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. […]
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.
Samurais are usually known for their honor code, ever wonder what their fashion code was ? It turns out, they had just as elaborate a fashion code when it comes to clothing too. hpgrp GALLERY NEW YORK is currently holding an exhibition “Japanese Samurai Fashion”. It displays mixed media images by Japan based artist and cultural […]
For those of us living and working in Japan, it’s tempting to think that the soul-crushing boss is a phenomenon unique to the archipelago. Certainly, there’s a better chance of meeting one of these insensitive, abusive, anachronistic, stuck-in-the-Showa-era-mindset men (because they’re always male) in corporate management positions than in say, New Zealand or Italy. […]
One small city in the heart of Japan produces 96% of all glass frames in Japan and 20% of the world’s eyeglass frames, including high-end brands you’d never think were made in Japan. Sabae, located in Fukui Prefecture is an anomaly in Japan but perhaps it could be a model for the future.
Hey, Asian guys! You’re hot! Don’t you feel better now. As a reward here is an unasked for smooch from a white woman—for free. She’s even blonde! Feel better now? No? Wait this isn’t the Valentine’s Day gift you always wanted? As they say, all roads to hell are paved with good intentions. It is […]
At Japan Subculture Research Center, this year we are starting a series looking at the best services and products offered by Japan, our Zeppin (絶品）Series. In Japan, one of a kind objects or nearly perfect things are often called 絶品 (zeppin).It comes from two words 絶 which means to cut off, to end, and also to […]
So you’ve just arrived in Japan and you’re experiencing culture shock. Will you ever acclimate? If you want to understand Japanese life, try playing “The Game of Life.” It’s not the US version and if you really want to understand the game, play the SUPER PAINFUL GAME OF LIFE edition. It’s as close to […]
Japan is a country where saving face is paramount—even if that means covering it with snake venom, bee toxin, horse oil, or snail slime. One company in Japan has been tremendously successful by catering to the Japanese love for looking good, thus saving face, and exotic ingredients. Their array of face masks, which are applied to the skin as shown in the photos, are almost all reasonably priced at 100 yen and are always exciting to find in the local pharmacy. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the tingly sensation and fresh skin feeling you get from spreading cobra venom on your face?
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.