Why The Long Face Abe-san?

Shinzo AbeIt has been almost two weeks since Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suddenly resigned from office. A press conference was called suddenly, and everyone left the room more confused than when they went in. Abe was silent for over a week, and has only just come out earlier this week, saying effectively that his timing to step down was rubbish, and he for the first time apologised deeply to the nation. In the week after he quit, Abe admitted to hospital for extreme stress and fatigue. But what were the real reasons for his sudden and irresponsible departure, and what happened over his last couple of weeks? Continue reading

Picking Up in Japan – Part One: Leading

Picking up girls in Japan - With help from the Osaka CrewUp until now we have never introduced any angles on picking up in Japan, or for that matter anything to do with romance in Japan in general (except that is, for our unfinished series on Japanese Love Hotels). This is for several reasons, the first being that most of us have been here for more than ten years, and picking up ladies in Japan seems to have become “second nature” – so much so that most of us ended up marrying one (or two!) of them. By no means does this mean that we claim to be pick-up machines, but it just didn’t seem to be a topic that needed airing amongst our mostly long term Japan resident readership. Despite running Stippy Friends (the best online deai spot to meet real Japanese girls), we thought that writing about the same would be slightly crass, and would turn people away from discovering our other more serious, and sometimes humorous perspectives on Japan. It seems we were wrong. Continue reading

Would you buy a used car from this man?

Origuchi is friends with AbeWould you buy a used car from this man? Which man? Well that’s a good question. (I probably wouldn’t buy one from either) In this instance, I mean the man on the left, Masahiro Origuchi (折口雅博), the infamous ex-President of Comsn (コムスン) – the company that, according to their English homepage, is “preserving the dignity and independence of the elderly” (link) when they are not screwing taxpayers by lining their pockets with illegal subsidies.

To be frank, I don’t know if I’d buy a used car from a guy with a smile like that, but want about a used plane? Continue reading

WaiWai: Tokugawa clan looks to slam the gate on future chief’s marriage to foreigner

This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.

Modern day members of the Tokugawa clan — the xenophobic dynasty of Shoguns that shut Japan off from the world for centuries — are up in arms because the man set to one day become head of the family has married a non-Japanese, according to Shukan Shincho (9/20).

Iehiro Tokugawa, who is poised to one day become the 19th head of the clan that ruled the country as Shoguns from 1603 to 1868 and maintained a rigid ban on foreigners entering Japan, has tied the knot with a Vietnamese woman.

Continue reading

WaiWai: The Cook, the Beast, the Vice and its Lover

This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.

A disgusting and twisted restaurant in the Tokyo entertainment district of Roppongi is enticing warped rich folk with the opportunity to figuratively have their cake and eat it, too — with animals, according to Jitsuwa Knuckles (9/25).

Roppongi’s bestiality restaurant is being regarded by its main nouveau riche patronage of young company presidents and venture capitalists as a decadent practice only possible among the wealthy.

Continue reading

Yokoso! Fingerprint Please!

All foreigners to be fingerprinted when entering Japan from November 2007Starting November 20, 2007, all foreign nationals landing in Japan will be required to submit to fingerprinting and having their picture taken. Yōkoso! Smile! You’re a terrorist suspect!

This controversial new procedure snuck its way into existence on May 24, 2006 when the Japanese Diet passed a law requiring all foreign nationals (with a few exceptions, such as children under 16, diplomats, and special-status permanent residents such as Zainichi Koreans) to submit biometric data to prove they’re not Osama bin Laden or one of his cronies. I’ll spare you the details; if you Continue reading

Getting Pregnant in Japan – Part Four: Do Japanese Mums need less Calcium?

Japanese Calcium IntakeCall me paranoid, but I’m really worried about what my wife eats these days. This is the fourth installment in a series about my personal experience of being pregnant in Japan (or perhaps I should say, of my wife being pregnant). Although I hope that some of the observations have value for gaijin of both sexes, I’m intentionally writing this series from my own perspective – a Gaijin Father / Japanese Mother. There is no topic better than pregnancy for old wives tales to prevail and it seems that the topic of food – what you can, can’t or shouldn’t eat – really takes the cake when it comes to misconceptions in not only Japan but every country in the world. Especially when it comes to Continue reading