Latest posts by Chris Salzberg from September, 2007
Japan: Nuclear Power and Discrimination
An English translation of an interview with Koide Hiroaki, a researcher and long-time anti-nuclear power activist, has been posted at gyaku. Mr. Koide talks about how he joined the movement against nuclear power in Japan 40 years ago, the contrast between the dream of nuclear power and the reality, and...
Japan: Abe Double in Hospital?
Blogger Kikko passes on the rumor [Ja] that the Abe Shinzo currently in hospital is not the real Japanese prime minister but a double, and that the real PM is at taking it easy at a hot springs in Mongolia. From this (joke) rumor, she turns to the issue of...
Japan: Tokyo's Urban Ruins
Roy Berman at Mutant Frog Travelogue has posted a series of fascinating pictures of soon-to-be-demolished buildings in the backstreets of Shinbashi, Tokyo. Objects photographed include pots and pans, children's toy guns, and a note left behind with the lyrics (in English) to the song “I could have danced all night”.
Japan: Axe Murder, School Days and a Nice Boat
In a bizarre twist of events, the shocking story of a girl who killed her father with an axe, believed to be motivated by her interest in manga, triggered TV networks to cancel airing of the final episode of School Days, a popular anime show. In its place, broadcasters aired a series of slow, meandering shots of castles, mountains, and... a nice boat. A meme was thus born that has spread like wildfire across bulletin boards and blogs, sparked various creative offshoots, and even inspired conspiracy theories.
Blogging in Neo Patwa
When bloggers want to reach a wider audience for their message, there is a strong incentive to post in English in order to cross the global language divide. Blogger Jens Wilkinson, however, offers another alternative in the form of a simple pidgin he created called Neo Patwa, a language that features regularly in his blog.
Japan: Monju reactor trial to begin Sept. 20th
Blogger tokyodo-2005 writes about the famous sodium leak and fire at the Monju fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture (Japan) in 1995 [Ja] and about the subsequent cover-up of a video taken immediately after the incident. tokyodo-2005 reports that a trial about the case is set to begin on Sept. 20th...
Japan: NOVA unable to pay its employees
James at Japan Probe reports the news that NOVA, Japan's largest chain of English schools suffering from a deepening financial crisis, has postponed paying its English teachers this month.
Japan: Prime Minister Abe Steps Down
After less than a year in office, with approval ratings dropping to record lows after a recent humiliating upper house election defeat, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo finally took the step many had been demanding on Wednesday and declared his intention to resign. The timing of the move, which brought the prime minister yet more criticism from politicians and the media, doesn't seem to have gone down very well with bloggers either.
Japan: Prime Minister Abe Resigns
DeOrio at Trans-Pacific Radio has been one of the first bloggers to write about the breaking news that Japanese Prime Minster Abe Shinzo has decided to resign. On the news that Abe may be replaced by his colleague Aso Taro, DeOrio writes: “If Abe is followed by Aso, more competent,...
Japan: The “Happy Family” Bill
At from the inside, looking in, blogger fukamimi writes about a new bill calling for an increase in the number of white collar workers not eligible for overtime pay. In an attempt to overcome its unpopular image, the bill has been named the “Happy Family” Bill on the assumption that...
Japan: Interview with Dr. Patricia Steinhoff
W. David Marx at Néojaponisme interviews Professor of Sociology Dr. Patricia Steinhoff about her research on the history and social organization of post-war Japanese Marxist radicals. In this first part of a five-part series, Dr. Steinhoff describes the formation of the student movement in Japan, its re-organization into the “Red...
Japan: Controversy over the Gun-Shaped Lighter Incident
Blogger Kikko writes about the case of an off-duty officer in Yokohama [Ja] who was arrested after hitting a high-school student supposedly because the boy had been brandishing a lighter in the shape of a gun. Kikko explains that the media have twisted the story: the boy and some friends...
Japan: Voters get the government they deserve
Ampontan writes about the long-time “nexus of money, politics, and government” in Japan, translating a blog post on a book about the late Agriculture minister Matsuoka Toshikatsu, whose career famously ended in suicide. After highlighting numerous money scandals in Japanese politics, Ampontan notes that: “All the people we discussed for...
Japan: It's in the Milk
A group of scientists announced yesterday that Japanese women's breast milk has been found to contain a toxin similar to the pollutant PCB, with possible sources including a contaminated fish supply, fumes from garbage incinerators, and factory wastewater. Bloggers outline the issues surrounding the findings, reacting with shock and fear for the future.
Wikiscanning arrives in Japan
Adamu at Mutant Frog Travelogue reports on the use of the Japanese version of Wikiscanner to track self-editing on Wikipedia by, among others, the health and labour ministry, the education ministry, a member of the Japanese National Diet, and the newspaper Mainichi shimbun. The post also links to local bloggers’...
Japan: First Manifesto of Neojaponisme
W. David Marx, Ian Lynam, and Jean Snow have launched Neojaponisme, an online group blog following in the footsteps of neomarxisme, a “post-blog” about topics related to Japan and Japanese culture.