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Japan Subculture Research Center

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

Japan-related blogs now have a homebase!

ByStephanie Nakajima

Oct 12, 2011
Your most favoritest Japanese underworld guide and yakuza blog, Japan Subculture Research Center (<— us!) has recently been listed on the brand-new Japan Blog Directory!
The Directory is only 2 weeks old, and yet already lists 55 blogs organized by category (eating, culture, travel, etc.). GREAT to peruse if you need a  distraction from work, even if your work is…blogging.
What is the Japan Blog Directory?
The Japan Blog Directory started on September 29, 2011 as an authored directory of Japan related blogs. It currently lists about 55 blogs listed in 15 categories.
The ambition is to list all blogs related to Japan. In order to keep it user friendly, pages by category are authored and the best blogs will be highlighted. In future the Japan Blog Directory might also host awards for the best new blogs or the best blogs in each category based on proposals and votes from the readers.
Blogs are listed by category and a consolidated feed of all listed blogs gives an easy overview on what people are talking about. Each new blog is introduced with its own post and then listed in one or more of the category directories. From time to time selected blogs are featured and given a special post providing more information about the author and introducing a selection of their best posts.
The criteria for adding a blog are very simple:
– The contents should mainly be related to Japan
– It should be written in English (exceptions are allowed for photo blogs)
– It should be updated regularly. Blogs with no updates for a year get de-listed
As of now the blog directory lists around 3-5 new blogs per day and also has a growing number of followers on Twitter (japanblog).

Who runs the Japan Blog Directory?

Nicolas Soergel, creater of Japan Blog Directory
The Japan Blog Directory was started by Nicolas Soergel – a french-german who lives in Japan for about 12 years.He came to Japan to work as an executive for a foreign company but got inspired when supporting his wife managing her traditional family business (Chinriu Honten Limited, ちん里う本店) of producing and retailing umeboshi and ume sweets since 1871. Today Nicolas still works for a foreign company on weekdays and supports the family business during weekend.
Nicolas got featured on Japanese TV as well as the Japan Times. In 2011 he started a series of blogs to promote Japanese culture. He first started with NIHONGO ICHIBAN – a blog supporting students of Japanese to learn Japanese characters, grammar and vocabulary. Soon after Nicolas launched NIHON ICHIBAN, a blog to introduce Japanese culture to foreigners. When Nicolas was looking for sites to promote his own blogs he quickly realized that there were only very few sites to promote blogs related to Japan. This is why he decided to create the Japan Blog Directory and provide a free promotion platform to all bloggers who write about Japan.
My personal favorites include:
bento.com, which is also accessible by smart phone, is “a restaurant guide is the source for unbiased, expert advice on where to eat and drink in Tokyo and throughout Japan”. Its easy to use, can sort entries by cuisine or location, and has saved me many times from eating something chain or mediocre when wandering around a part of the city I’m not so familiar with.
Randy’s Favorite Rural Getaways in Japan – a surprisingly comprehensive list of “rural Japanese travel getaways, with comprehensive facts on using Japanese inns, transportation, and baths — plus abundant insights on Japanese culture.” It is apparent by the detailed descriptions of these locations that the author has a real passion for getting out of the city.
What Japan Thinks – A fascinating site that translates opinion pools and surveys on topics from “keitai to kimono”. Though accurate and thorough, there is no serious statistical analysis here – but did you know that according to a recent internet-based questionnaire, 49.3% of cellphone users in Japan own a smartphone?
You can subscribe to the email list, to receive notifications of newly-added blogs, and you can even register your own blog, so long as it fits the requirements.
We would love to hear which blogs you all liked!

Stephanie Nakajima

Contrarian philosopher, half-woman, half-Japanese, all dolphin.

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