Category Archives: SOCIETY

The Empress of Tokyo Reigns Forever

Four seconds, after the counting of the ballots. That’s how long.
Four seconds in, and Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike knew she had won the Tokyo gubernatorial election for the second term. Her aides said later that it was more like two and a half seconds; a historical, landslide victory with nearly 60% of the vote in her name. The other candidates were dead in the water before they realized what hit them. Koike’s contender candidate Taro Yamamoto, an actor turned politician whose ideas for government reform made significant waves in the Lower House elections last year but who lost to Koike by over 3 million votes, told the press: “Mt. Yuriko was higher than I thought. I just couldn’t climb over it.”

If Yamamoto’s statement sounds rude or vaguely sexual, don’t worry – he probably intended it that way. Yuriko Koike was and continues to be, the first woman governor of Tokyo and her term in office has been defined by a lot of ruffled feathers in the male-dominated world of Nippon politics. Not just because she’s a woman, a fact which many older Japanese men still have trouble wrapping their minds around, but because Yuriko Koike has never ceased to remind everyone of her femininity.

It all seems a bit Marie Antoinette-ish. Let them refrain from everything. Let them stay home and Zoom their lives away while wearing face masks in the clammy Tokyo heat.

At age 67, Koike is well-preserved, perfectly coiffed and shod in a way that would earn applause from Carrie Bradshaw. She never loses her cool, raises her voice or looks harried. Her thirst for designer hand-bags is legendary, and rumor has it she keeps a room designated solely for the purpose of storing her darlings. Other rumors swirling inside the corridors of …continue reading


Apartments to rent for less than ¥60,000 in Nagoya—July 2020

Source: Gaijin Pot
  • Monthly Cost: ¥37,050
  • Layout: 1K
  • Size: 20.37m²
  • Location: Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi
  • Nearest Sation: Kamiiida Station (13 min. walk) – Nagoya Municipal Subway Kamiida Line

Description: Enjoy the extra space the loft offers!

No Key Money No Deposit No Agency Fee

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The cost of living in Japan can be quite high and if you want to live in Nagoya, you can expect to pay around ¥70,000 a month. We know you want to save as much yen as possible for ramen and karaoke, so we’re here to help you out.

Each month we select the best apartments to rent in Japan at an affordable price from our database of properties. Check out these foreigner-friendly apartments for rent in Nagoya.

Tanabata: Japan’s New Summer Valentine’s Day

I saw this sign at a local sweets shop on my way from home last night. July 7 is Tanabata in Japan and celebrates a romantic tale of two star-crossed lovers who can only meet once a year. So the Valentine’s Day connection kinda makes sense (although Valentine’s Day in Japan is more about giri choco and reciprocity than romantic love). At first I thought that the photo was of tako yaki and I wondered why a sweets shop would be selling tako yaki? But then I remembered an article from last year about a study that suggests being able to make tako yaki gives one an advantage in being attractive and more successful in the game of love.

“Want to be popular with the ladies/men? Be good at making takoyaki, study says”


However, a closer inspection of the of the product in the photo shows that it is a sweet egg tart. Oh well. Another lesson about rushing into assumptions in anthropological research…

For more on the celebration of Tanabata in Japan, see “七夕 @ 機物神社 (Tanabata Festival at Hatamono Shrine)” @ VAOJ.


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NHK TV’s racist video explaining Black Lives Matter for a children’s news program: Why their excuse of “not enough consideration made at broadcast” is BS


A couple of weeks ago, we covered on a flap about TV network NHK (“the BBC of Japan“) broadcasting a racialized anime to Japanese kids explaining the Black Lives Matter movement in America. It portrayed African-Americans as scary, angry, thieving, sinewy stomping and guitar-strumming urban folk. With a few more stereotypes thrown in. (And note that there wasn’t even a mention of George Floyd.)

Here is the NHK video in question, with translation version afterwards. Soon after, on June 9, according to the Mainichi Shinbun, NHK apologized for the video, saying, “There was not enough consideration made at broadcast”, and removed the program was removed from its online streaming services. cries BS about NHK’s claims of “not giving enough consideration”, because in fact, NHK hired this production crew BECAUSE they are famous for creating these outlandish videos. They’re the same crew who did sequences for legendary TV show “Koko Ga Hen Da Yo Nihonjin” some decades ago. Consider the similarity in style between the above NHK sequence and this “Koko Ga Hen” segment, as analyzed by Kirk Masden. Also witness the tone of this “Koko Ga Hen” segment from February 28, 2001.

Given that “Koko Ga Hen” routinely racialized and othered its foreign panelists for the purposes of entertainment and maintaining the constant Japanese media narrative of foreigners as scary outsiders, I aver that NHK knew exactly what it was doing when it subcontracted out to “Koko Ga Hen’s” producers. NHK just didn’t expect to be called out on it. Pants on fire. …continue reading


Five J-Rock Artists for Anime Fans to Get Into for 2020

Source: Gaijin Pot
Japanese Anime Artists to check out for 2020

The music scene in Japan is typically known for bubbly pop idols with appearances just as adorable as their songs, but foreign anime fans have long known that there’s more to Japan’s music charts than AKB48.

Anime soundtracks are always sparking interest in new artists for otaku, and if you’re a fan of J-rock or just catchy alternative music in general, here are five artists currently making waves in the anime scene.


Amazarashi has been on the radar of anime fans for quite a while now, and they’ve only been getting more attention from English audiences on their YouTube channel thanks to the raw style of their songs. Their song Kisetsu wa Tsugitsugi Shindeiku was featured as the ending for the anime Tokyo Ghoul √A and their single Sora ni Utaeba is the third opening for the popular series My Hero Academia.

Lead singer Akita Hiromu’s raspy voice fits the band’s melancholic style so perfectly that you’ll no doubt be moved by his songs.

For the 2019 anime remake of Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo, their beautifully melodic Sayonara Gokko was chosen as the first ending, which was a perfect match for the dark, heartfelt series.

Don’t speak a lick of Japanese? It doesn’t matter. Lead singer Akita Hiromu’s raspy voice fits the band’s melancholic style so perfectly that you’ll no doubt be moved by his songs.

Songs to check out

Queen Bee

Better known in Japan as Ziyoou-vachi (女王蜂), Queen Bee isn’t afraid to shake up the status quo. Lead singer Avu-chan is openly transgender in a society that doesn’t seem quite ready for her yet, but she owns everything she does with the eccentric and unapologetic way that she carries herself.

<iframe title="女王蜂 …continue reading