Ghost in the Shell: The Matrix of Sci-Fi Anime

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With the newest Ghost in the Shell film in theaters, and a live-action version on the horizon, it’s important to take a look back at what made the original so popular.







In Japan, Hamster Asses Are Cute. Cute my ass, hamsters are homicidal rodents.

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Next time, you’re fawning over a cute hamster butt, look closely and you may notice the blood stained hairs that are probably the trace evidence of their cannibalized lover or children after passing through their digestive system into a smelly pile of hamster shit.
Cute, my ass!







Anime Jazz: A Japanese Genre that Really Swings

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Jazz and anime go together well in Japan—like mayo on Takoyaki. In both “Bebop” and “Kids on the Slope” there’s a visualization of the coolness of jazz that is rarely seen. Even though there are just a handful of anime jazz shows they are worth watching—and hearing.







Lessons in Japanese Restroom Etiquette For US-Euro-Trash: No crotch-kicking, glass splitting, upchucking or f*cking

For those of you who can't read Japanese, this wonderful sign in what was once known as "Gas Panic" clearly outlines behavior that is not acceptable in the bar's restroom. No crotch-kicking, glass splitting, upchucking or f*cking. Let's keep it classy.










The first thing you’d notice upon entering the gaudy three-story Gas Panic complex in Roppongi was the commandment: “Everyone Must Be Drinking to Remain In Gaspanic.” The rule was strictly enforced, and probably for the patrons’ good as much as the club’s, because the next thing you’d notice was the floors.







Cherry Blossom Sale In Tokyo! Last chance to 花見!

Cherry blossom tree next to a pond at Koishikawa Korakuen










As eerie as the location sounds, Aoyama Cemetery is far from spooky with hundreds of trees that bloom each spring. The cemetery also contains the graves of several notables including Toshimichi Okubo, one of the founders of modern Japan; Henry Spencer Palmer, the Times’ first correspondent for Japan; and the owner of Hachiko. Yes, Hachiko, the famous dog whose statue serves as a popular meeting place in front of Shibuya station. For history buffs or for someone who wants something different from the same old picnic in a normal park, Aoyama Cemetery is the place to be.







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

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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. http://t.co/L691cGnFJd — Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) December 7, 2014




Book Review: “The Bad-Mood Marriage” 不機嫌な主婦 なぜ女たちは「本能」を忘れたのか(朝日新書)

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By Kaori Shoji As long as time immemorial, being a woman in Japan meant the rawest of deals. The long, long tradition of top-down patriarchy held that women were good for of either two things: sexual slavery or household drudgery. Once a woman got past her reproductive years, she was expected to control the younger […]




Origin of the peace-ies: The history of peace sign/V-sign in Japan

Live long and prosper. Try to stay calm and negotiate on.





By Sandra Barron for JSRC originally posted on March 9th, 2011 It was one of those nightmare commutes. A crowded train finally pulled up to a rush-hour platform, dense with people who’d already been delayed, who were already running late, and were spending this purgatorial time pushed up against piles of equally inconvenienced fellow commuters. […]