• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.

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  • Bring Them Home: Ongoing Battle for Japanese Hostages in North Korea

Bring Them Home: Ongoing Battle for Japanese Hostages in North Korea

It's been 46 years since Takumi Yokota last saw his sister Megumi. Their family was just like any other, until Megumi became one of the many Japanese hostages held captive…

Tokyo Vice Vice-O-Pedia: Why Do Yakuza Chop Off Their Fingers or The Art of ENKOZUME (エンコ詰め)

Ever spotted something odd about someone’s hands nearby? Everything seems ordinary until you notice it: one finger joint missing, maybe a whole finger, maybe several. lt leaves a noticeable gap.…

[嘘つきの安倍晋三には、こんな豪華な葬儀はふさわしくない」 殺された元総理は、日本を「真実を言えない国家」に改悪した

だから、真実を語れない日本政府が存在するのだ。嘘は報われ、真実を語ることは罰せられる。政府は都合の良い事実をでっち上げ、都合の悪い事実を隠し、信じてもらえることを望み続けるだろう。それが安倍元首相のレガシーである

The Subculturist: The man behind Tokyo’s most infamous city guidebook

For a decade, Steven Schultz was the world’s window into the most extreme and intriguing corners of Tokyo. Until one day, suddenly, he wasn’t.

The Johnny & Associates Scandal: A Silent Japanese Media Was An Accomplice Says Expert Panel

On August 29, Japan witnessed the unfolding of one of its most controversial entertainment revelations. The scandal surrounding the late Johnny Kitagawa, former president of Johnny & Associates, who passed…

O-bon: Festival of The Dead or “Please Feed The Hungry Ghosts”

The "bon" in O-bon (盆) itself refers to the vessels (plates, bowls, tupperware etc) in which offerings are placed for the spirits of the deceased. The physical bowl has come…

The 99% has a Very Different Meaning in Japan

By Henry Rogers Japan has an astonishing 99% conviction rate for suspects going to trial. This has caught the attention of the Human Rights Watch, and the organization has built…

Lessons Learned From Encounters With Clickbait Journalists

In the yakuza world they say, “As soon as you get to the top, someone will try to kick you down.” The world of journalism is, sadly, surprisingly “If you’re…

From the pioneer of J-Pop to serial predator: Johnny Kitagawa’s legacy of exploitation and control

East Asian popular culture is on the rise, spearheaded by the global phenomenon of the Hallyu wave. K-pop idol music has played a critical part in this: it’s experienced a…

The Unbearable Pathos Of Poop (Okiku’s World film review)

oop is the main thing that remains in the mind after watching Okiku's World. Lots and lots of poop. Ninety-nine percent of the film was shot in black and white which…