Japan, despite its lax attitude toward tobacco and alcohol, has always been very strict when it comes to matters of “more illicit” drugs. Laws regulating soft drugs such as marijuana are as strict as those toward heroin and cocaine. This was not so until the American Constitution was imposed on Japan after World War II; actually hemp has been an integral part of Japanese culture and religion since ancient times (see www.taima.org for more details), but that is another article altogether.
Generally, restrictions on all drugs in Japan are so strong that it is not uncommon for customs officers to seize over-the-counter foreign cold medicines, and possession of cannabis can lead to weeks in jail. The most famous victim of this law is Continue reading Natsukashii “Japan Trip” – When Magic ‘Shrooms Were Legal →
This is a follow up story to our earlier coverage of the Yakuza turf wars in Nishiazabu, Central Tokyo (we advise to read the first article for context before going on).
Next Wednesday will mark 49 days since Ryoichi Sugiura (杉浦良一), a director of the Sumiyoshi-kai (住吉会), a Tokyo Yakuza gang, was shot and killed around morning tea time on the sidewalk of the busy Roppongi Street in central Tokyo. In the Japanese Buddhist tradition, the soul of a dead man spends 49 days after the day of death uneasily straddling this life and the next, before a ceremony on the 49th day releases the soul. For the last couple of weeks, the streets of Roppongi have been eerily quiet, but the flowers at the scene of the crime are refreshed almost daily, with new messages from Sugihara’s Yakuza comrades Continue reading Big Boss Falls on Sword in Tokyo Yakuza Wars →
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.
Japan’s ever-inventive sex industry’s latest innovation is an adaptation of the facial — a mud pack for the penis, according to Spa! (3/27).
Authorities have in recent years taken a harder line on the flesh trade, prompting operators to come up with up an increasing variety of services aimed at providing pleasure but circumventing the long arm of the law.
Continue reading WaiWai: Wine bath for the nads, mud pack for the sack pledges heavenly pleasure →
Rinko Kikuchi as a JyoshiKosei
in the Movie “Babel”
* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”
If you enjoyed the movie Babel / バベルの塔 (official English language site) as much as I did then I’m sure the first thing you did when you got home was to do a Google Search to find out who that unknown girl was playing the role of Chieko. While I’d heard of (and recognized) Yakusho Koji (役所広司), I hadn’t heard of Kikuchi Rinko (菊池凛子)before (official English language site).
Following the hype surrounding her Academy Award nomination, I had read a little about her in the press. Continue reading J-WOTD: 居合 (いあい) →
Baidu.com. Heard of it? Possibly not, but Baidu is a $3 billion market capped internet beast in China with, according to Yahoo! Finance, over $125 million in cash. If you are of Chinese decent and live in Asia, chances are you know them very well.
Baidu listed on NASDAQ in 2005 and everyone who bought in won big. Google turned $5 million into a quick $60 million Continue reading Baidu: Double Byte Google Killer to Come to Japan →
Changing jobs is always an emotional experience for the best of us, but what do you think was going through Yasuyuki Higuchi’s (樋口泰行) mind when he accepted the job of Microsoft Japan COO last week, switching Jobs in more ways than one.
While he was notably cagey at the press conference, it feels as though existing CEO, Darren Huston, has decided that he’s had enough of the land of the rising sun. Why else would Higuchi (who has recently served as the President of both Hewlett-Packard Japan and Daiei) accept the role of number two unless it came hand in hand with a guarantee of Continue reading An old Apple a day keeps Jobs-san away? Higuchi joins Microsoft Japan →