Love Hotels Are Not Meeting Rooms. #MeToo doesn’t take off in Japan’s Hollywood

I’m a female actor in Tokyo. I thought I was safe from the filth of Hollywood, safe here in “innocent” Japan. But the truth is that Japan’s entertainment business is full of Harvey Weinstein-like individuals. Here is my first-hand experience. In December 2016 I responded to a casting via a Foreign Actors facebook page. After some discussions with the director, Mr. X,  online and on the phone, we had a meeting in Ikebukero.... Read More

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”

Rural depopulation is a serious problem in Japan, so much that for the past decade, media fiction has devoted an entire genre into telling its stories. Bankrupt shops with their shutters permanently closed, desolate mountain and sea landscapes, no one out on the streets but a handful of old people. These are both metaphors for, and the hard facts of, most Japanese rural areas. Regional governments have been desperate to bring in new residents and... Read More

Another tragic case of death from overwork (過労死) highlights a culture of labor abuse. Reform is needed.

As the Abe administration tries to accelerate “work style reform” to address the issue of chronically long working hours, probably in an ultimately negative way, another case of karoshi (過労死) also known as death by overwork, was made public by family members of a victim last month. A 51-year-old sales manager working for Sansei, a mold manufacturing company in the city of Oshu in Iwate Prefecture, passed away after an intracerebral hemorrhage... Read More

Write Hard To Live Free: Happy Year Of The (Watch)Dog! 番犬報道の年ですよ!謹賀新年

 Today marks the start of The Year Of The Dog. I like dogs and I like them because I think journalists should be the guard dogs of a free society. We bark, we bite, we protect democracy and the public right to know. That’s our duty. ワンワン. If you’re a lapdog for the powers that be, like executives at Fox News or News Corporation, journalism may be a rewarding and easy job. Being a free-lance foreign correspondent and investigative... Read More

Have you been a victim of sexual assault in Japan? How did police respond?

Have you been a victim of sexual assault in Japan? How did police respond? 日本で性犯罪被害に遭って警察に相談した結果?#詩織 #shiori #私も #MeToo RT please. — Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) October 29, 2017  Read More

Rape in Japan is a crime but justice is rarely served. A Non-Arrest & Shiori Ito’s Full Statement

Japan’s ruling coalition, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been mired in scandal for several weeks amid allegations Abe personally bent the law or broke it to benefit his political cronies and friends. Even a senior member of Abe’s own Liberal Democratic Party says, “There is nothing this administration wouldn’t do to crush its enemies and reward its pals.” But new allegations have raised the possibility that the administration may... Read More

Born With It (生まれつき): Short film captures the angst of being a black child in Japan

While race relations in the United States seem to be tenser than ever, Japan is coming to a crossroads with accepting mixed race Japanese and immigrants into their mostly homogenous society. Japan is a welcoming country to foreigners, especially if you are a temporary visitor. The subtle prejudices only become visible to a foreigner once you have lived here for a while and experienced the day to day difficulties you face as an outsider when you actually... Read More

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

Tokyo, Japan June 25th Hiroyuki Tanaka stunned Japan and the world when he took 1st place in all major categories in the 73rd World Fork and Spoon World Championship  (Fork Division), and distinguished himself so greatly in forksmanship that he was awarded  the rarely given title of World Top Fork.  Ever since the end of World War II, the WFSWC (WTF) has been a celebrated event in this island country. The contestants attempt to eat Western and... Read More

The Amazing Japanese Wife: Part II “Fucked Up in Six Trees”

This is part two of series of short-stories by culture commentator, movie reviewer, and fiction writer–Kaori Shoji–on international love gone wrong in and out of Japan.  **** By my personal estimate, the lives of most white foreigners in Tokyo start and end within the confines of a town called Roppongi, which means ‘six trees.’ Apparently, before the arrival of Commodore Perry and his Black Ships, this area was blah and nondescript... Read More

If you love Japan, make it better. Our mission statement.

A note from the editor: Criticism is caring. If you don’t address social problems or recognise they exist, nothing changes. I love Japan and many Japanese people are hard-working, honest, and polite. That doesn’t mean the society doesn’t have problems, such as child poverty, gender inequality, discrimination against: the handicapped, women, foreigners, especially Korean Japanese—powerful organised crime, nuclear dangers, staggering injustice... Read More

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