Scatman John accepts Best New Artist Award, Japan 1995

Do you remember the insanely catchy tunes of Scatman John in the 90’s? However, it wasn’t just the West where Scatman John became a huge hit – in 1995, he won the Best New Artist award in Japan.

Scatman John’s biggest hit, Scatman’s World sold over 6 million worldwide, over 1.5 million of which were sold on the other side of the planet in Japan, where he even appeared . In fact, even 23-years later, Scatman’s World is the 17th best-selling album by a foreign artist, putting the album above by Michael Jackson
(Bad), Queen (Greatest Hits), and just below the Beatles (Let It Be).

Even today, if you take the time to listen to the lyrics of Scatman’s songs, you’ll see they’re just as relevant as they were a quarter of a century ago. So, why am I talking about Scatman John all of a sudden? Well I happened upon a YouTube video of Scatman John accepting his award in 1995.

There are a few reasons why I find this interesting enough to share. It’s great to see what Scatman John was like, but it’s also interesting to have a glance back to the past and see what Japan was like during the decade I was born. Linguistically, it’s also fun to see professional/live interpretation (although some of the nuances were certainly lost).

Despite being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998, against the advice of his doctors, Scatman John continued to bring music to his fans all around the globe. In November 1999, he passed out live on stage.
One month later, he passed away at the age of 57.

You Can Now Make Your Own KitKat in Osaka

The Origins of KitKat and How It Came to Japan

KitKat’s history dates to the United Kingdom in 1935, when the York-based confectionery company Rowntree introduced the bar — originally called “Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp” — as the perfect complement to a working man’s cup of tea. In 1937, the snack was renamed “Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp.”

In the 1950s, the bar arrived in Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand; in 1973, it finally made it to Japan. (The Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle acquired Rowntree in 1988. Eventually, Kit Kat became KitKat, and it is now sold in more than 100 countries. It is licensed by Hershey’s in the United States.)

Yet the story of how Japan made the snacking staple entirely its own begins in 1990, in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, known for its skiing, hot springs and beer. KitKat’s marketing team believed the island’s souvenir shops — in fact, souvenir shops nationwide — could stand to diversify their snack offerings.

“Wherever you went, you could only find rice cakes,” said Takuya Hiramatsu, a spokesman for Nestle Japan. “But people got kind of bored with traditional rice cakes.”

The company introduced a strawberry-flavored KitKat exclusively in Hokkaido — and after it took off, tried more limited-edition varieties. The more they introduced, the more popular the bars became. The KitKat makers leveraged local products into exotic flavors.

In time, exotic and strange KitKats began appearing all over, including on Honshu, the nation’s largest island. There, in Shizuoka prefecture, the candy-makers offered Tamaruya-Honten brand wasabi KitKats; in the Kanto region, adzuki bean sandwich KitKats; in Hiroshima, KitKats flavored like momiji manju, a locally produced pastry made of rice and buckwheat.

“I lived in Hiroshima when I was young,” Maki said. “So I knew people in Hiroshima love momiji manju so much — that it’s a soul food. I wanted to develop a business with that.”

The snacks live up to their packaging in bold, bright colors. Citrus flavors have a sharp, acidic twang; “matcha green tea” has bitter overtones; “Shinshu apple” tastes a bit like cider. The wasabi variety tames the heat in favor of flavor.

“It’s wasabi plus sweetness, which would not work at all if not [for] an amazing bit of chocolate engineering on Nestle’s part,” wrote the Snacktaku snack blog in a 2013 review. “That trademark burn has been transformed from feeling to flavor. You do not feel the heat. You taste the heat.”

Nestle gives several reasons for KitKat’s success in Japan. Giving sweets as gifts is a national custom, and the country has deep pride in its local culinary traditions and industries.

Not least, the chocolate bar’s English name is a cognate — it sounds like kittokattsu, which means “you will surely win,” a sort of good luck blessing. Nestle leveraged the association into huge sales. In 2009, the company created “KitKat Mail,” a partnership with Japan’s postal service that allowed students to send KitKats as good luck charms before the country’s high-pressure January university entrance examination. Some KitKat wrappers contain blank spaces for students to scribble in heartwarming messages.

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Ryoji Maki, KitKat’s marketing manager in Japan, left, and Nestle Japan spokesman Takuya Hiramatsu show off their wares. (Jonathan Kaiman / Los Angeles Times)

 

These Days, You Can Make Your Own KitKat

Just when we thought KitKat mania couldn’t go any farther, Nestle opened a made-to-order chocolate shop this October at Namba Station, in the Chuo ward of Osaka, on Japan‘s Honshu island.

The premium KitKat Chocolatory isn’t just any chocolate shop that you would travel to see.

Inside, you can build the KitKat of your dreams and watch it harden before your eyes thanks to a blast of liquid nitrogen.

Like a Willy Wonka Factory for KitKats, guests can use a touchscreen pad to make their dream candy, choosing from five types of chocolate for the base.

The chocolate options include basics such as milk chocolate alongside wildcard flavors such as matcha or a strawberry-flavored white chocolate.

The nine toppings are marshmallow, pineapple, cranberry, mango, green raisin, almond, cashew, macadamia, and shredded coconut. Each bar will set you back about US$6-9.

Can’t decide? Try the chef’s selection, where the chocolatier suggests the perfect toppings to pair with your base chocolate of choice — just like a wine pairing at a posh restaurant.

There are now more than 300 varieties, including cheesecake, wasabi, green tea, sushi, and yuzu. The brand also collaborated with Sanrio on a special Hello Kitty KitKat collection in 2006. Nestle intends to keep adding to its flavor roster –  An all-natural pink KitKat made from “ruby” cocoa beans was released in 2018.

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The Japan Times Satoyama Contest Winning Photos are Amazing

The Japan Times Satoyama Photo Contest 2018 results are out (chosen by readers) – and the photos really do look quite spectacular! 

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Location: Hoshi-toge, Niigata Pref.

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Location: Itoshima-shi, Fukuoka Pref. (where it doesn’t snow very often). 

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Location: Nantan-shi, Kyoto Pref.

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Location: Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama-machi, Kanagawa Pref.

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Location: Maruyama-Senmaida, Mie Pref.

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Location: West Part of Yamagata-shi, Yamagata Pref.

For more information about the winners and their photos, click here

Japanese Cafe Introduces Robots Controlled By Physically Disabled Staff

Japan is the world leader when it comes to robots. Whether that is crazy tourist traps like this…

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Or if it’s Japan’s beloved robots like ASIMO or Pepper. 

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This time, Japan has once again upped its level of ridiculous restaurants you can visit. A cafe will open in Tokyo’s Akasaka district in November featuring robot waiters remotely controlled from home by people with severe physical disabilities. The cafe, which will open on weekdays from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7, will deploy OriHime-D robots controlled by people with conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a form of motor neuron disease.

The robots stand slightly short at 1.2 meters tall and weighing 20 kilograms and transmit video footage and audio via the internet, allowing their controllers to direct them from home on tablets or computers. At an event marking the OriHime-D’s debut in August, a robot controlled by Nozomi Murata, who suffers from autophagic vacuolar myopathy that causes muscle weakness, asked a family if they would like some chocolate.

“I want to create a world in which people who can’t move their bodies can work too,” said Kentaro Yoshifuji; chief executive officer of Ory Lab. Inc., and the developer of the robots.

 

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Yoshifuji suffered from a stress-induced illness during childhood and had difficulty communicating. With his experience of social isolation, he started developing robots at Waseda University to help connect people, according to the company’s website.

Smaller OriHime robots that are 21.5 centimeters tall and weigh about 600 grams have been introduced by about 70 companies for telecommuting. They can also be used remotely in classrooms by students who cannot attend school due to illness or other reasons.

Ory Lab. aims to set up a permanent cafe featuring OriHime robots and increase adoption by companies in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

“Everyone should have the freedom to work in the way they like,” said Masatane Muto, an ALS patient and one of the organizers of the project, which also involves the Nippon Foundation.

“I want to send out the message toward 2020 that you can show hospitality even if you have disabilities,” Muto said.

 

Isn’t it nice to hear about robots creating jobs for people, rather than ‘stealing’ jobs from people? 

8 Buildings That Show Imaginative Japanese Architecture

Limited space and high land prices have prompted Japanese architects to think well outside the box. From vegetables sprouting from rooftops to buildings seem to float on water – Japanese architecture is some of the most imaginative in the world. Here are some of the most innovative structures Japan has come up with.

House NA in Tokyo

Sou Fujimoto’s wall-less home, House NA, is a three-story house divided into staggered platforms. It has enough room for a library, a roof terrace and even a garage.

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Garden and House, Tokyo

Ryue Nishizawa’s Garden and House squeeze five single-room stories into an area four meters wide.

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Bird’s Nest Atami in Shizuoka

Hiroshi Nakamura’s Bird’s Nest Atami takes a traditional tea house 10 meters up into a 300-year-old camphor tree while keeping it entirely separate on a steel trellis.

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Nakagin Capsule Tower in Shimbashi, Tokyo

The Japanese tapped into the idea of micro-living long before the tiny house movement became fashionable. In the 1970s, Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower broke new ground with its 140 minuscule capsules plugged into a central core. They contain compact apartments, storage areas, and office space. This particular building even briefly featured in the film ‘The Wolverine’.

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Church on the Water in Shimukappu-mura

Two overlapping cubes connected by a curved staircase shape Tadao Ando’s Church on the Water. Religious icons are replaced by stark concrete walls and a spectacular lake view

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Tower of Winds in Yokohama

Japan’s first interactive structure is Toyo Ito’s perforated, aluminum-clad Tower of Winds. It changes color thanks to wind-and sound-sensitive lamps and neon rings.

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Jikka in Shizuoka

In Shizuoka, architect Issei Suma challenges domestic design to create a retirement home out of teepee-shaped wooden huts. The complex is made up of five structures which contain a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, storage areas and a spiral-shaped swimming pool.

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Leek House in Machida, Tokyo

Among Japan’s most innovative domestic designs is the surreal Leek House by Terunobu Fujimori, with its rows of sprouting leaks in the roof.

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Source: cnttravel

The Bizarre Play-Sculptures of Japanese Playgrounds

The world has long known that Japan is a nation that is wildly in love with anime, the absurd and the non-sensical. It’s that infatuation and obsession with the weird and wacky that is likely to be the inspiration behind these Japanese playground images taken by photographer Kito Fujio.

Titled ‘Park Playground Equipment’ his unique project documents various children’s playground throughout Japan. Often photographed in the depth of night (to avoid the crowds) and with soft illumination, Fuji sets about capturing a vast array of unusual monsters and characters that call the playground their home. There’s giant frogs, retro robots, old-school technology, dragons and even a devil or two thrown in for good measure.

Veering from the downright bizarre to genuinely cute, these structures from Japanese playgrounds depict a world where children’s imaginations are encouraged to wander. That can only ever be a good thing.

You can see the entire series through Fujio’s site which is dedicated to the ongoing project.

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Japanese Daikon (Radish) Sculptures That Are Like Cute Works of Art

These adorable Japanese daikon nabe dishes represent the very best of Japanese winter food with an adorable twist.

Crafted by Masanori Kono, these cute creations are made of grated daikon radishes. Each character looks like an adorable cartoon plopped into a bowl of warming vegetables. By adding these little animals, Kono puts a sculptural twist on the Japanese version of a hot pot dish.

Pandas, lamas, sheep, and cats find their way into Kono’s playful work, looking highly satisfied and comfortable. These guys look like their taking a relaxing dip in a hot tub.

Seriously, what’s more comforting in winter than eating a bowl of warm food topped by a cute animal?

Find more of Kono’s cute food concepts on Twitter.

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When Japanese Pets Go To War (Adorable Pictures of Pets as Samurai)

Ever wanted to dress up your pet as a samurai? Now you can! Samurai Age is a Japanese company offering the tiniest Samurai armor around that is the perfect thing for your cat or dog.

Though originally focused on the human cosplay market, Samurai Age has recently achieved internet fame with their line of cat and dog armor. There’s just something unbelievably cute about seeing pets dressed in battle gear.

Each set of pet armor is available in red, blue, and yellow. Plus, thanks to the multi-piece design of the costume, your furry friend won’t be encumbered by their snazzy new gear.

You can order a set of pet-sized samurai armor here. 

Even if you don’t have a pet, looking at these adorable pictures of pets as samurai is definitely worth your time!

 

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Mt Fuji Facts: 10 Hidden Secrets You May Not Know

The often snow-capped Mt. Fuji is recognized all over the world as one of Japan’s greatest symbols. Each year, thousands of tourists climb the mountain for a chance to take in stunning sights and sunrises. While most people know of the mountain, not everyone knows these fun Mt Fuji facts! 

 

(1) The Suicide Forest 

Due to popular culture (and certain Youtubers), this Mt Fuji fact is starting to become common knowledge. Seicho Matsumoto’s 1960 novel “Tower of Waves” (波の塔) detailed the love affair of a woman and prosecutor up until their untimely death at the end when they commit suicide in Aokigahara forest. The deep “sea of trees” had long been associated with spirits, but since then there have been hundreds of suicides within the forest. While most rumours regarding the forest aren’t true, it’s still a pretty damn scary place to visit. 

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(2) Mental Warfare: A Red Fuji

During World War 2, there were some truly ridiculous and outright wacky ideas such as attaching bombs to bats. The idea of painting Mount Fuji red to demoralise Japan is equally if not more ridiculous. The plan was scrapped when they realised they’d need 12 tons of paint and 30,000 plains to manage it.  

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(3) To Mount Fuji and Back in 25 Minutes

In the 1960’s Fuji Kyuko had plans to bore a tunnel through the south-west side of the mountain with a cable car that would take you to the summit in just under 13 minutes. Although the plan was shot down by conservationists, they did have a catchy slogan: to the summit of Mt. Fuji and back in heels.

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(4) Debussy’s La Mer (the sea) was inspired by Mt. Fuji

Claude Debussy’s brilliant orchestral work, La Mer, is so free of traditions and influences that its modernity can still be felt today. Equally timeless was its inspiration, which is said to have come from the compelling force of the contrast between the wave and the mountain in Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave at Kanagawa.

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(5) A Mountain of no Prefectures

Although the mountain itself sits on the boundary between Shizuoka prefecture and Yamanashi prefecture; a 1974 Supreme Court ruling stated that all land above station 8 belongs to a sacred shrine.

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(6) A Thousand Yen View

Mt. Fuji, as it appears on Japan’s 1000 yen note, is a view from Lake Motosu and is based on a photograph by Koyo Okada, in which he captured Mt. Fuji’s upside down reflection in the lake.

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(7) Mt. Fuji License Plates

Mount Fuji doesn’t only appear on the thousand yen bill! Due to popular demand, and in an attempt to stimulate the local economy, Shizuoka prefecture created a Mt. Fuji license plate in 2008. It’s available in 6 different districts and has become a collectible for Mt. Fuji aficionados.

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(8) Not for Women

One of the more interesting Mt Fuji facts is that according to legend and rumor, Mt. Fuji used to be the abode of a fire goddess who would be jealous of any other woman in the vicinity. That’s why it has been said that women were not allowed to climb the mountain until 1868. 

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(9) Three for the Price of One 

It may not look like it, but this icon is actually made up of three separate volcanoes: Komitake at the bottom, Kofuji in the middle and Fuji at the top.

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(10) A Looming Threat

Despite its classification as a low-risk volcano, recent evidence suggests that the pressure below it rose after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. Using seismic sensors, scientists measured what’s known as “seismic noise”, the fluctuations of which tell them about disturbances in the bedrock. What they’ve found, they believe, indicates a “high potential” for a volcanic eruption. But don’t let that put you off a visit; the volcano is under the watchful eye of a team of geologists, and it’s unlikely to erupt with no prior warning signs.

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Hilarious Pictures of Japanese Mascots Getting Stuck

Japanese mascots can be found all around the country at events and shopping malls. In Japan, mascots are a huge business worth hundreds of millions. Whether it’s the world-famous Kumamon or the newly designed Tokyo Olympic mascots – there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with at least a couple of them. 

While everyone looks to take a few pictures with the huge, cuddly characters we’ve grown to love… their incredible size is not always convenient. Here is a collection of hilarious but adorable photos of Japanese mascots getting stuck in things. 

 

Things just aren’t going well for this strange fellow. 

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I don’t who came up with a giant pea for a mascot, but I have to wonder why?

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How do you get Pikachu onto an elevator? You Poke-him-on (pokemon)! 

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Let’s create a mascot! Okay, let’s give him a 4-meter circumference!

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“I’m sorry I’m late, boss… there was a huge panda that got his head stuck in the train…”

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I’m not even going to try to figure out what this is or why he is stuck in an elevator. 

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Japan needs more busses that are mascot-accessible. 

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Hey! Where do you think you’re touching with those hands! 

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Businessmen Can’t Keep Their Feet on the Ground With This Japanese Photo Trend

Japanese businessmen (salarymen) are known for being serious (majime), hard-working, and diligent. You rarely get to see them jumping in the air making a fool of themselves. That’s why this Japanese photo trend is so brilliant! Yuki Aoyama broke their stereotype by taking these incredible shots of Japanese businessmen jumping into the air with their daughter at their side.

 

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World of the Japanese Geisha: A Collection of Vintage Photos

Geisha have been known worldwide for their thick white make-up and their roots in Japanese culture. These entertainers achieve levels of status that even makes them famous and is a widely respected profession. You could even say they were the idols of Japan gone by. First appearing in the mid-eighteenth century, Japanese geisha have long filled the role of a ‘persons of the arts’ and even trendsetters. While it may seem like a glamorous lifestyle at first, a geisha must go through incredibly difficult training from a very young age. 

Geisha specialize in party-entertaining arts such as music, dance, and poetry. However, the first ever Japanese geisha were actually men! These days, geisha is a female profession that still occasionally entertain groups of customers at very high-end parties around Japan. 

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Japanese Grandma Takes Hilarious Selfies That Break The Internet

At 89-years-old, This Japanese grandma known as Kimiko Nishimoto hasn’t lost an ounce of her cheekiness and spirit. For the past 17 years, her hobby has been taking the most wonderful (and slightly idiotic) selfies and snaps. How can we not love them? Check out some of her works! 

 

THE THIEF

This is what the Japanese imagine when they hear the word ‘dorobo’ (thief). She pulls it off perfectly!

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THE BURNABLE GARBAGE 

You’re never too old to sort out your burnable and non-burnable garbage, but granny – that doesn’t mean you!

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THE LEFT OUT TO DRY

Have you seen grandma? Not since I washed her coat… OMG!

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THE BEERAHOLIC

After 60 years of drinking beer, she finally accomplished her mission and became one.

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THE OLD BUT GOLD

You never get too old for these kinds of gags!

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The Kappa

A kappa is a Japanese mythical creature that was known for eating cucumbers (and children)

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The Farmer

Granny dons a farmer’s outfit.

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The Walking Dead

Takes more than a shovel to the head to stop this grandma!

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The Gorilla

What a happy looking gorilla!

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Possibly The Most Incredible Photos of Mt. Fuji Ever Taken

These stunning pictures of Mt. Fuji were taken by Japanese photographer Takashi Nakazawa. These monochromatic scenes capture the quiet, clear hours around the mountain before the sun has risen.

Many say this is the perfect time to capture a snap of the iconic mountain. If you wait any longer, the atmosphere won’t be as clear and there will be too many clouds. 

For Nakazawa, these photos of Mount Fuji are a message to the world.

“I hope that people around the world will know Japanese charm through my Mt Fuji photos,” he says. “And I would like them to come to Japan and actually see it.”

Find more of Instagram.

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Yakuza: A Look Into Japan’s Infamous Criminal Organisation

If you know anything about Japan, you’ll probably have heard of the Yakuza at some point. You may have seen them in Jered Leto’s “The Outsider“, or perhaps in Jackie Chan’s “Shinjuku Incident“, or perhaps it’s the famous Yakuza tattoos you know of? 

No matter how you’ve heard of them, the fact is that the Yakuza are world-famous bad guys. They are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and have a large presence in the Japanese media and operate internationally with an estimated 102,000 members.

It’s not all bad though – The Yakuza have had mixed relations with Japanese society. They function as a police force in their areas of operation, to help reduce crime (that would be their competition). They also provide protection to businesses and relief in times of disaster. These actions have painted yakuza in a fairly positive light within Japan. However, gang-wars, and the use of violence as a tool have caused their approval to fall with the general public.

 

But what are Yakuza really like?

 After countless months of intense negotiations, Belgian (and brave) photographer, Anton Kusters was granted the opportunity to spend 2 years with one of the Yakuza gangs to document and photograph their way of life.

 

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He’s now put all these incredible experiences into a limited edition book titled Odo Yakuza Tokyo. Be sure to check out his website for more information.

Via Anton Kusters

Fun Fact: The name “yakuza” originates from the traditional Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu, a game in which the goal is to draw three cards adding up to a value of 9. If the sum of your hand exceeds 10, the second digit is used as your total instead, with the exception of 10 (which equals 1). If the three cards drawn are 8-9-3 (pronounced ya-ku-sa in Japanese), the score is 20 and therefore zero, making it the worst possible hand that can be drawn.

 

Hachiko the Dog: a WANnderful story of loyalty

WANderful? Get it? Wan-wan! Okay, enough with the terrible puns and let’s get down to talking about Japan’s most famous dog. 

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The story of Hachiko

The story starts in 1924 when a professor at the Japanese Imperial University brought home a two-month-old Akita puppy. Akita dogs are known for above all for their loyalty to their owners. 

Dr. Ueno named the little pup Hachiko. “Hachi” means 8 in Japanese, and refers to the fact that he was the 8th puppy to be born from his litter. “Ko” means duke or prince. So in English, his name could be translated as “The 8th Prince”! 

Hachiko enjoyed his life with his new owner. Akitas are large dogs, and it is said Hachiko grew to be over ninety pounds. This beautiful white dog accompanied Dr. Ueno to the Shibuya train station every morning, where Dr. Ueno would say goodbye to Hachiko and head to the university.

Every day when Dr. Ueno returned home Hachiko would be waiting for him at the train station and the two would go home together. Who wouldn’t want to have such an amazing bond with their dog? 


If things had continued like this, the story would still be one of admirable faithfulness from a dog to its master. But that was not the fate of Dr. Ueno and his loyal Akita puppy.

This is where the story turns from a tale of friendship to one of tragedy. May 21, 1925 – the day started out like any other day for the pair. In the morning, Professor Ueno left Hachiko at Shibuya Station. 

However, when Hachiko returned to Shibuya Station in the evening, his master was nowhere to be found. Though Hachiko patiently waited, Dr. Ueno never showed up.

Dr. Ueno had died from a stroke earlier that day.
Akitas are very loyal dogs and do not bond easily with new people. Hachiko was sent away to another area of Japan where there were relatives of Dr. Ueno’s who could take care of him. Because Hachiko had only belonged to Dr. Ueno for a little over a year, they probably hoped that the Akita would make a new family with them. However, the faithful dog ran away from the family and returned to the train station to wait for his master. The family realized that they couldn’t keep the big Akita dog from heading to Shibuya Station each day, so they gave Hachiko to Dr. Ueno’s old gardener who still lived in the area.

Every evening Hachiko would return to Shibuya Station and wait for Dr. Ueno to get off the six-o’clock train. And every day, Hachiko was disappointed. Still, he never missed a day of hoping that his master would return to him.

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A major Japanese newspaper reporter picked up the story of the loyal dog in 1932 and published it, which led to Hachiko becoming a celebrity all over Japan, and a symbol of loyalty.

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People started calling him “Chuken-Hachiko”, which means “Hachiko – the faithful dog”.

The story of the dog that never gave up gained a lot of attention also in national media, inspiring many people from all over the world to visit Hachiko at Shibuya Train Station. He even made it to Hollywood in “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale“. 

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The Drunk Salarymen – A Look Into Japan’s Drinking Culture

If you’re Japanese, work probably comes first – and you know what they say, right? Work hard, play hard. However, for many a salaryman – drinking is an obligation, not just a pleasure. Drinking parties (nomikai) are deeply ingrained in Japanese work culture.

Larger companies may hold them weekly (when someone retires, when someone enters the company, the birthday of your boss etc). For many workers, these parties are hard to decline, even if you’re not a big drinker. And even if you go with the intention of not drinking too much – when your bosses keep pouring you drink after drink… well, you end up like these drunk salarymen. 

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This series called the ‘The Drunk’, was done by photographer Lee Chapman who captures moments of black-out drunkenness on the streets of Tokyo. Public drunkness is typically tolerated in Japan, and if you’ve spent some time here, you’re sure to have seen this a lot. 

 

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Remember to always drink responsibly (unlike these guys)

This FLOATING Japanese Boutique Hotel is Best Place to Relax!

This floating Japanese hotel cruises along the Seto Inland Sea. Guests are invited to book one of its nineteen rooms for an incredibly peaceful and well-curated tour of the little islands dotting the sea.

The ship, known as Guntû, was designed by architect Yasushi Horibe and is named after little blue crabs found in the region there. The crabs are a local favorite for miso soup broth and the ship designers hope their floating hotel will soon be as popular.

Speaking of food, booking some time aboard this ship ensures you’ll eat well.

The menu is designed daily to reflect the mood of the passengers, weather, and of course, seasonal availability of local ingredients. All meals are incredibly fresh and the chef will even prepare little bento box lunches if you want to spend the afternoon exploring onshore.

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The top deck is probably the best part of this minimalist cruise ship hotel. Natural wood floors line the entire deck and partitions separate lounge areas with woven natural rug seating. The mountainous views are incredible and the setting is perfect for long hours spent reading or chatting with friends.

Of course, you can always order tea or beer from the bar nearby. The Guntû is definitely bucket list material, don’t you think?

Book that dream vacation here.

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Via The Contemporist