Stories about Japan from August, 2007
Japan: Robot cat
James from Japan Probe reported on the a T.V commercial on the sale of robot cat in Japan. There are three youtube videos to demonstrate the robot cat's emotion.
Japan: Living in the Internet Cafe
Mari summarized a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare concerning the social status of people who linger in the the Internet cafe: The reason why people stay in such cafes is “to use the Internet”(52.8%), “miss the last train to home”(27.8%), and then 7.8% replied “I have...
Japan: Executed Death-Row Inmate was Mentally-Ill
Asia Death Penalty outlines the results in a report by Amnesty International indicating that one of the death-row inmates killed last week in Japan, Hifumi Takezawa, was mentally ill.
Japan: Life out of a Manga Kissa
Results of a survey just released by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has found that thousands of people across Japan bordering on poverty live their lives out of Internet cafes or "manga kissa". Bloggers this week reflected on the significance of the results.
Japan: Soy Sauce for Ice-cream
Edo from Pink Tentacle introduced a new popular food product, a type of Tamari soy sauce specially designed for use on ice cream.
Japan: Brain Inside Maker
What Japan thinks introduced an online game called “brain inside maker”. By entering your name in the box, it will analyze what your brain is made of. Mari has translated the meanings of the characters.
Japan: Garbage Bag Art Work
Edo introduced the idea of garbage bag art work by a local design agency for transforming the scene of garbage collection spot in the neighborhood.
Japan: Peace Child 2007
Hasan at hasanhujairi[dot]com has posted an outline of his experience at the 10-day Peace Child program at a farm in Chiba, two hours from Tokyo, discussing issues such as war and peace, pollution and the environment. Hasan transcribes and reflects on a speech by a survivor of the atom bombing...
Japan: Crazy for a Bug
A catchy tune about a funny-looking bug that bites people's bums and makes them happy, featured regularly as filler between children's programming on the national broadcaster NHK, is catching on like crazy across Japan. In this post, read more about the thinking behind the song, reactions from Japanese bloggers, and a post from one of the creators of the clip.
Japan: Yokozuna gets the boot
Never far from controversy, Mongolian Yokozuna (sumo champion) Asashoryu is again in hot water. He left Japan having submitted a doctor's note claiming he was injured, after which a video image showing the yokozuna playing soccer in Mongolia made it onto some of the major Japanese TV networks, sparking a controversy.
Japan: Time-lapse Tokyo
Pink Tentacle brings together ten great time-lapse videos shot in Tokyo, including one of 35 years of construction in Shinjuku, one of the construction of Roppongi Hills, one of a trip along the Yamanote Line, and one of lighting striking in Higashiyama.
Japan: Three Death Penalty Executions on Aug. 23
Adamu at Mutant Frog Travelogue reports on the recent executions in Japan of three death row inmates: “It is really scary that the final decision of when and if these prisoners die lies solely in the hands of a political appointee […] who goes through no official vetting process, and...
Japan: Asia’ partnership of Democracies
Japan Observer commented on Abe's scheme in creating a “broader Asia’ partnership of democracies”. The project would include India, the U.S. and Australia, but leave out China: whether on a regional or a global scale, an organization of democracies suffers from the simple problem that it is wholly unclear to...
Japan: 30-Million-Yen Platinum Gundam
James from Japan Probe wrote on the unveiled of a 30 milllion yen (about USD262,000) by a jewelry store in Fukuoka.
Japan: Street Art
PingMag interviewed Motokazu Terai, the director of KOMPOSITION on Shibuya streets’ graffiti
Japan: The Hunt for Otaku
Matt Alt at Alt Japan reports on the latest case of “otaku gari”, the practice of hunting down otaku (nerds) and robbing them of their money and fancy toys. In this case, the hunters were a brother and sister, who after being caught explained that “otaku are weak and they’ve...
Japan: New Labour Contract Law
Japan Law Blog summarized the new labour contract law, which was called “A ‘Contract Law’ that Enslaves Japanese Working People” by Japan Focus.
South Korea: Aug 15
K. M. Lawson from frog in a well have written a few posts on how South Korean celebrated their independence day from Japanese colonialism in 1945: outdoor sport in City Hall; exhibition in Independence Hall; political leaflets; comfort woman protest outside Japanese embassy; opening day of Seodaemun prison where Korean...
Japan: Living With the Heat
As Japan suffers through what likely will become its hottest summer on record, with temperatures topping 40 degrees in some places and humidity at all-time highs, and even as business owners happily celebrate skyrocketing sales of air conditioners, fans, and ice cream, worries of an energy crisis loom on the horizon. In the middle of the scorching heat, one blogger has responded by taking matters into his own hands and doing the unthinkable: he turned off the air conditioning.
Neomarxisme blogs about the use of contraception in Japan: Japan is the one of the only countries on Earth where condom use declined in the 1990s and 70% of Japanese women would never even consider trying oral contraceptives.
Japan: Tokyo Pride Parade
On August 11, 2007, the 6th Tokyo Pride Parade with nearly 3,000 participants hit the streets of downtown Tokyo under the blazing August sun. The TPP is becoming an annual event, one in which members of Japan's sexual minority community embrace and celebrate their sexuality and promote sexual diversity to the larger society. Bloggers who participated in the parade offer their impressions.