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Archive for the 'Japanese Culture' Category


Pachinko, Japan’s favorite pasttime


At first thought, Pachinko seem to be like the Japanese version of the pinball except that it’s not. It is actually a cross between a slot machine and a pinball machine. You amass these balls and then you win and if you’re lucky you get trays full of them. Pachinko is fun and so addictive it should be illegal because people are gambling money away for that euphoric feeling of WINNING.

I found an article which teaches even FOTB gaijins proper Pachinko etiquette, and was rather amused at the matter-of-factly tone of the write-up. It’s serious business when it comes to Pachinko, don’t let the colorful lights fool you.

Pachinko feature article at

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Etiquette, Japanese Culture, Misc, Nightlife, Social | 4 Comments »


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Useful Japanese Expressions

Guys, if you’re new in Japan, these Japanese expressions will get you blend in, in no time.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Etiquette, Japanese Culture, Misc, Social | 2 Comments »


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Child Access Protest

Japan does not recognize joint-custody?

It’s disturbing that Japanese people who are married to foreigners can actually hijack their kids away from their foreigner partners and GET away with it.

I don’t see the poor child has to suffer the loss of a parents just because the adults can’t keep their act together. Sigh, some sort of policies should be endorsed to protect foreigners who are married to Japanese citizens, at least acknowledge some rights in the procreation of the child. A baby is not born with just the egg or the sperm.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Culture, Law, Misc | 2 Comments »


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Hiroshima Peace Caligraphy Exhibition

Does this look like the works of a 3rd year student?

This beautiful work of caligraphy is to commemorate the peace exhibition in Hiroshima.

Winners of the 26th “Hiroshima Heiwa Shodo-ten” (Hiroshima peace calligraphy exhibition) were announced on Tuesday, Oct 28. This year’s exhibition drew some 4,889 entries from around Japan, which represent messages of peace.

About 900 works, including 303 winners of the exhibition’s Special Award, will be on display at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4.

The exhibition is co-organized by the Mainichi Newspapers and the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.


Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Culture, Misc, Social | No Comments »


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An Autumn Festival

Aki Matsuri, another seasonal festival that coincides with autumn in Japan. There are very few cultures that celebrate the start of a season and I find it rather poignant that the Japanese people do with their Shinto beliefs. Anyway, check out this recent video of Aki Matsuri in Kichijoji.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Japanese Culture | No Comments »


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8 Days of Paid Vacation, yearly

In Japan, the average paid vacation taken by the Japanese is only 8 days per year. That is astoundingly low as compared to France with 34 days paid vacation, followed by Italy and Spain with 27 days of paid vacation taken each year.

Among the reasons why Japanese employees can’t take paid holidays were, “Too busy with work” and “Their bosses and colleagues have yet to take their paid leave,” the survey found. When asked what countermeasures should be introduced to deal with the problem, most people said, “Managers should encourage workers to take more paid holidays.” The survey has underscored the importance of creating an environment that makes it easy for employees to take paid leave.

Read the rest…

Full Japanese story here.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Japanese Culture, Social, Work | No Comments »


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Holidaying Country Style


Currently there is a holiday tour in Japan that stresses on slow living and eco-friendly options. With the rise of fuel prices and expensive tickets, Japanese people are definitely opting to stay home bound for their holidays.

The Tokachi Hokkaido Country LIving is one such tour that promotes country living style to their clients. Tourists will travel to beautiful remote areas and living in a cottage style life. The price for an amish living costs around 250,000 Yen for this tour.

Got the buzz from the fellas at Kilian Nakamura.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Daily, Japanese Culture | 1 Comment »


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Events Calendar: Catching fireworks at play

During summers in Japan, a line of firework displays are scheduled weekly for the public eye in Tokyo. And usually these fireworks are a wrap up to festivals during the summer so here is a list of events to check out and mark on your calendar if you want to catch these work of art in the sky.

Yokohama 150th Anniversary Fireworks Festival
Sun July 20. Boom Factor: 6,000. 7:30-8:40pm. Nearest stn: Sakuragicho (JR Negishi line); Minato Mirai (Minato Mirai line). Tel: 0180-99-4045.

Katsuhika Noryo Fireworks Display
Tue July 22. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:20-8:20pm. Nearest stn: Shibamata (Keisei Kanamachi line). Tel: 03-3838-5558

Sumida River Fireworks
Sat July 26. Boom Factor: 20,000. 7:10- 8:30pm. Nearest stn: Asakusa (Tobu Isesaki line, Ginza line, Asakusa line); Kuramae (Oedo line). Tel: 03-5608-6951.

Teganuma Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 13,500. 7-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Abiko (JR Joban line); Kita- Kashiwa (JR Joban line). Tel: 04-7182-3131.

Sakura Shimin Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:20-9pm. Nearest stn: Usui (Keisei Main line). Tel: 043-4866-6000.

Ageo Fireworks Festival (Saitama)
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 13,000. 7-9pm. Nearest stn: Ageo (Takasaki line). Tel: 048-775-5917.

Atsugi Ayu Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom factor: 10,000. 7-8:40pm. Nearest stn: Hon-Atsugi (Odakyu line). Tel: 046-295-5496.

Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 8,000. 7:15-7:30pm. Nearest stn: Sakuragicho (JR line, Yokohama Municipal Subway); Minato Mirai (Minato Mirai line). Tel: 045-227-0744.

Edogawa City Fireworks
Sat Aug 2. Boom Factor: 14,000. 7:15-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Shinozaki (Shinjuku line); Koiwa, Ichikawa (Sobu line); Keisei Edogawa, Konodai (Keisei Main line). Tel: 03-5662-0523.

Seiseki Tama River Fireworks
Tue Aug 5. Boom Factor: 4,600. 7:30-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Seiseki Sakuragaoka (Keio line). Tel: 080-6574-1404.

Enoshima Fireworks
Tue Aug 5. Boom factor: 5,000. 7:15- 8:15pm. Nearest stn: Katase Enoshima (Odakyu line); Enoshima ( Enoshima line); Shonan Enoshima (Shonan Monorail). Tel: 0466-24-4141.

Tateyama Bay Fireworks Festival
Fri Aug 8. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:30-8:45pm. Nearest stn: Tateyama (JR line). Tel: 0470-22-8330.

Tokyo Bay Fireworks
Sun Aug 10. Boom factor: 12,000. 7-8:20pm. Nearest stn: Kachidoki; Hamamatsucho; Toyosu. Tel: 03-3248-1561.

Nikkan Sports 2007
Jingu Gaien Fireworks Festival Thu Aug 7. Boom Factor: 10,000. 7:30-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Sendagaya; Shinanomachi (Chuo-Sobu line); Yoyogi (Chuo-Sobu, Yamanote lines); Gaienmae, Aoyama-Itchome; Omotesando (Ginza line). Tel: 03-3547-0900.

Chofu City Fireworks
Sat Aug 23. Boom Factor: about 12,000. 7:20-8:30pm. Nearest stn: Keio Tamagawa. Tel: 042-481-7311.

Hachioji Festival
Fri 1-Sun 3. Some 1,500 participants stomp around carrying a flotilla of four-ton portable shrines. Day three is the highlight, when the six floats start a running battles, or buttsuke (literally, “hitting”). Nearest stn: Hachioji (Chuo line). Tel: 042-648-1531.

Asagaya Tanabata Festival
Sat 6-Wed 10. The highlight of this Tanabata “Star Festival” is the elaborate kusudama decorations. Nearest stn: Asagaya. Minami-Asagaya Tel: 03-3312-6181.

Fukagawa Hachiman Festival
Wed 13-Sun 17. One of the three biggest Shrine festivals in Tokyo. Also known as the water-covering festival: water is splashed while the crowd carries 120 portable shrines calling out “Wasshoi!” Nearest stn: Monzen Nakamachi (Tozai line or Oedo line). Tel: 03-3642-1315.

Azabu-Juban Festival
Fri 22-Sun 24. Hundreds of food stalls, plus traditional dancing and music. Expect large crowds. Nearest stn: Azabu-Juban. Tel: 03-3578-2111.

Asakusa Samba Carnival
Sat 30. Interesting combination of traditional Brazilian dance in Tokyo’s most traditional town. 1:30pm. Nearest stn: Asakusa. Tel: 03-3847-0038.

Koenji Awa Odori
Sat 23-Sun 24. A huge traditional summer dance festival in this vibrant area of western Tokyo. 6-9pm. Nearest stn: Koenji (Chuo line).

Super Yosakoi Festival 2008
Sat 23-Sun 24. The Tokyo alternative to the southern island of Kochi’s traditional dance festival featuring about 80 amateur teams. 10am-6pm. Nearest stn: Harajuku; Meiji-Jingumae; Omotesando. Tel: 03-5766-1320.

Katsushika Noryo Fireworks Display
Kicking off Japan’s hanabi season, the Edo River lights up with about 10,000 fireworks. Head over early to beat the crowds. July 22 7:20-8:20pm, free. Shibamata Baseball Field. Nearest stn: Keisei Kanamachi Line, Shibamata.

The list is courtesy of Metropolis.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Festivals, Japanese Culture, Misc, Nightlife, Social | No Comments »


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How to survive a Japanese Game Show

This reality TV program is aired in US/Canada since June and it’s extremely hilarious. We all know how extremely out of this world Japanese Game Shows are :P

Now, a bunch of Americans are taken to Japan to participate in this game show without prior knowledge in what they are about to expect.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Japanese Culture, Misc, Social | No Comments »


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Fishermen in Japan go on strike

Where will we get our fresh sashimis now?

A lot of people do not know or appreciate where their food comes from or who, in truth, is actually feeding them. It is people like the fisherman, the farmers and the cattle and sheep herders that are feeding people in the world. Without them, we’re too modernized to actually know how to use a fishing hook to catch our feed for the day.

Because of the rising oil prices, the fishermen in Japan have began a strike to protest against the fuel prices. Fishermen in my country do not earn an enormous amount of money after all costs are considered, they only have enough for the year providing if the season is a good one. And with this rising fuel prices, it would be almost impossible to make a decent living. I am not saying I am for this strike because fish prices is going to go up due to this protest, which will raise the prices in restaurants, etc if it goes on long enough….but whose fault is it really?

Fishermen across Japan suspended operations on Tuesday as part of a huge protest by 16 main fishing organizations to highlight hardships caused by surging fuel prices.

The one-day fishing suspension by organizations including the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations and the Japan Fisheries Association, representing about 200,000 fishing vessels altogether, was the first nationwide fishing stoppage sparked by high fuel prices.

Since the suspension halted the supply of nearly all fresh fish, there is a possibility that fish prices could temporarily be affected.

Under the move, the commercial operation of most domestic fishing boats was suspended. In addition to boats in home waters, vessels fishing for tuna and other fish in the open sea refrained from unloading fish at ports in Japan on Tuesday. Fish farming operators were also due to suspend shipments.

The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations said that the estimated going rate of A-type heavy oil used in fishing boats was 115,400 yen per kiloliter, roughly triple the price five years ago. For coastal fishing boats under 20 tons, the cost of fuel accounted for about 23 percent of operating costs in 2006, but recently it has reportedly passed 30 percent.

Read the rest…

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Cost of Living, Daily, Japanese Culture | No Comments »


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