which loosely translates all together as, “Don’t work yourself to death so we can have a society where you can keep working!”.