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· December, 2008

Stories about Japan from December, 2008

The Death of Ai Iijima, the End of an Era

  28 December 2008

For many men in Taiwan, this Christmas Eve was a day of regret and disappointment. It is not because that at this eve some of us would need to spend a significant amount money to please our lovers--thanks to the endless bombing from merchants and commercials. And neither it is because that others would be upset due to lack of lovers for the holiday--yes, for most people, Christmas in Taiwan is more like Valentine's Day--perhaps the forth or the fifth one. It is that in the era of closure on any discussion of sex issues, an ex-AV porno Japanese actress who accompanied us during much of our private time, and later successfully transformed into an entertainer in show business, was found dead in the afternoon at her house in Shibuya, Tokyo: her name is Ai Iijima.

Global Health: 2008 Blogs In Review

  27 December 2008

Bloggers in 2008 showed all the ways in which global health is interconnected with other issues, by covering health stories that touched on everything from poverty and women's rights to the environment and economics. They shared stories such as the prohibition of cannabis in Japan, how ads for children's food...

Japan: Un-hiring fresh graduates

  27 December 2008

Job hunting for fresh graduates in Japan is an intense trial called shushoku katsudo or shukatsu for short. University students in their third year start shukatsu during the winter in hopes of receiving several naitei (informal job offer/promise of employment) in May at the earliest, to start their new jobs on April 1st of the following year.

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Northeast Asia: 2008 Review

  27 December 2008

The northeast Asia region is becoming more integrated politically, economically and socially. State leaders from China, Japan and South Korea recently signed a Joint Statement for Tripartite Partnership to address the serious challenges in the global economy and the financial markets. Peace talk between North and South Korea continues, while...

Japan: The year in Japanese blogs

  24 December 2008

What were bloggers writing about this year in the Japanese blogosphere? The year in Japanese blogs at Global Voices included posts on everything from an American Enka singer making waves in Japan, to debates on the regulation of “harmful” Internet content, to the Olympic torch relay in Nagano.

Japan: Christmas illuminations within a click

  23 December 2008

Blogger Happy Kernel suggests a website that collects videos of Christmas illumination along the streets of every Japanese city. The idea of this website's creator, Shinya, was to make it possible for parents with small children to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere from home.

Japan: The early salaryman catches the worm

  22 December 2008

Blogger Yoshihara (吉原) at Engineer Live no Henshûchô (エンジニアLiveの編集長) comments about a new trend which is spreading among Japanese salarymen. As a response to the Japanese practice of working overtime from morning to night without rest, many white collar workers seem to have decided to dedicate the first hours of...

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Japan, Brazil: A centenary of Japanese Immigration to Brazil.

  20 December 2008

In June 1908, the Japanese ship Kasato Maru docked in the Port of Santos after a 52-day voyage, bringing the first Japanese families to Brazil. A hundred years later and after a hard period of adaptation, Japanese and Japanese-Brazilians reflect on the history and cultural heritage of this cross ocean cultural mix.

Japan: 2008 Politics

  19 December 2008

Neojaponisme has a roundup on 2008 Japan Politics, in particular concerning the dynamics within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Japan: Controversy over Imperial Succession

  14 December 2008

On the 1st of December, the seventh birthday of Princess Aiko (official title: 敬宮愛子内親王殿下, Toshi no miya Aiko naishinnō denka) [en], while the mainstream media in Japan were busy reporting that the princess had a cold and could not attend a birthday party organized in her honour, some bloggers were...

Japan: Dr. Shochi's trip around the world

  14 December 2008

Follow the adventures of Dr. Shochi Saburo (曻地三郎), a 102 year-old Japanese Doctor of Literature, Doctor of Medicine, Honorary Doctor of Philosophy and Poet who came up with the Parent and Child Toymaking Class [en], a program that “brings out children’s sensitivity and intelligence, improves communication and the bond between...

Japan: “Change”, the ideogram of 2008

  13 December 2008

Every year on the 12th of December, the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society announces the Kanji of the year [en]. This year the kanji is 変 (hen), the ideogram representing “change”. Miki Tansho (丹所美紀 comments on the choice, writing that to many Japanese 変 by itself recalls the meaning “change for...

Japan: Crisis in primary news reporting

  8 December 2008

The shifting landscape of news media in Japan has triggered its fair share of debate recently, with many criticizing the mainstream press for major slip-ups and what some perceive as an attitude problem. On August 4th in a popular entry at Hatena's AnonymousDiary, one blogger picked up the theme of the crisis of primary news reporting in Japan, recounting the story of a friend who works as a fledgling reporter at a major local newspaper.

Japan: How to learn a foreign language

  8 December 2008

Britty at Brittys Wake gives suggestions to Japanese about how to learn a foreign language [ja]. “There are two things that are absolutely necessary if you want to learn a foreign language. The first is time, and the second is skill in using your native language.” On the need for...

Japan: Bloggers’ Meeting on Dec. 18th

  7 December 2008

Agile Media Network announces [ja] a bloggers meeting on December 18th starting from 19.30 at the Nomura Research Institute [ja]. The event is free and in Japanese. More info in Japanese here. [ja]

Japan: Hatena Bottle a spam trap?

  7 December 2008

In a post entitled, “I realized for the first time yesterday that Hatena is doomed” [昨日初めて「”はてな”はダメだ」と思った], blogger id:grgr56 explains how they tried out the new service “Hatena Bottle” yesterday [ja] and concluded: “Hatena Bottle is a spam trap”: “I noticed [after registering] that mails started coming. […] If you go...

Japan: Japanese Language Proficiency Test Day

  7 December 2008

Takeshi at Saigon kara kita tsuma [サイゴンから来た妻] writes about his Vietnamese wife who took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test [en] [日本語能力試験, nihongo nōryoku shiken] today, as do thousands of other people every year who want to test their Japanese level. Seeing his wife to the test site, Takeshi-san was moved...

About our Japan coverage

Nevin Thompson is our Japan editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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