Random Japan


Tokyo looks eerily awesome in the fog


Or should that be awesomely eerie?

Humidity in Japan reaches its peak in summer, then continues to drop as the temperature gets cooler. A late autumn Tokyo morning is usually crisp, cool, and clear, but things were very different this Friday in the capital.

The multi-day rainstorm that had been sitting over the city finally petered out on the night of November 26, but the low temperature meant a thick layer of fog was there to greet Tokyoites when they woke up.


  • 300,000: The number of Halloween-themed garbage bags the TMG gave away “in an effort to keep the capital’s streets clean amid the fun.”
  • 0.6 millimeter: Diameter of an artificial blood vessel developed by researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center—the thinnest ever.
  • ¥980: Price of a 330-square-meter parcel of land in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Officials are hoping the low cost will attract new residents.


  • The head of a post office in Nagano admitted to running a Ponzi scheme that bilked 180 customers out of ¥890 million.
  • Arbitrators in Stockholm ordered Osaka-based NTN Corp to pay $94.2 million to Volvo in a case involving defective ball bearings.
  • A government white paper found that police made a record-high 4,300 arrests for indecent assault in 2014.
  • McDonald’s Japan posted a $30 million loss from January to September—the worst result for the nine-month period since the company debuted on the TSE in 2001.


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Japan misunderstood: 3 stereotypes that live on

by Amy Chavez for RocketNews24

Every time I visit my home country and talk about my life in Japan, one thing becomes clear to me: Japan remains incredibly misunderstood overseas. With this in mind, today we’ll be discussing three stereotypes of Japan: the country’s apparent disdain for those who stand out from the crowd, the notion that Japan is a strict society, and that the idea of “losing face” is a quintessentially Asian concept.

1. The nail that stands up gets hammered down

This Japanese idiom is known world-wide among English speakers and is often used to show that conformity is valued, if not socially enforced, in Japan. People go on to apply the proverb to almost any situation they feel is exemplary. In the business world, Takafumi Horie is often cited as an example of a nail that was pounded back down. As the president of Livedoor, Horie rose to fame and fortune very quickly, outwitting most of his competition. But his competitors were not impressed with his quick rise to the top, his legal but “un-Japanese” business practices and his challenge to the status quo. They did everything they could to tear him down, eventually leading to accusations of falsifying accounts and misleading investors. “The nail that stands up,” right?