· December, 2007

Stories about Japan from December, 2007

Japan: Alpha Blogger Awards 2007

  13 December 2007

Three years after its establishment in 2004, organizers of the Alpha Blogger Awards, established to showcase influential bloggers in the Japanese blogosphere, have changed their approach. In contrast to previous years, the group of nominees in the 2007 awards were largely unknown even to the presenters themselves. Include in this post is a summary of the event and an interview with one of the winners.

Japan: Coffee Splitter

  12 December 2007

James from Japan Probe blogs about the arrest of coffee splitter who had assaulted 5 schoolgirls with coffee via drive-by spitting attacks.

Japan: Pearl Harbor and John Lennon

  12 December 2007

kitanomizube[jp] reflected on peace and violence on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, which also happens to be the day John Lennon passed away.

Japan: Welcome, we'll collect your fingerprints and mugshot

  11 December 2007

tokyodo-2005[jp] has reposted a cartoon by Hashimoto Masaru. “People are not concerned even when the government violates human rights. This probably means that people who live in Japan in fact are very unhappy. Because they are unhappy, when other people's human rights are violated, they don't consider these to be...

Japan: Three inmates executed

  11 December 2007

Tomumaru[jp] quotes recent BBC coverage of the Japanese executions of three death row inmates on December 7. The glogger condemns the secrecy of Japanese executions and discusses in detail the national debate on the issue of the death penalty in the country.

Japan: Flaming and the secrets we hide

  11 December 2007

The phenomenon of flaming (enjo) is widespread in Japan, particularly on anonymous posting forums such as 2-channel. One Japanese blogger picked up the topic of flaming last week and asked: are the things that people are attacked for so viciously online really so out-of-the-ordinary?

Japan: NOVA Video Story

  10 December 2007

A youtube video story on the jobless life of foreign teacher after the close down of NOVA – via ying yang report.

  10 December 2007

Adamu criticizes the recent Washington Post article on the Japanese blogosphere of having serious mis-characterisations and inaccuracies.

Japan: Washington Post on the Japanese Blogosphere

  8 December 2007

An article in the Washington Post describes Japanese bloggers as the “humble giants of the web”, a characterization which blogger Adamu at Mutant Frog Travelogue blasts for its inaccuracies and stereotypes. He writes: “this dichotomy of Japan as meek navel gazers and Americans as gung-ho self-branding showoffs is totally false”,...

Japan: In the shadows of influence

  7 December 2007

A scandal that had been brewing for months came to a head last week when former Vice Defense Minster Moriya Takemasa and his wife Sachiko were arrested by authorities in Tokyo, suspected of having received millions of yen in bribes from former defense equipment trader Miyazaki Motonobu of Yamada Corporation. Many bloggers were surprised, and some dug deeper into the problem of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in Japanese politics.

Japan: The Terabutadon Incident

  6 December 2007

Blogger Kikko writes about the Terabutadon (テラ豚丼) incident in which two employees of Yoshinoya, Japan's largest beef bowl restaurant chain, shot a video of themselves piling pork over a rice bowl to create a giant “butadon”. The video became a sensation and the two employees were fired (for reasons not...

Japan: Mutant Frog on Sasagawa

  6 December 2007

Adamu at Mutant Frog Travelogue writes about Ryoichi Sasakawa, the (now deceased) Japanese right-wing philanthropist and war profiteer once quoted as claiming to be “the world's wealthiest fascist”.

Japan: Michelin Guide Hits Tokyo

  5 December 2007

On November 22, the much-talked-about Michelin Guide Tokyo went on sale. With a combination of French connections and something of gastronomical interest, you can never go wrong in Japan. Sure enough, for days leading up to and after its release, the Japanese media flocked to cover the event and the Guide itself, the most recognized restaurant and hotel guide book published by French tire manufacturer Michelin.

Japan: 16 suicide cases in Self Defence Forces

  5 December 2007

tokyodo-2005 [ja] quotes a November 14 newspaper article which reports 16 cases of suicide among Self-Defence Forces personnel deployed in the Indian Ocean and Iraq this year (up to October). The blogger speculates that the number may actually be larger since some cases might be misclassified as “natural causes” and...

Japan: KakikoTV for Non-Japanese

  5 December 2007

Serkan at Tokyotronic translates from Japanese to English instructions for using a new service, KakikoTV, which allows users to modify videos and photos online. The service also allows for the integration of a range of visual and sound effects, as well as comments and subtitles.