Exploring the “hidden legacy” of World War II internment camps

Japanese Americans managed to keep their cultural arts alive in the camps. Photo courtesy of Reiko Iwanaga.

Rather than being stamped out, traditional Japanese performing arts flourished within the World War II internment camps that Japanese-Americans were imprisoned in.

A Look at Japan’s Annual Penis Worshipping Festival


The Kanamara Festival is held each year in Kawasaki City. Here, phallic objects and candies are in abundance.

Mt.Gox: The Bitcoin Exchange Eruption Timeline

Mt.Gox claimed to be one of the oldest and most reliable Bitcoin exchanges. It didn't quite live up to its PR. It went bankrupt on February 28th.

How did Mt.Gox, once the largest #Bitcoin exchange fall apart and why couldn’t it be saved. (To the best of my knowledge) Magic Trading Cards & Magic Money

The Yakuza’s Impact on the Japanese Economy


Eric Messersmith is a lecturer at the Institute for Asian Studies, Florida International University. He received his B.A. from the University of Miami, his MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Miami. Dr. Messersmith has long been interested in Japan and Japanese Culture. He lived in Kyoto for many years and was an assistant professor [...]

Japanese men take paternity leave in record numbers: 2.6% in 2011


by Lucie Prunier When one thinks of a Japanese family, what usually comes to mind is the image of a male breadwinner household, in which the father is mostly absent from home and busy working long hours, while his wife stays at home and takes care of the housework and children. This family model and [...]

Japan’s Antinuclear Movement, Post-3/11


By Douglas Miller Antinuclear protest movements sprang up in and around Tokyo after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Japan’s antinuclear movement has since waned, however, and the reasons warrant careful consideration. The antinuclear movement in Japan before 3.11 focused on opposition to nuclear arms, led by Gensuikyo—formally the Gensuibaku [...]

“Nothing says love like menstrual blood.” In Japan, V-Day chocolates are really special

Love, blood, chocolate and a love hotel is all you need. Happy Valentine's Day in Japan!

Well, some women in Japan, and probably a very small number of them, in order to spice up their home-made chocolates with a little extra something, or give their store bought chocolates something really special–are reportedly (self-reportedly) putting a little of their own blood and sweat into the cooking of gooey sweets

“If she bleeds, she can’t lead…” Sexist, Pro-nuclear, LDP loyalist Masuzoe Elected Tokyo Governor

The association of women who won't have sex with men who vote for Masuzoe

“Women are not normal when they are on their period. They are abnormal.
You can’t possibly let them make critical decisions about the country [during their periods], such as
whether or not to go to war.” – Masuzoe in the October 1989 issue of the magazine BIGMAN

Yakuza Movie Icon Takakura Ken Talks To JSRC About Yakuza Movies. EXCLUSIVE!

昭和残侠伝 破れ傘(プレビュー)

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. 

Happy New Year Of The Horse 2014 (馬年) Come ride with us!

Happy Year Of The Horse! 
Just get on and let the horse go where it goes.

Japan Subculture Research Center has taken a long sabbatical since December of 2013. We meant to get things off with a bang this January but our editor in chief and assistant editor were both out of commission. So we’re taking the opportunity today to relaunch the website and wish you all a happy Chinese new year. The Chinese new year and once upon a time, the Japanese new year as well, followed the lunar calendar, so today’s new moon (Friday) means we can all say goodbye to the (water) snake year and say hello to the (wooden) horse year!