Category Archives: SOCIETY

5 Of The Best Japanese Makeup Remover Wipes

For those of us who live for makeup and spend a considerable time putting a lot of stuff on our faces, makeup remover is as equally important as the makeup we use. It should do the magic of cleaning your skin in no less than a few wipes, clean everything, leave your skin room to breathe, and never ever leave oily traces on your skin or pillow. Luckily, we’re in Japan and there is a great variety of makeup removing cleansers on the market, the majority of which are of a very high quality. To help you navigate through the drugstore aisles, here are five recommended products to try in Japan regardless of the season. They’re easy to use, reasonably priced and available at most drugstores in the country.

1. Bioré Cleansing Oil Cotton Facial Wipes

These miracle wipes available at any Japanese drugstore will remove even the most resistant waterproof mascara in a single wipe and simultaneously moisturize your skin, making it a wonderful kill-two-birds-with-one-stone kind of product. If you need an extra moisture fix, use a second sheet to wipe your face one more time. The moisturizing effect will linger on usually until the next morning.

Price: Around ¥700, depends on the store. Refills available.
Recommended for: Anyone in need of an extra moisture fix

2. Bifesta Brightup

People suffering from dry skin or any skin conditions similar to eczema will brighten up after using these sheets. Completely fragrance-, colorant- and oil-free, and containing moisturizing Vitamin C and lactic acid (dead cell softener), these wipes serve as a makeup remover and a skincare lotion. They are also large enough to cover your whole face and cleanse it thoroughly in a single wipe. Available …continue reading


Assistant Language Teachers in Japan Should Rise Above the Acronym

Source: Gaijin Pot
Assistant Language Teachers in Japan Should Rise Above the Acronym

I am not an ALT. I’m a SALT.

Bear with me. I was an ALT, but I quickly decided that it was not the job for me. I didn’t leave my life behind and move all the way around the world to work with Japanese children “just to be an ALT.”

I don’t mean to offend anyone here so let me explain. Being an assistant language teacher is an admirable job but is should you allow yourself to be defined by the title — or can you turn that on its head?

Let’s look at it another way: What exactly is an ALT?

ALT: A job defining acronym

As the name suggests, the role of the assistant language teacher, or ALT, can be broken down into three parts.

  • The assistant part

    An ALT assists and supports the flow of English lessons and education as a whole (this should go without saying, really… ). For example, she or he will “assist” by passing out handouts and worksheets to students, etc.

  • The language part

    The English language is complicated and difficult, even for the most advanced Japanese teachers of English (JTE) and students with whom you may work or instruct. So, an ALT in the classroom provides advice, tips and tricks to help the JTE and the class with tricky grammar, difficult spelling and abnormal pronunciation.

  • The teacher part

    An ALT is not technically a teacher. I was hired as an ALT, and I don’t have any sort of teaching credentials or certificates. To the students, though, ALTs are indeed teachers. Most of them call ALTs sensei (the honorific Japanese word for teacher). Foreigners hired as ALTs need to present themselves as professionally as possible by showing up to school on time each day, taking their work seriously and going out of their way to set a good example.

SALT: An abbreviation upgrade

Now that …continue reading


Wash Post: South Korea’s naturalized athletes in the PyeongChang Olympics; beyond treated as mercenaries?


WaPo: In a bid to upgrade its hockey program in fast-forward, one of the world’s most homogenous countries has created one of the most foreign-heavy Olympic teams of all time. Among 25 players on the South Korean men’s hockey team in PyeongChang, seven were born in other countries, including six in Canada. South Korea has 19 foreign-born athletes competing for it in these Olympics, most of any country, with hockey accounting for the largest share. […] The imported men’s players are less mercenaries than converts, granted naturalized Korean citizenship even though they have no Korean blood. To get that opportunity, they had to play at least two seasons for Korean clubs in a pan-Asian hockey league. And then meet with national hockey officials. And then national Olympic officials. And then the country’s Ministry of Justice.

Oh, and then they had to take a test and sing the national anthem. “Then, you find out if you pass or not,” said Eric Regan, a defenseman from Ontario, who naturalized in 2016. “I was with Matt Dalton, the goalie, at the time. We went through the process together and we both passed along with, I think, two other biathletes that day — both Russians. A month later we’re playing in the world championships for Team Korea. It was wild.”

COMMENT: Although breaking down blood-determined national borders in the name of sports participation is a positive development, it is unclear at this point how much of a dent these naturalized athletes will make on the national self-image of what it means “to be a Korean”. If they don’t win (which, sadly, they won’t), then it’s doubtful they will be anything more than an unsuccessful means to an end, an asterisk in the annals of Korean sports.

But if they are accepted …continue reading


Mother’s Farm: Mountaintop Petting Zoo and More in Chiba Prefecture

Ok, that may have been a bit of an over-simplification. Mother Farm (マザー牧場) is an expansive working entertainment farm that is located in the Chiba’s central Boso Peninsula countryside sitting 300m atop Mt. Kanozan. All of these qualities comebine to create the perfect outing for those wanting to getaway from the Metropolis’s traffic-choked, building lined streets, and are looking for some open space with the kids in tow.

Not your typical theme park, the farm was the idea of Hisakichi Maeda, the founder of the Sankei Shinbun newspaper and then went on to develop Tokyo Tower. Growing up in prewar rural Osaka, his mother often said if only we had one more cow we could prosper. That must have stuck to him because in 1962, he opened the farm, the name of which is to honor his own mother.

Within it’s 250 hectare confines, you will find horses, pigs, sheep, alpacas, goats, and cows. This also means the kids can enjoy pony rides, cow milking, butter churning, piggy racing, duck parading, sheep shearing, and general oogling at the other animals in the livestock sections.

Mother Farm is also known for its fields of wildflowers so if you visit at the right time, the surrounding grounds will be an explosion of yellows, oranges, and lavenders as petunias, daffodils, wintersweets, and rape blossoms bloom. Speaking of plants, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries can be picked here as well but only in limited quantities in-season to avoid over-harvesting.

If you happen to have your own four-legged family member looking to get away, check out probably the largest collection of dog runs in the Greater Tokyo area; your canine pal will go absolutely bonkers with happiness in this environment based on my own dog’s reaction. It’s also one of the few places that are both family and dog friendly.

At …continue reading


Old Kyoto Tales A Fox's Gratitude

Old Kyoto Tales A Fox's Gratitude.


Once upon a time, there was an old couple who lived at the foot of a mountain on the Shirakawa River. One day, when they were at home, a white

This couple was kind, and so they hid the fox in the closet. Soon after, the hunter appeared and asked about the white fox, but the couple told them that they knew nothing.

Finally, the hunter gave up and left. Emerging from the closet, the white fox told the old couple, “I will revive the well in your backyard on the next full moon night. Please drink the water from the well that night.”

The old couple waited till the full moon came and went to the well. As the fox said, the well had come back to life. As soon as the old man drank the water his stomach illness completely disappeared. The news of the well’s special powers quickly spread through the surrounding area, and people lined up in long queues to get the magic water.

However, one greedy man became rich by selling the water. But as he wanted to be richer still, he mixed the magic water with normal water from his own well to increase his profits. But of course this water didn’t work. In fact, it created stomach problems and caused his ruin.

© …continue reading