Don’t hate Yoichi Masuzoe for what he said — just look at what he has done

Yoichi Masuzoe has just been elected Governor of Tokyo after being the front runner more or less since the election race began. Predictably, the Western media is already finding the most superficially controversial angle to present him to the world: … Continue reading →

Posted by on 9 February 2014 | 8:12 am

Idol superfan asks out his favorite, gets rejected, decides it is time to grow out of fandom

This morning I tweeted this story: AKB fan’s touching blog post: getting rejected by his favorite at a meet & greet event helped him grow out of fandom http://t.co/sFAMCtlWpg — Adamukun (@Adamukun) January 22, 2014 This ended up being my … Continue reading →

Posted by on 23 January 2014 | 6:12 am

Are we looking at a new political order?

We are less than a month away from the gubernatorial election in Tokyo, with the campaign officially starting a week from today, and it seems like it may be a key part of yet another massive political realignment. Until last … Continue reading →

Posted by on 15 January 2014 | 8:11 pm

Tamogami, former ASDF “chife of stuff”, Running for Governor

Toshio Tamogami, rightwing blowhard and former Japan Air Force General, is officially running for Governor of Tokyo in February 9th’s election. As you can see below, his official website profile is touting his strong credentials as “the former chife of … Continue reading →

Posted by on 6 January 2014 | 12:05 am

Kabuki for lunch alert

You can always spot the undercover restaurant critics by their kabuki masks. “Ms. Lemos, I presume,” I said with a mock flourish. “Just call me Gael,” she said with a weary smile. This weary smile will be familiar to anyone … Continue reading →

Posted by on 2 January 2014 | 9:52 am

Thoughts on a 2014 relaunch

Hello to all, and a happy new year to you. I hope 2013 treated you well and that 2014 is even better. After a long and only mildly interrupted hiatus, I am finally starting to plan a proper relaunch of … Continue reading →

Posted by on 31 December 2013 | 3:01 pm

Game review: Abe-pyon is a fun, free, no-nonsense smartphone game; political propaganda at its best

A couple weeks ago the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party released Abe-pyon (Abe Jump; iOS link / Android), its first official smartphone game. The release was timed ahead of the upcoming Upper House election to try and reach voters that might … Continue reading →

Posted by on 10 July 2013 | 8:51 am

What would doubling the JET program look like?

Recent news reports suggest that the LDP is planning to propose doubling the JET Program in three years and placing JET language assistants in all elementary, middle, and high schools within a decade. There are around 38,000 such schools in … Continue reading →

Posted by on 2 May 2013 | 11:25 pm

“Unbuttoning the uniform”

Over the years, this blog has had so many posts on the wretched “kabuki play” cliche that we gave them their own category, but we never mentioned a related pet peeve cliche of mine: “opening the kimono“. Well, in yesterday’s … Continue reading →

Posted by on 24 March 2013 | 9:44 pm

Corner store

Waiting for a breakfast sandwich at the bodega. “I can’t get a bag?” asks a woman angrily, as she pays for her can of soda. Thin, probably in her forties, but looking unkempt and sickly enough that it’s hard to … Continue reading →

Posted by on 24 March 2013 | 1:16 pm