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7 Mar
A Russian-speaking friend let me know about the following political cartoon by Sergey Elkin, which has appeared on the popular news site Polut.ru: President Vladimir Putin is shown trying to grab Crimea, while off to the side a couple racial caricatures of Japanese people are standing by the Kuril Islands (known as the “Northern Territories” […]
25 Feb
On Friday, animal rights activists in Britain organized a “Taiji Action Day” demonstration in front of the Japanese embassy in London. Carrying Sea Shepherd banners and signs that said stuff like “Shame on Japan,” they marched around and called for an end to dolphin hunting and the use of dolphins in aquariums. Small protests like […]
22 Feb
During World War II, Japan was an ally of Nazi Germany, a antisemitic state that carried out genocidal policies against the Jews of Europe. Foreign Minister Matsuoka Yosuke of Japan (pictured aboe with Adolf Hitler), one of the chief advocates of the alliance, was clear about Japan’s position on Jewish people: “I am the man […]
22 Feb
A Japanese 2channel user recently posted some photo highlighting his experience staying at Osaka’s Hotel Diamond, which offers some of the cheapest rates in Japan. The receipt, stamped by a hotel staff person, shows that it did indeed cost a mere 800 yen for a single night’s stay. The room is simple, and while not […]
21 Feb
A new anime film called Giovanni’s Island (ジョバンニの島) will hit theaters across Japan tomorrow. Here is the Japanese language trailer: And here is an English language description of the movie, from the website of the New York International Children’s Film Festival: GIOVANNI’S ISLAND Japan, Mizuho Nishikubo, 2014, 102 min Recommended Ages: 12 to Adult (Subtitled) […]
21 Feb
The Olympics were created with the intent of bringing the world together to celebrate peaceful athletic competition. However, for many countries it has become a opportunity to vent nationalist hate. Especially when South Korea, one of Asia’s most nationalistic countries, is facing off against Japan, a country that its schoolchildren are taught to hate and […]
20 Feb
On Wednesday morning, a 69-year-old Korean man threw a bag of feces at the Japanese embassy in Seoul. According to Jiji press, the man had been shouting “Dokdo belongs to Korea!” as he threw the bag. The man was a former ward assemblyman for the Gangdong District of Seoul. Apparently he had prepared three bags […]
17 Feb
The Korean media has posted photos of American politician Tony Avella (Democrat – 11th New York Senate district) attending a press conference wearing a rather odd t-shirt. The t-shirt says, “Yes! East Sea No! Sea of Japan,” referencing Korean ultra-nationalists’ campaign to make the entire world change their maps to reflect the Korean language name […]
17 Feb
For the second week in a row, a large snow storm hit the Kanto region of Japan. For most Tokyoites, life is returning back to normal. Snow doesn’t block the roads in the city, and a lot of the snow from Friday and Saturday is already melted. (An aerial view of Yamanashi – click to […]
16 Feb
South Korean Olympic speed skater Mo Tae-bum arrived at Sochi carrying a bizarre suitcase [via GetNews.jp]: It was basically a rolling advertisement for Korea’s territorial claim to the Liancourt Rocks. Do you know? 【dok-do】 DOKDO BELONGS TO KOREA Political statements are banned at the Olympics, and this is clearly a political statement. However, since his […]
16 Feb
According to a Japanese translation of a Korean news article, a few ultra-nationalists in South Korea don’t like Valentine’s Day: At a protest held on February 12th in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korean ultra-nationalists threw chocolate bars at photos of Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Ito Hirobumi. It turns out that February […]
15 Feb
Last night, two trains collided on one of Tokyo and Yokohama’s major train lines: At around 12:30 a.m., a train on the Tokyu Toyoko line linking Tokyo and Yokohama bumped into another train that was standing at Motosumiyoshi Station after overrunning the stop line by about 30 meters. Here are some photos of the aftermath […]
15 Feb
While randomly surfing through Japanese blogs the other day, I came across a post that was telling readers that the new mayor of Tokyo, Yoichi Masuzoe, drinks like he is a Korean. Apparently covering ones drink with a hand and turning to the side whole drinking is the polite way to drink in front of […]
15 Feb
New stories are popping up about the Japanese authorities detaining Martyn Stewart, an animal rights activist and filmmaker who has campaigned against Japan’s dolphin hunts. For the past few years, he has visited the town of Taiji and shot footage, often working alongside Sea Shepherd members. On February 13th, Stewart posted a photo of himself […]
15 Feb
For the second time in one week, Tokyo has been hit by a “big” snow storm. Yesterday, somebody built a snowy companion for Shibuya’s famous Hachiko statue. Here are some photos uploaded by twitter users: (Click on images for the original tweets.)
7 Feb
All the polls seem to show that Yoichi Masuzoe is going to win the Tokyo gubernatorial race when the votes are counted on Sunday night. Could some scandal bring him down at the last minute? The people who are bankrolling the “The Association of Women Who Don’t Want Yoichi to Become Governor” seem to be […]
4 Feb
In March 2011, Paul Blustein was one of the notable few foreign journalists in Japan who didn’t give in to the trend of writing scare stories about the Fukushima nuclear accident. One of his most notable pieces was an Op-Ed for the Washington Post that sensibly defended his decision not to flee the country. In […]
4 Feb
Vehicle registration plates in Japan are pretty bland. The numbers are usually printed on a white or yellow plate, with no decorations. However, now that Japan will be hosting the 2020 games, change is coming! For the first time ever, Japan will allow special license plates. The plates will feature an image of Mt. Fuji, […]
3 Feb
The radical animal rights group Sea Shepherd is once again attacking Japanese whaling ships. The latest videos from the waters near Antarctica show a Sea Shepherd ship plowing into the side of a Japanese ship: Released by the Institute of Cetacean Research in Japan, the footage shows the Bob Barker ramming one of three Antarctic […]
3 Feb
The 2014 Tokyo gubernatorial election campaign is entering its final week. Among the candidates is Toshio Tamogami, the former general who lost his job in 2008 after he published an essay that was in total contradiction to the history-related policies of his country’s government, a public act of disloyalty to his civilian bosses. He has […]
1 Feb
On Thursday Japanese lawmaker Masamune Wada tweeted about an incident that allegedly occurred when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was speaking in front of the Diet that day: “今日の本会議で、安倍総理が水を飲んだところ民主党議員からまた「下痢するぞ」と汚いヤジ。私は「そんなこと言ってはだめでしょう」と民主側に声を上げ注意した。後方席の民主党男性議員である。難病やハンデをあげつらう発言で許せない。民主は今日もNHK会長発言を取り上げ批判。不当な政治圧力だ“ According to Wada, when Abe paused to drink some water, somebody shouted “You’re gonna have diarrhea!” It was clearly a reference to the bowel problems(ulcerative colitis) that […]
1 Feb
Back in 2012, I blogged about efforts by Korean lobbyists to trick politicians in American state of Virginia into believing that the use of the name “Sea of Japan” on English language maps was a result of Japanese imperialism. Despite the fact that historical evidence shows the Korean claim to be complete garbage, members of […]
21 Jan
Even before Garin Dart outed himself as having abandoned his pregnant wife and child without a word or warning and fled to Thailand with company money, the Tokyo police doubted foul play and his family asked people to stop publicizing his disappearance and taking up his cause. His family and friends close to them quietly […]
21 Jan
On Sunday morning I wrote a blog post about a new All Nippon Airways commercial that used a big rubber nose and a blonde wig to imitate the racial features of non-Japanese people. The link got shared quite a bit on twitter and Facebook, and several people indicated they would be using the contact information […]
20 Jan
Sora Tezuka, a 22-year-old Tokyo University student, has been arrested after he allegedly assaulted a participant in a right-wing street demonstration: The incident occurred on Saturday in Roppongi, where the right-wing extremist group Zaitokukai was holding a march. The march had 200 supporters, and about 60 opponents had shown up to hold a counter demonstration. […]
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