Random Japan

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An NPO in Tokyo has released a DVD for job seekers that details the sleaziness of so-called black corporations-“companies that disregard labor laws, harass employees and overwork them while paying low wages.”

A major pachinko manufacturer was forced to recall about 12,000 pachislot machines because of a “defect that makes it difficult for players to win the jackpot.”

Officials in Shizuoka have released a guidebook that lists “more than 300 Mt Fuji lookalikes across Japan.”

According to a survey by the land ministry, 79.8 percent of Japanese people say they want to own their own home. It’s the first time in 12 years that the figure has dipped under 80 percent.


420,000 kiloliters

Volume of soy sauce sold worldwide by Kikkoman Corp. each year

¥37 billion

Value of a contract awarded to Hitachi for construction of an urban rail system in Ho Chi Minh City


Percent of Fukushima residents who believe “radiation could be passed on to their children,” despite scientific evidence to the contrary, according to a survey by prefectural officials

Chochikukyo: Japan’s original eco-friendly house

  by Preston Phro

Although just last week we took you on a guided tour of traditional Japanese homes that had been given new life, today’s quintessentially Japanese abode is a little different. This is Chochikukyo, an 80-year-old house located in Kyoto designed by the renowned early 20th century Japanese architect Kouji Fujii. It is so popular and well-loved that even the Japanese emperor made a special visit earlier this month!

But what makes it so special?

Take Your Hate


Speak Japanese

Damn You

Mom Was

 Cemented In Place

Wind chime peddler sees changes for the worse in Tokyo over 35 years

 By SEI IWANAMI/ Staff Writer

As many drunkards stagger along a street in the bustling Roppongi district in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, the soothing sounds of 120 “furin” wind chimes can be heard in the night breeze.

“Summer has come,” a favorite customer tells wind chime peddler Akira Nakayama.

Nakayama carries a rack of wind chimes on a pole to sell the colorful decorations on the street.

The 68-year-old Nakayama has been in business for 36 years. In his working garb, he is decked out in a “happi” coat, embroidered with kanji characters of furin, and wearing “setta” leather-soled sandals. There are 30 locations in Roppongi’s small, narrow streets where he passes through each night.