Lava flow connects new islet with Nishinoshima island A new islet formed by volcanic activity in late November in the Ogasawara island chain far south of Tokyo (halfway to Guam) has now grown and connected to neighboring Nishinoshima island. Spectacular footage of magma eruptions. [more inside]
Man in Power Ranger costume becomes hero of Tokyo subway station Compared to how Kanemasu started, he claims that people have been more positive in their response. “When I first began, people basically said, ‘Get away from me, you weirdo’,” he recalled.
The curious case of the eroding eikaiwa salary. Now fraught with job insecurity and low pay, there was a time when the work was steady and salaries were high for those who taught English in Japan. Around the turn of the millennium, salaries and work conditions for English teachers in Japan began a downward trend — one that has now spilled into the '10s and shows no signs of slowing, let alone reversing.
Japan Tsunami Pictures - Before and After See how Japan has rebuilt in the 11 months since the earthquake and tsunami
Doraemon - the Hurricane Child (Japanese with English subtitles) Perhaps Japan's greatest pop icon, Doraemon is an earless robotic cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, Nobita. Originally a Japanese manga series created by Fujiko F. Fujio (a nom de plume of a manga writing duo formed by two Japanese manga artists) Doraemon would become probably the most popular anime series in Japanese history. A Daily Motion user has uploaded dozens of older Doraemon episodes, many with English subtitles).
Reactor shutdowns nine months away: Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced Sunday that it will take six to nine months to complete a cold shutdown of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, while the United States proposed a daring plan to use a remote-controlled helicopter and cranes to pluck out their spent fuel rods... If all goes well, displaced residents from the evacuation zone should know within six to nine months whether they will be able to go home, trade minister Banri Kaieda said. [Previously] [Open MeFi pro vs. con nuclear policy thread] [more inside]
Covering Tohoku The Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan (FCCJ) has posted a special edition of its No. 1 Shimbun covering the Tohoku Earthquake: FCCJ members, many of them freelancers, were the first on the scene after the quake and have led coverage since. Weeks after the global media pack left, they're still here. There's articles by veteran Japan reporters such as Charles Pomeroy who recently retired to Otsuchi after covering Japan for 50 years, to newer stringers such as Gavin Blair who worked as a "fixer" for foreign prima-donna journos dashing in and out of the disaster zone. There is a photo by photographer Rob Gilhooly who recently made a heartbreaking trip into the exclusion zone near the plants. Although not included in No 1 Shimbun, freelancer Yas Idei provides a Japanese perspective (in English) about the multiple disasters. Idei's piece about Rokkashomura is pretty enlightening, frightening, and depressing.
I asked Igari to help me deal with the fallout from the book. After much discussion, he and his two colleagues came up with a plan. His parting words were: “It’ll be a long battle. It’ll take money and courage, and you’ll have to come up with those on your own. But we’ll fight.” On August 28th, his body was found in his vacation home in Manila, wrists slashed. Time of death unknown. It’s been ruled a suicide. Personally, I believe he was killed. I probably will never be able to prove it. [more inside]
The Royal House I knew I had seen one of the pictures before somewhere before, and understood instantly what the surrounding pictures all had in common. A familiar symbol caught my eye, glinting gold. It was the mark of the Imperial House of Japan.
Yoshida-ryo: Dilapidated, decrepit and downright dirty. A photo essay about a Kyoto University dormitory first built in 1913 that still houses student squatters for the ultra low price of ¥2,500 (about USD$25) a month. No wonder it looks like this [more inside]
Korean cyber attack on 2-channel An army of Korean netizens apparently attacked the Japanese Internet forum 2chan for their anti-Korean postings, including those targeting Korea’s Olympic gold-medal-winning figure skater Kim Yu-na, causing the site to shut down on Monday (March 1). [more inside]
1978 はごろも缶詰 シーチキン (SLYT) disco star wars & tuna fish
You’ve read about the best friggin’ manga ever on Mutantfrog and Wikipedia. Now watch it in Anime form (via Japan Probe) [more inside]
Namahage (生剥) is a Japanese ritual which is observed throughout Oga Peninsula, Akita Prefecture in northern Honshū, Japan. It is saidto have originated as a ritual for cleansing people's souls, and for blessing the new year. [more inside]
Campaign is a documentary by Kazuhiro Soda. The film follows the 2005 election campaign of political novice Kazuhiko Yamauchi: In the film he's scolded all the time and people chew him out and he is generally humiliated, constantly, but he remains optimistic and he never speaks ill of other people. He's sincere, but maybe too honest. He didn't hide the fact that he was a political novice and a "parachute candidate". I think it's quite rare to see a person who wants to be a politician and who's that honest and sincere. [more inside]
Tsukiji knife photos by Tony McNicol. List of published articles. List of selected photo galleries. I’ve been taking photos of a 240 year old knife shop in Tsukiji fish market.... If you buy a knife at the shop you can bring it back to be sharpened for free. [more inside]
A Preview Of Tomorrow’s Olympic Torch Relay. Japan Probe has posted a few computer-generated examples of what the relay should look like, and links to a news report that states 10,000 Chinese will be in Nagano (location) (cuddly mascots) tomorrow to watch the torch relay. Japan had already canceled plans to stage the start of the torch run at Zenkoji Temple in the city; the temple was then mysteriously defaced. Previously on Japan Probe I II. Meanwhile, a tulip vandal who has been terrorizing Japan has been caught on tape. [more inside]
Edo Photo Generator. Use this ancient photo generator (in JP, but a cinch to use) to give your photos that certain Edo look. Via C. Buddha's Hasty Musings
Samurai-Sword Maker's Reactor Monopoly May Cool Nuclear Revival There stands the only plant in the world...capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor's containment vessel in a single piece, reducing the risk of a radiation leak. From a windswept corner of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, Japan Steel Works Ltd. controls the fate of the global nuclear-energy renaissance. Each year the Tokyo-based company can turn out just four of the steel forgings that contain the radioactivity in a nuclear reactor. Even after it doubles capacity in the next two years, there won't be enough production to meet building plans. [more inside]
The Yamanote Halloween Train vs. Japanese Netizen Rage The Yamanote Halloween Train party was planned to be held on Saturday night in Tokyo. However, sometime on Saturday morning, the Japanese megaforum 2ch.net discovered an English-language post about the event on JapanProbe, and translated the information about it into Japanese, igniting a raging storm of anti-foreign hatred and sending over 10,000 visitors to the popular English-language blog about Japan. Scroll down for an interview with a JR employee about the event. [more inside]
In a secular age, an authentic miracle must purport to be a hoax, in order to gain credit in the world.
The Mahikari Hoax The Harvard Asia Quarterly tells the story of Fujimura Shinichi, a once-renowned amateur Japanese archaeologist nicknamed 'God's Hands' (神の手） for his seemingly preternatural talent for finding artifacts, who was caught planting planting stone tools, some of which he had fabricated himself, others he had taken from other sites, at an archaeological dig in Miyagi, northern Japan. [more inside]
GTA anime mod A video of a Grand Theft Auto mod with gun toting anime girls and deadly Pikachu/Doraemon attacks. Via the ever-wonderful Japan Probe.
Lake Biwa: David Attenborough's Satoyama on YouTube, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6. [more inside]
Discovery [youtube] Anyone who's ever been to Tokyo or any other big city on Earth knows how hard it is to navigate crowded, narrow sidewalks, especially when you have to "take a dump."