· February, 2009

Stories about Japan from February, 2009

Japan: Bloggers on the Nakagawa affair

  27 February 2009

Over a week has passed since now-infamous footage of Japan's former finance minister Shōichi Nakagawa stumbling through a 20 minute speech at the G7 meeting in Rome made world headlines and hit the top of YouTube charts. In this post I feature a handful of responses to the speech by Japanese bloggers.

Korea: Economic downturn and which companies have the best chances for survival.

  27 February 2009

While all of us hope the economic downturn is over soon, it seems that it’s a long term battle. Companies are cutting employees or decreasing their business scope. A netizen shares his experience of working at a Japanese company. Different business operation styles are introduced. 일본회사에서 근무하고 있습니다. 대기업에서 근무하다가 ...

Japan: Alpha Blogger Awards 2008 (Part 2)

  27 February 2009

Starting December 24th, the Alpha Blogger website called for people to nominate 1-3 blog entries written in 2008 that had affected them the most. Mid-term results were announced on January 16th, and voting was open until February 18th. The second half of this year's winners are featured in this post.

Japan: Alpha Blogger Awards 2008 (Part 1)

  25 February 2009

On the 20th of February, the 2008 Alpha Blogger Awards were held in Tokyo. Sponsored by Pringles Chips, the event this year was attended by close to 80 people (including the team of GV Japan), awarding prizes to the twelve posts from the Japanese blogosphere in 2008 that received the most votes on the ABA site.

Japan: Pictures of Japanese festivals and ceremonies

  22 February 2009

Yoshio Wada (和田義男)'s website [jp] has fascinating photos of the most interesting Japanese festivals and ceremonies. It also includes some pictures from famous historical places aorund the world. (The website is only partially available in English)

Japan: Agriculture the latest trend among celebrities

  22 February 2009

The Japanese economy is facing one of the worse slowdowns in its modern history, with a GDP that has declined at a rate of 12,7%. Nonetheless, TV programs and lifestyle magazines are doing their best to inspire hope among their viewers and readers that not everything is lost. Recently, a new trend has been spreading among Japanese celebrities: farm work.

Egypt: Because he is Japanese

  20 February 2009

Zeinobia comments on the Japanese Finance minister Shoichi Nakagaw resignation, after the criticism he received due to his embarrassing moment in the G7 summit in Italy. She also compares him to Egyptian ministers who are in more deep trouble than Nakagaw and, according to her, insist on embarrassing their country.

Japan: Internet paranoia

  20 February 2009

Neojaponisme has an article discussing the recent legal prosecution of 18 internet users for making false accusations towards a comedian. The blogger points out that in reporting the case, mainstream media has indulged in willfully-ignorant paranoia about the cyberspace.

Japan: Hay Fever Season is Here

  20 February 2009

If only it was just love that's in the air. Spring is slowly dawning, and pollen from Japanese cedars is starting to make its way around. Kafunsho (hay fever) season has officially started in Japan. Leftover Valentine chocolates have been pushed aside in convenient stores to make room for kafunsho related items: tissues, surgical masks, mint drops, and more.

Japan: Transgender Man to Receive Compensation As a Male. Surprised?

  18 February 2009

The Okayama District Court has ruled that calculations of estimated lost earnings for a transgender man suffering severe aftereffects from a traffic accident be based on average wages for an adult male, even though he is registered as a woman in the national family registry. Bloggers reflect on gender identity and sexual identity, income disparities between men and women, and the country's recent "onee boom".

Japan: Jerusalem Prize to writer Haruki Murakami

  17 February 2009

Mojimoji praises [jp] a speech given by writer Haruki Murakami (村上春樹), who received the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society on Sunday Feb. 15th. The blogger also remarks on how, in his opinion, Japanese media intentionally avoided giving weight to Murakami's words, which should be read...

Japan: Hetalia Axis Powers and the limits of parody

  17 February 2009

Hetalia, a satirical manga set mainly during the Second World War and featuring national protagonists of that era, has attracted attention among both domestic and international audiences for its caricature of world nations. In this post, read reactions in translation from bloggers in both Japan, where the manga originated, and in Italy, the country most strongly ridiculed.

Japan: Art of Non-debate

  17 February 2009

Adamu from Mutant Frog translated an essay by Hiroshi Yamaguchi, an Associate Professor of Global Media Studies, on local media's style in dealing with public debate, especially regarding the issue of responsibility.

Japan: Municipal opposition to Street View

  14 February 2009

Demands by municipal assemblies and bar associations across Japan that Google revise [ja] or even halt altogether its new Street View service, rolled out in 12 Japanese cities late last summer to mixed reactions, have triggered renewed debate on issues of privacy and the limits of public space. The latest moves by municipal governments come on the heels of demands by a group of Japanese lawyers and professors, who petitioned Google in mid-December to retract its service.

Japan: Google Japan and PayPerPost

  13 February 2009

Motohiko Tokuriki at Tokuriki.com posts a long discussion [ja] of the recent PayPerPost incident at Google Japan. Tokuriki writes that while he does not agree with the PayPerPost approach, there is nonetheless a distinction to be made between the PayPerPost strategy in which funding is openly acknowledged, and the strategy...

Japan: Miyako Festivals

  13 February 2009

Peacay from BibliOdyssey posts picture of Japan Miyako Festivals -the annual festivals and customs of Kyoto at the beginning of the Showa period.

Japan: Tokyo gov't invites Google to discuss Street View

  12 February 2009

Blogger Hiromitsu Takagi posts a transcript [ja] of a recent open meeting [ja] organized by the Tokyo metropolitan government about Google's Street View service, introduced in major Japanese cities last summer. Google was invited to the meeting and reportedly told that, in future cases, the company should give advance notification...

About our Japan coverage

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


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