Here’s what you get when you allow places legally to refuse service to Non-Japanese, as Japan does. Eventually it becomes so normalized (after all, it’s been more than twenty years since Japan signed the UN Convention on Racial Discrimination, and we still have no law against racial discrimination) that people no longer even bother to feel any form of guilt or shame about it. Here’s an example where exclusionism becomes a selling point for an Osaka tachigui bar — gleefully bragging about it on Instagram with “gaikokujin okotowari” hashtags — where the proprietor even mentions how he elicited big laughs from other customers by refusing foreigners! Clearly a nice place, publicly denigrating paying NJ customers at their own expense.
Name: Marufuku Honten (Izakaya bar)
Source: Gaijin Pot
Wherever you find yourself this summertime — at home, at the beach or scrambling to find anywhere with air conditioning — there’s no better way to relax, indoors or out, than in the company of great summer books.
Here we give you all our recommendations of the best new books in, on, from, or about Japan to fill your free time and your imagination during the hottest of days. So, wherever you are, pull out that book, digital or paper and let it whisk you away.
Suspense and Mystery
If you need a little excitement to fill your summer then a mystery or suspense novel might do the trick and these three may well be the best ones released so far this year.
Fuminori Nakamura delves into the mysterious disappearance of a young girl who slipped into the cracks of an ominous local group in Cult X (May 2018, Soho Crime, 512 pp., ¥2,794). Noir and mystery ooze out of Nakamura’s writing, while the book is revealing in its examination of a cult that can’t hide similarities to the Aum Shinrikyo cult that led the sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway and others — a story still making headlines this summer. You’ll be kept on edge to the very end and even after it’s finished you’ll be happy to know that many of Nakamura’s other novels have been recently released in English, including the Akutagawa prize-winning The Boy in the Earth.
Another wild ride with connections to true events is Hideo Yokoyama’s newly released Seventeen (February 2018, Riverrun, 416 pp., ¥1,417), centered around the real life experiences of the author as a journalist during the 1985 JAL Flight 123 crash into the mountains in Gunma. …continue reading
The devastating torrential rains which struck western Japan last week, leading to subsequent deadly flooding and landslides, have left 200 people dead, over 60 missing, and thousands with no homes and no property, becoming Japan’s worst rain-related disaster in decades. The most severely affected areas are Hiroshima, Okayama, Ehime, Fukuoka, Yamaguchi, Kyoto, Hyogo, Gifu, Shiga, Kagoshima, Kochi and Saga, with many towns there still struggling with water and power outages, while over 6,000 people are still being evacuated.
The photos below were posted on social media by people — ranging from mothers to pet owners to reporters — who are currently in the affected areas and show the disaster from the people experiencing it. Also below are what you can do to help the affected regions regardless of where you are in the world.
Yano-higashi district, Aki-ku, Hiroshima city— “My hometown, the place I’ve been born and raised, has now changed to this.” This Instagram user writes that she attempted to clean up a nearby kindergarten which had been destroyed and covered in mud after the heavy rains. Her post describes in detail how she and other people struggled to clean up the area, yet the damage scale was so high that no matter how hard they worked, they didn’t feel that they had advanced much. She also writes that the weather conditions make the work much more difficult — the heat after the rain is unbearable. The post ends with a warning to volunteers to understand the situation well before going to assist.
Hiroshima city, Aki ward, …continue reading
Nagoya Eye Clinic – 名古屋アイクリニック
Branch of medicine: Ophthalmology
Kanayama Family Clinic – 金山ファミリークリニック
Branch of medicine: Internal, pediatrics, surgery
Yamanaka Dental Clinic – 山中歯科医院
Branch of medicine: Dentistry, Oral Surgery
Atsuta Ward Holiday Emergency Clinic – 熱田区休日急病診療所