• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

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

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…

Today Japan starts dumping its nuclear waste into the ocean. 

"Japan’s decision to go forward with the release of the treated, radioactively contaminated water is not surprising, but certainly disappointing.  Both Japan and the IAEA can turn a challenging situation…

Upcoming “Tree Hugging” Event In Tokyo Will Protest Controversial (and Wildly Unpopular) Meiji Jingu Redevelopment

On April 9, 2023, protestors convened outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to oppose the planned redevelopment of the culturally and historically significant Jingu Gaien area in central Tokyo. It…

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…

What I’ve Learned In The 30 Years Since I Became A Reporter: The 12 Rules Of Being A Good Journalist In Japan

Share your data. The internet is a vast and endless storage hub. If you’ve written something the world should know--put up supporting data and documents on the web, maybe in…

What This Means (a short-story about love and marriage in Japan during the pandemic)

And then she would pretend to pout which was another cue for me to massage the back of her feet, and then we'd head off to the bedroom or just…

UN International Symposium on the North Korean Abduction Issue: For Families, Far From Resolved

This month, the governments of Japan, Australia, South Korea, the United States, and the EU are jointly holding a symposium hosted by the United Nations (UN) on the North Korean…