Month: Last updated Jun 24, 2017

Right Winger Sound Truck

These right wingers were protesting in Ueno recently. When I first came to Japan, I was always really curious about what the signs on their vehicles said and what their speeches were about. Now I can read them, I’ve completely lost all curiosity, though. Here’s a translation: People without a country. We vehemently oppose the immigration policy of accepting 10,000,000 immigrants. (Boukoku. 1000 man imin seisaku danko hantai) Respect the war-dead-become-gods, who are our country’s foundation. (Wagakuni no ishizue to narareta eirei ni kansha o!) Drive the China-loving diet members who are selling out the country out of office. (Bichuuha baikoku giin o seikai kara tsuihouseyo) Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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Thousand-tatami Cliff in Shirahama

The senjojiki (thousand tatami mat cliff) in Shirahama. Shirahama is a popular tourist resort in Wakayama prefecture and these cliffs are a popular tourist attraction. The rock is very soft, and thousands of visitors have carved their names in it. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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The View From the Tower

I live in a big apartment tower in Arakawa Ward of Tokyo. Here are a few of the more interesting things I’ve seen from my balcony. The Sumidagawa River fireworks display is an amazing spectacle, but finding a place to watch it entails arriving hours beforehand (some people even camp out to get a good spot) and all the nearby stations are jam-packed with people after. This year, we were able to enjoy the fireworks without any hassles whatsoever. A  JR freight yard. The Tokyo Sky Tree, the new Tokyo Tower that is currently under construction in Sumida Ward. Mt. Fuji Park Before anyone gets too envious, this is what I see on a regular day without my telephoto lens. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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The Mermaid’s Stroll Love Hotel

I came across this odd little love hotel will driving along the coast of Wakayama Prefecture. It’s called Ningyou no Osanpo. There’s more information about   love hotels in my book, Love Hotels: An Inside Look at Japan’s Sexual Playgrounds. I spent years visiting love hotels around Japan, interviewing love hotel designers, owners and staff, and wading through Japanese books on sex and love hotels to bring you this book. It’s 182 pages of information about their history, the people who design and operate them, their place in Japanese society, crime, and much, much more. There’s also a love hotel guide with information on how to get to the best hotels in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Yokohama, Sapporo, and Fukuoka. For more information about love hotels, please visit my newly updated love hotel page at: http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/lovehotels.html To order or find out more about the book, please visit: http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/lovehotelbookintro.htm. There’s also a smaller guidebook, with just the hotel information for 500 yen: http://www.quirkyjapan.or.tv/lovehotelguide.html. There are more love hotel-related posts here. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new...

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Tokyo Vice Book Review

Tokyo Vice is a courageous book written by a very brave man*. It’s the autobiography of Jake Adelstein, an American who worked on the police beat at the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper, and tells the story of how he fearlessly exposed Japan’s human trafficking problem and went head to head with one of Japan’s most notorious yakuza, exposing the details of a liver transplant that he got in the United States. As a result of articles that he wrote in the Yomiuri Shimbun and this book, he’s now living under police protection. It’s a real page turner, filled with drama, pathos, and even a bit of action. It starts out with a meeting between Adelstein, a cop friend of his, and two members of the infamous Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime syndicate. The two yakuza threaten Adelstein’s life, telling him that if he publishes an article detailing their boss’s liver transplant in America, they’ll kill him. The rest of the book is what led up to this event, starting with the odd story of how he got hired at the Yomiuri Shimbun, his days as a reporter on the crime beat in Omiya and later Kabuki-cho, and later his involvement in the Lucy Blackman case and investigations of human trafficking in Japan. Maybe you’ve read stories in the English dailies about a yakuza, Tadamasa Goto, who became a Buddhist...

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