Let’s Convenience Store! The Musical: コンビニへ行こう!






What’s not to like about a Japanese love song that is dedicated to konbini and the people who staff them, that consists of a handful of exchange students kanpai’ing and dancing in store aisles? If Yahoo! Japan’s video charts serve as any indication, absolutely nothing.







The Hardest Men In Town: Chronicles of Sin, Sex, Violence and 1975 classic gangster film THE YAKUZA

John was tattooed by Horiyoshi III for several years






In honour of Japan’s Celebration of Cinema Day, December 1st, we’ve reposted some reviews and articles on classic films. Some good, some bad, some epic.This was originally posted on March 10th 2011. (Wow, who would have guessed what would happen a day later.) It has been reposted to commemorate the passing of yakuza movie icon, Ken Takakura, on […]




The Realities and “Legal Slavery” of Japan’s Porn Industry

Executives of this firm were arrested for illegally dispatching women to work in pornographic films, allegedly coercing them to do so as well.






業界全体で知らなかっては済まされないほど若い女性や男性が無理やりポルノに出演させられている現状が我々などの支援団体は目の当たりにしている。ファッションモデル契約と聞いて契約に同意したのに、当日にいきなりポルノ出演と聞かされ台本を渡され、帰りたいやめたいと懇願しても数百万円の違約金を払えと脅され屈する、若干10代の若者たち。使い捨てにされ、その後の進学・就職や結婚にも大きな影響が出ている。







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

You_only_live_twice_robert_mcginnis_altered_artwork_bath






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.







DOGLEGS: THE ABLED AND DISABLED FIGHTING TOGETHER TO BREAK DOWN BARRIERS

At the Doglegs tournament this April






In Japan, the handicapped have to literally fight for their right to live and be treated with dignity. Some of them do. On 27th July, 19 residents of a nursing home for the disabled in Sagamihara, just outside of Tokyo, were stabbed to death while 20 more were injured. The murderer Satoshi Uematsu (26) gave […]




Confessions of A Yakuza Bodyguard/芸能界のドンの用心棒の告白

In October of 2011, it became illegal to profit the yakuza in any business including showbiz.  The attempts to ban yakuza from the entertainment world have sadly been more amusing than effective.






It may come across as an excuse but the entertainment industry will never see the end to altercations with the local yakuza regarding profit. When I was requested to be the bodyguard, I initially thought that I would serve as the fixer for yakuza issues. In actuality, Suoh asked me to work for him after the shootings targeting him, which later turned out to be staged by nobody but Suoh himself. I did not for a second imagine that I would be asked to “destroy” or “kill” an actress when I first took the job.







Japan’s Classic (Misleading) Pro-Whaling Book: “You can’t tell us what to eat!”

Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) tells shows you the many ways to utilize whale meat!






Japan’s fishing traditions have long-been one of its most important aspects, surviving hundreds of years mostly on fish as well as obscure seafood such as sea urchins, squids and eels instead of red meat. But now with the world’s human population reaching new heights, many organizations have requested Japan stop hunting certain endangered species, particularly […]




Most Evil Corporation Of The Year In Japan Award 2015: 711 Japan?

Black Corporation






Power harassment, sexual harassment, unpaid overtime, extended work hours, discrimination, casualization, short-term employment contract, etc…Japan’s workers have been ground down by companies that repeat these practices and sometimes even drive workers to their death. We consider them the “Most Evil Corporations.”







Nikkei buys the Financial Times: Have The Lunatics Taken Over the Asylum?

The Nikkei Buys The Financial Times. The Financial Times Sells Out To The Nikkei. Two stories and the same story.






“The Financial Times broke the story on the massive Olympus Accounting Fraud while Nikkei ignored it and was a mouthpiece for Olympus for the first week. Why should we believe you’ll protect the FT tradition of investigative journalism in Japan?”







Anime Jazz: A Japanese Genre that Really Swings

bebop cover






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.