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Japan Subculture Research Center

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

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Game on Japan! Instant ramen for gamers is a game changing junk food revolution

The Game-Changing Noodles Every Gamer Needs In Their Pantry By Slacker Jones The hustle of daily life coupled with intense gaming sessions calls for not just any snack, but one…

The Typewriter Was His Paintbrush

Keith Armstrong, born in 1950, was not just an artist. He was a symbol of unwavering tenacity. Suffering from polio, he found himself confined to a wheelchair, with limited use…

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…

Corporate Turmoil: The Ups and Downs of the Elevator Business

By Henry Rogers Fujitec, a major Japanese company that has been in business for the last 75 years, has come into the spotlight over the last couple of months. Fujitec…

“Tibet is one of the biggest prisons in the world” Filmmaker Exiled by China Speaks Out in Tokyo

By Henry Rogers Between 2007 and 2008, Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen traveled around Tibet, interviewing Tibetans about their plight against neighboring China. The resulting film, Leaving Fear Behind, was pivotal…

Ainu Nation’s Lawsuit For Fishing Rights Draws The Support of the International Indigenous Community

By Henry Rogers In Japan, Hokkaido has a reputation for being the place where everything is better: the beer, the skiing, the milk, the vegetables, even the hot springs. But…

Beyblades X Will Rock Your World!

Beyblades: A toy, or much more? By Henry Rogers Two children sit in a dark basement with stern looks on their faces. Between them sits an arena, a place where…

Taste Testing Blue Muffins for the World’s Largest Nutrition Study

A merciless curiosity to taste mysterious blue muffins led me to volunteer for the world’s largest nutrition study, Predict 2.

Washoku

Once they get married, Japanese women will do pretty much everything they want, because age - looming on the horizon like Godzilla lurching closer with each passing year - justifies…

Tokyo Comedy Bar Opens In Shibuya

After the past couple of years, we could all do with more laughs. Yet when Ben “BJ” Fox proposed opening a comedy venue in the middle of a pandemic, many…