New Movie “The Trial” (審判)Shows The Kafkaesque Side Of Japan’s Often Criminally Unjust Justice System

On another level, “The Trial” shows up the very Kafka-esqueness of Japan’s judicial system – the long, grueling process of scrutiny between arrest and indictment, and how, once indictment kicks in, it’s impossible to overturn it. “For me, it was less about Japan’s judicial system than it was about dealing with the bureaucrats in Tokyo,” said Williams. “And what I’m seeing in Japan right now – the secrecy law, changes in the constitution, the rise of the nationalistic, quasi religious groups – I find all that very creepy.

Help Support Japan Subculture Online. Reporting on the strange side of the Rising Sun since 2007!

Japan Subculture Research Center was founded in 2007 to expose the hidden side of Japan – its underground economy, its transient and strange trends, its robust sex trade, wacky politics, corruption, many subcultures, yakuza, host clubs and hosts, Japanese cinema and all the other intriguing and seedy aspects that keep the country running. Help us keep the website running.

CICADA by Yu Shibuya Limited Screening with English Subs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJc2iQdfKSw

Cicadas live underground until their final stage of adulthood. When they surface, they attach themselves to a tree bark, shed their skin and fly away, leaving behind their exoskeleton still clinging fully intact to the tree.
Much like the cicada, Jumpei, a mild-mannered schoolteacher, is sheltered. Introverted almost to a fault, Jumpei has finally found a woman he is ready to marry. Ever weary and careful, Jumpei decides to take a series of premarital tests and finds out that he is infertile. Devastated, he keeps the news from his girlfriend.

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.

May the Force Be With You (May 4th) Zen Wisdom From Star Wars! The Dao of Jedi

May 4th has become an iconic day for Star Wars fans across the universe.  “May The 4th Be With You” becomes “May The Force Be With You” quite nicely.  (If you already knew this, stifle that groan young Jedi, some of us didn’t know). And on this day, what better time to introduce one of […]

Some parting words from Yakuza movie icon Takakura Ken on yakuza films, his favourite movies, and acting

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

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?

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

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.

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

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.