NEWSFLASH: Hiroyuki Tanaka Wins World Top Fork competition in all categories






Judge Akireru Sugu explains, “When he came on the stage and pulled out his Kyocera porcelain fork and nothing else and brandished it in the air, then plowed in and began twirling–we were stunned. Had there been an equipment failure? What was going on? But then, effortlessly, he twirled the strands around the fork, evenly across all prongs, speared the meatball and gulped it down. He didn’t even get tomato paste on his bib. It was masterful. It was magic. And we knew this was something we might never see again. “







Shiori’s Full Statement On Her Ordeal






Thank you for coming today. (Translated From Japanese)   First of all, I would like to address why I decided to hold this press conference.   Two years ago, I was raped. Going through the subsequent procedures, I came to the painful realization that the legal and social systems in Japan work against victims of […]




“Letters to the Most Repulsive Parents in Japan”






Amidst the political turmoil and economic recession Japan has found itself in the recent years, how poor parenting takes a toll on the lives of the most vulnerable is often the last thing on people’s minds. The most recent (2012) Ministry of Health and Labor’s reports showed that 16.3%, roughly 1 in 6 children in Japan live […]




The x-rated happenings in Japan’s “Happening Bars”






Now, I know what you are thinking. No weird orgy, threesome, chains, whips or blindfolds? In happening bars, all the aforementioned do not necessarily happen. Nobody is forced to do anything they do not want to do accept abiding by the club’s rules.







Are you a white guy? Now Write Your Own Bad Expat Novel Set In Japan! Here’s how






On the plane, as I scratched my hipster beard, I wondered: Do Japanese people shave a lot? Would my tattoo that read 肉食 (Meet People) charm the natives or alienate them? I regretted leaving my copy of JAPAN: CULTURE SHOCK behind but then again, I could figure it all out on my own. My future girlfriend would teach me, just as she would teach me the intricacies of their ancient Altaic language and perhaps the language of love.







Japan’s Labor Ministry Names and Shames “Dark Companies” For Labor Abuse






Burakku kigyō (dark companies, exploitive enterprises) are probably the epitome of everything that’s wrong in Japan today. In 2013, it was among the top trending words of the year. They’re so much a part of the social misery in Japan that they even are incorporated into board games like The Hellish Game of Life. Last year […]




Who Matters? Sexual Assault and Inadequate Police Response in Japan






They will never catch the man. But that police report mattered. Women matter. Their safety matters. Procedure matters. Their stories matter. Their dignity matters. Though you would not have known it to be sitting in that police station.







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 […]




State Shinto Nightmares in Abe’s Japan






Like many foreigners observing the Moritomo Gakuken scandal play out, I am fascinated by the interplay between Shinto, nationalism, and government. There are questions that come with the scandal: Why is it a problem? Why shouldn’t the school use the Imperial Education Rescript? Why is the world watching so carefully? The problem is State Shinto. […]




ZEPPIN(絶品) #3/WACHOSHOKU(和朝食) Japanese Breakfast Rules!






We were served a delicious meal (和朝食) of hot rice, cold broiled salmon, assorted pickles, sweet egg, dried seaweed and hot miso soup. I thought it was delicious. JSRC editor, Jake Adelstein, nibbled on the fish and looked like he wanted a cheeseburger. Even after there was a wonderful lesson on proper Japanese table manners, Adelstein proceeded to wipe his face with the oshibori (hot towel) and hold his chopsticks like he was getting ready for a knife fight.