All posts by blogsonjapan

Is there a way forward in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam leaves as the Legislative Council meeting is adjourned due to heckling by pro-democracy lawmakers, in Hong Kong, 17 October 2019 (Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon).

Author: Tim Summers, Chatham House and CUHK

Hong Kong’s summer has taken another turn for the worse. While the vast majority of protestors have been peaceful, violence and vandalism have now become the norm — and for some the goal. Clashes with the police have continually escalated. Amid such chaos, is there a way forward for Hong Kong?

The movement has ventured far beyond the original catalyst, the government’s extradition bill, with increasingly radical dynamics abetted by inept government responses. Social media has shaped narratives which allow groups (more than individuals) to create their own reality. De-escalation is sorely needed, but elusive.

Politically speaking, the protestors have achieved a lot. The government has announced the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill itself, though it took several attempts to convince people that the bill was in fact ‘dead‘. The passage of the controversial national anthem law continues to be postponed and the long-discussed national security legislation (required under Article 23 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law) will now appear even lower down the agenda than it already was.

Indeed, Hong Kong’s government is weaker than it has ever been. The balance of power has shifted away from the government, exacerbated by the weak performance of Hong Kong’s political institutions. The anti-mask regulation, introduced on 4 October, has not yet helped authorities gain some control over the protests.

A power vacuum brings risks beyond those of street politics. Like it or not, the weakness of Hong Kong’s political institutions could mean that Beijing increasingly seeks to guide socio-economic change in Hong Kong in ways not previously envisaged. Its recent rhetorical intervention targeting property developers is an example.

Unrest looks set to continue. <a target=_blank href="" target="_blank" …continue reading


Tokyo Events This Week: Art, Film and Halloween

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

Tokyo events for Monday, October 21 to Sunday, October 27, 2019
This week in Tokyo packs a lot of fun events, kicking off the Tokyo International Film Festival, along with some major art exhibitions. There’s also Diwali celebrations, the traditional Nihonbashi-Kyobashi Matsuri and the Koenji community festival. Not to mention food festivals, the Tokyo Motor Show and the beginnings of Halloween happenings in the city.
Autumn Rose Festival
Flower lovers have one more week to check out the blooms at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens—renowned for their extensive rose collection. Spend a morning strolling around the 20th-century Western-style garden and have your camera ready for the exquisite sights.

Autumn Rose FestivalDat

The post Tokyo Events This Week: Art, Film and Halloween appeared first on Tokyo Cheapo.

…continue reading


Summer Fireworks in Japan

The Gamagori Summer Fireworks Festival

Summer fireworks in Japan have a long history and can be considered a quintessential part of the warmer months in Japan. Across the country, hundreds of fireworks festivals are held every year, but two of the best and most traditional are held in the Mikawa region of central Japan.

Armadas, a video production company based in Japan recently released a stunning 8K video which captures all the thrills and excitement of a summer fireworks festival in Japan.

Shot in the Mikawa region of eastern Aichi Prefecture, this old province in central Japan was one of the few places where gunpowder could be manufactured during the Edo period (1603-1868). The making of firearms gradually evolved into the production of fireworks, including the unique tezutsu hand-held fireworks, which originated in Toyohashi City. Originally used as a form of battlefield and inter-castle communication devices they are now a popular summer festival attraction.

The Gamagori Summer Fireworks Festival which is held annually on the last weekend of July, starts on the Saturday with “Yosakoi” street dancing and climaxes with a stunning fireworks display on the Sunday. It can boast the largest explosive round in the entire Pacific Rim with an astounding 90cm-diameter 300 kg shell.

Image from Aichi Now

The Toyohashi Fire Festival in September at the home of hand-held fireworks in Japan features tezutsu hanabi accompanied by the sounds of taiko Japanese drumming.

The Toyohashi Fire Festival
Image from Aichi Now

Take a look at this 8K video from Armadas shot in Toyohashi and Gamagori City to experience a traditional Japanese summer fireworks festival at its best.

<iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" …continue reading


Can Our Otaku Hoarding Be a Disorder?

Otaku reading manga in room filled with otaku goods

Around late August, I wrote about the guy who made the Guinness World Record for having the largest Dragon Ball collection and how good is it to collect things for the sake of our sanity.

Now I’ll discuss in some detail about the flip side of this because there are times to think about what it means to collect versus to hoard.

A much-needed episode of the Psych Central Podcast came out last week that focused on a problem that almost all of us can relate to – having clutter. While clutter is problematic, it might not be that big of a deal when compared to hoarding. Hoarding is basically buying and accumulating things with no regard to your own personal space.

I know there was a book about otaku rooms that opened up many readers’ eyes to the fascinating world of living spaces filled with anime and manga goods. Some of the folks who were interviewed in the book talk about their consumption being used as a way to cope with not feeling/getting the love they need from other human beings. I wonder if that means that they have hoarding disorder, which apparently is an actual thing.

There are 3 criteria that need to be met in order to be diagnosed with hoarding disorder. They are:

1.) Excessive accumulation.

2.) Not using living spaces for their intended purpose (i.e. using your kitchen as a storage room instead of a place to cook and store food).

3.) You’re upset and/or traumatized about something in your life or there’s an impairment in your daily functioning.

I sometimes look at otaku rooms (that are usually their bedrooms) and wonder how the residents manage to sleep. There’s so much stimuli. You have posters, screens, toys, etc. all over the place. Those kinds …continue reading


Mairimashita! Iruma-kun Episode 3 Impression

Source: Supaku Blog

On this episode, Iruma and Alice starts interacting with Clara. Later, Iruma learns more about Clara’s situation and ability.

So seeing Iruma play with Clara is pretty adorable and funny along with Alice. Also, it was nice that our male lead didn’t even try to take advantage of her ability in order to play unlike the bullies. Other than that, I wonder who is going to be the next new introduced character. Now what’s going to be the next plot? I’ll be looking forward to it. Overall, funny playing moments and nice new character introduction for Clara. …continue reading