Random Japan

 2010 Roundup  


Bored in space

It was reported that Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi celebrated New Year on the International Space Station with hanetsuki (hitting a shuttlecock with a battledore) and kakizome (writing the first calligraphy of the year).

It depends on your definition of “disaster”

After kicking up a national storm by claiming that “[a]dvanced medical care allows those to live who would once have been weeded out by natural selection,” the mayor of Akune, Kagoshima Prefecture, lashed out at his critics via the city’s community PA system, which was set up for use during disasters.

That works out to ¥.00000000003/hr

The Diet is set to consider a bill that would provide compensation ranging from ¥250,000 to ¥1.5 million to former detainees of labor camps in Mongolia and Siberia. Some 600,000 Japanese, mostly servicemen, were thought to have been imprisoned by the Soviet Union after World War II, and approximately 100,000 are still alive.

This just in: asbestos is bad for you, too

For the first time ever, a Japanese court acknowledged that smoking causes health problems.

You hachi-go, Chad!

Attention-craving wide receiver Chad Ochocinco (né Chad Johnson) of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, who wears jersey No. 85, is considering changing his name again next season, this time going with the Japanese version: Chad Hachi Go.


Because nothing says “security” like around-the-clock surveillance

A neighborhood association coughed up ¥2.85 million to install 16 security cameras in an effort to advertise Akihabara as “a safe place that people can visit with a sense of security.”

A boost for the ladies

A Kyoto-based underwear manufacturer has begun renting high-end bras to fashion-conscious but cash-strapped women for ¥727 a month.

Apparently, the other 30 percent enjoy holding a burning mass of tobacco close to their face

A survey revealed that 70 percent of Japanese smokers in their 20s are addicted to nicotine.

Transcendental mediation

It was reported that the tech-savvy monks at Jodo-Shinshu Honganji, Japan’s largest Buddhist sect, have set up a suicide prevention hotline.


Oh, right, “spices”…

A 31-year-old Iranian man who owns a spice trading company was busted in Osaka for being involved in a drug trafficking ring.

“Give me your tired, your geeky, your huddled masses…”

In a bid to lure international fans of Japanese subculture, the city of Kitakyushu is planning to build an “otaku complex” that will include a manga museum.

For example, you would never pet a stick

In awarding damages against a transportation company whose truck killed a seeing-eye dog, a court in Nagoya said, “Guide dogs are not just walking aids for the visually impaired and are distinctly different from walking sticks.”

Apparently, parts I and II were lighthearted romps

A new book called The Great Tokyo Air Raid: Records of Korean Victims, Part III was described as the “first comprehensive study of the damage done to Korean residents in wartime Tokyo.”

“Sorry, we can’t cure stupidity”

The newly established Consumer Affairs Agency is mulling whether to cancel an information hotline that was intended to combat a rise in food mislabeling scandals. Instead, the agency said that “two-thirds of the about 500 cases reported each week were general consultations or complaints, such as being tricked into buying an expensive item.”

I’m Pouting

Now I’m Stomping My Feet

Taking Gifts

No One Will Notice  

The Cats

Made Him Angry