Three Years of Coney Island Mermaid Parade Photos

Tomorrow (June 21, Saturday) is the 32nd Coney Island Mermaid Parade. The Mermaid Parade, a moderately venerable tradition dating back to 1983, describes itself as “the largest art parade in the nation”, and celebrates the old time beachfront, boardwalk, carnival sideshow culture of the neighborhood. This will be my fourth consecutive Mermaid Parade, but I […]

Posted by on 20 June 2014 | 3:54 pm

If I were making Tokyo Vice with Daniel Radcliffe, here is what the story would look like

The Tokyo Vice movie starring Daniel Radcliffe is apparently moving forward – Mr. Radcliffe has already started studying Japanese for the role of Jake, a young American who studies in japan and eventually lands first job as the first Western reporter for a Japanese newspaper. I have read the book and am really rooting for […]

Posted by on 4 June 2014 | 5:43 pm

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: as far as I can tell, the usual offenders are parroting talking points that started […]

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 most popular tweet in a while with 14 retweets (the last time that happened might […]

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 week, Yoichi Masuzoe was looking like a shoo-in, with the support of the Abe government […]

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 stuff,ASDF”, in order to appeal to the Tokyo electorate’s strong appreciation for what is presumably […]

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 who has dined with a practicing restaurant critic and quizzed him or her on the […]

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 the blog, although not ready to predict a date yet. One reason for deciding to […]

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 otherwise not be interested in politics. You control a cartoon version of Prime Minister Shinzo […]

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 Japan, so that’s a LOT of ALTs! According to internal affairs ministry statistics, in fiscal […]

Posted by on 2 May 2013 | 11:25 pm