Category Archives: SOCIETY

Tweet of the Week #69: How a Delivery Mistake Lead to a Dramatic Gyudon Incident

Source: Gaijin Pot

When you’re too washed-up from work to cook anything (anything tasty at least), food delivery services, 出前(でまえ) in Japanese, are life-savers. Well, except when you’re too tired to realize whatcha doin’.

Food, now, onegaishimasu

Good news for all you lazy foodies! You’ll never run out of dining options in Japan, for 出前 services, also called 宅配(たくはい) or デリバリー are legion.

When most restaurants and fast-food joints don’t have their own delivery men, they’re mostly registered with well-known delivery services platforms such as demae-can, Rakuten delivery, and Uber Eats.

You don’t even have to pick-up the phone anymore or speak Japanese (but you should). You can order your favorite comfort food from your couch while bingeing the latest Terrace House on Netflix and having it delivered to your front door.

Your only job, aside from paying ¥¥¥¥, is to check that the delivered food is indeed the food you ordered.

Washed-out gyudon

Wear, wash, dry, fold, wear. Repeat.

Laundry is one of the least fun house chores there is. And if we could, we’d send everything straight to the dry-cleaning. That’s probably what @sauntm will do from now on unless he managed to save his washing-machine after a terrible, terrible gyudon incident.


— なつめ (@sauntm) February 15, 2020


= Erm, I don’t really understand but, somehow I washed my gyudon with my laundry and the inside of my washing machine tragically turned to this.

FYI gyudon is a bowl of rice topped with beef which goes back to the late 1800s. Offering a lot of topping variations, this dish is the best friend of salarymen and students looking to eat quick and cheap.

But definitely not washing-machine friendly.

Oh god, why?

Turns out, the gyudon delivery wasn’t even part of @sauntm’s dinner plan.


— なつめ (@sauntm) February 15, 2020



= Circumstances …continue reading


Aichi Triennale 2019 comfort women artwork shut down over safety fears after right-wing outrage

aichi triennale statue comfort women censorship controversy shut down

An artwork dealing with the historical comfort women issue has ignited one of the biggest scandals in the Japanese art world.

Created by a South Korean husband-and-wife team, Statue of a Girl of Peace was an installation at the Aichi Triennale, a 75-day event that is one of Japan’s largest art festival, visited by 600,000 people. After opening on August 1st, the exhibit, which features a sculpture replicating the iconic statue of a young girl that has been installed outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul as a protest, and an empty chair for visitors to sit next to the girl, immediately attracted attention for its provocative themes. The controversy also had the adverse effect of pulling huge crowds to see the exhibition, resulting in a long line just to enter the room.

aichi triennale statue comfort women censorship controversy shut down

The comfort women issue refers to the Asian women forcibly recruited to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II, though the testimony of survivors is rejected by many of the right in Japan.

Part of an exhibition at the festival called “After ‘Freedom of Expression?,’” the event seemed to answer its own titular question when the whole section was shut down by the main organizers on August 3rd ostensibly in response to threats of violence by ultra-nationalists in Japan. Fearful of violence after receiving numerous threatening phone calls and messages, the decision was made to ensure the safety of staff and the venue, though there was also overt pressure from the right-wing mayor of Nagoya, Takashi Kawamura, on Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura and the organizing committee.

The team behind “After ‘Freedom of Expression?,’” which included other previously censored exhibits, has expressed shock and anger at the decision to censor the artwork and shut down the exhibition. …continue reading


ハートネットTV「手話で楽しむみんなのテレビ!~“昔話法廷”編~」 – NHK’s Heart-Net TV “TV for everyone who enjoys sign language!” – 「Folktale Court」

Image and Japanese text from NHK’s Heart-Net TV.


Rough summary: A court drama performed in Japanese Sign Language. A monkey character who killed a crap parent and child in an old Japanese folktale is tried in court.

NHK ETV (channel 2)
2020年2月19日(水) 午後8時00分 〜 午後8時30分
Wednesday, 2/19/20, 8:00 pm – 8:30 pm.


For more:

…continue reading


The Tricky ‘Where Are You From?’ Question in Japan

Living abroad is an exciting and at times delicate beast to behold. One of the first prolific things I noticed when trapezing in and outside of state and country lines was the near-constant reminder of being asked to know who I was, where I came from, and to be able to explain my background succinctly.

Identity, where nationality intersects with ethnicity to compound the complexity of you

Appearance, voice, accent, even the way I carry myself signifies different things to different people in a way I have not been able to contain. On occasion, I’m mistaken for being from somewhere else, sometimes questioned even in my home country.

It’s a curious, interesting thing: identity, where nationality intersects with ethnicity to compound the complexity of you. An equation that is somewhat the sum total of your parts, plus or minus the other experiences that also may have defined you nonetheless.

“Where Are You From?”

In the six years that I’ve lived in Japan, a country that is 98% Japanese, it is no surprise that it has become commonplace to have to identify myself and where I’m from on a regular basis.

My approach and my reaction to this seemingly uncomplicated “Where are you from?” question have changed over time. Perhaps that’s due simply to the number of years I’ve spent fielding it in a homogeneous country as a semi-mixed person.

Conversely, it could be that the question doesn’t comprehend the complexity of which I’ve come to associate it with, especially depending on who’s asking and why. That said, I like to keep things simple. “The states,” is my usual response, or sometimes even, “I live in Tokyo.

In order to better understand the subtleties of this location-identity phenomena myself, I reached out to thirteen people to see how they navigate this …continue reading