In Japan, countless numbers of bicycles are abandoned outside stations and on roadsides each year. While many will be turned into scrap metal and recycled, a percentage that are still deemed functional after a few repairs are being put to effective use as a mode of transport for nurses and midwives in developing countries like Ghana.
All Stories by Andrew Miller
Japan’s latest tourism offering looks set to capture the attention of both sightseers and locals seeking a spot of adventure. From the Japanese company that embarked on such enterprises as the open air double-decker bus comes the “land and water bus”. The development of the vehicle is part of a new Tokyo sightseeing strategy undertaken by Japanese automobile company “Hinomaru Bus”. The service, dubbed “Sky Duck Tokyo Splash Tour”, launched on March 2013 and has been fully booked since its first day of operation.
NHK, Japan’s public service broadcasting corporation, has created a technology which offers hope to the visually impaired by making use of the sense of touch in relaying information to the brain. The technology promises to be able to recreate the sense of touching an object with your fingers or hands despite the object not actually existing in the real world. It is a technology that could endow the visually impaired with a much higher degree of sensual richness.
On April 20, a woman who ordered a smoothie at a restaurant in China was shocked to discover that it wasn’t just fruit and a little ice that made up her drink. Upon closer inspection, what looked like dead and dying cockroaches could be distinctly seen floating around in the drink. Thoroughly abhorred by the presence of creepy crawlies in her healthy beverage, the woman made a complaint to the restaurant. The waitress who had served it to her, however, refused to accept the claim.
In recent years, the use of law-evading hallucinogenic herbs has been becoming more popular among young people in Japan. These herbs have properties similar to those of illegal drugs like cannabis, however due to their synthetic nature, many users fail to see the real dangers lurking behind them. As an initiative to prevent widespread misuse, the government produced a comprehensive list of chemicals that are banned in the sale and use of law-evading hallucinogenic herbs on March 22, 2013. The chemical substances on the list recently rose from 92 to 851. However many shops are selling a modified version of the banned herbs in attempt to evade the issues of legalities and keep profits alive. In this way, it is a cat and mouse game where once one chemical has been outlawed, a similar substance carrying slightly altered chemical properties is quick to make its way on to the market. While effects of inhaling these herbs are similar to hallucinogenic drugs, shopkeepers claim that they are solely for aromatic purposes. Of particular concern is that the number of online law-evading herb shops is also increasing.
Two years after Japan’s great earthquake and the Daiichi nuclear diaster comes a documentary that tells of the citizens who still can’t return home to Iitate Village in Fukushima due to the high levels of radiation.
Over at our sister site, Pouch, film critic Kaori Saito was given the opportunity to check out the film production of “Iitate Village, the Problem of Radiation and Returning Home” (in Japanese “Iitate-mura hoshano to kison”) before it was released to the Japanese public on May 4. Kaori comments that the work deserves particular credit for its delicate treatment of the continuing problem of radiation and the depiction of the struggles of the inhabitants affected.
For the readers who are unfamiliar with Iitate, it is a village that is located 30 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant within the prefecture of Fukushima. While it is reasonable to believe that the level of radioactive contamination would be comparatively low for an area this far from the power plant, due to the strong winds, snow and rain that occurred directly following the disaster, the actual levels of contamination far exceeded original estimates. For Japan and Iitate Village, unprecedented levels of radiation poured down, making the land uninhabitable and thus leaving the former residents no alternative but to abandon their village and seek refuge elsewhere.
According to news correspondence from Wuhan City in China, a Chinese-Korean woman used the internet to befriend a man from China only to discover that on meeting face to face, he fell short of her expectations. The woman then contacted local authorities claiming that she had been “cheated.”
The woman, Ms. Chan (35), who is of Chinese descent but possesses Korean nationality and resides in the city of Suwon, Korea, first made contact with the Chinese man (37) from Wuhan, China, via the Chinese instant messenger software QQ. The man is believed to be employed part-time. After several chat sessions, the couple are said to have hit it off and as a natural course of events, the woman suggested flying over to China to meet in person. However, for one reason or another, the man would always claim to be busy and say that it was difficult for him to take time off from work.
It as been reported that engineers at Japan’s fast breeder reactor plant Monju made a mistake during testing of the plant’s emergency power generator, which subsequently resulted in the release of black smoke and the ringing of the plant’s fire alarm.
An article published in a special edition of Japanese weekly Shukan Bunshu has suggested that potentially hazardous chicken sourced from China may be finding its way into fast food in Japan. The article, composed by writer Shuuji Okuno, begins by posing the following question:
“Would you still be willing to put a chicken nugget in your mouth if you knew the real story? The hazards of China’s domestic chicken meat!”
Our attention well and truly grabbed, we delved inside. Read More
The number of Japanese women who are struggling with food and living expenses is reported to be on the rise. While most women try to increase their earnings by taking on an extra part time job or even changing occupations completely, there are others who resort to some rather unscrupulous methods. One such method is to use interactive smartphone games to trick men into buying them dinner to reduce the burden of their food costs.
All the men out there, brace yourselves as what is about to unfold will leave you squirming!
The beginning of May is host to a long holiday period in Japan known as “Golden Week”. Originally given the moniker by shopkeepers and business owners on account of the amount of custom they received during the holidays, Golden Week provides many a hard working Japanese person with the chance to put their feet up and rediscover what it feels like not to have to clock in, don overalls or stare at a computer screen all day, with many instead heading back to their home towns for family reunion or taking trip to tourist attractions.
With China’s May Day holiday also coinciding with Golden Week, the Korean tourist industry usually sees an influx of tourists from both countries eager to relax, see the sights and spend their hard-earned cash. Due to the yen’s sudden drop in value, however, many Japanese tourists are putting their travel plans on hold this year, opting to stay closer to home where their money with stretch further. Korea, it would seem, has been left looking to Chinese tourists alone to boost its economy this holiday season.
Tadashi Yanai, chairman and director of Fast Retailing and the main force behind the expansion of Japanese clothes retailer UNIQLO, has recently made public his intentions to introduce a worldwide universal wage system for shop managers and high ranking employees. This would effectively mean that regardless of the country in which a worker is employed, while working for UNIQLO they would receive the same amount of pay. Yanai believes that regardless of a country’s political and social circumstances, an equal amount of work deserves an equal wage.
According to an AFP report dated 16 April, 2013, Korean electronics company Samsung hired Taiwanese university students to publish slanderous articles on the internet about Taiwanese smart phone manufacturer HTC. Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission is currently investigating the matter and there are already reports that Samsung is admitting outright to the misconduct in its marketing strategies.
After careful deliberation, if Taiwan’s Fair Trade Committee deem Samsung’s most recent stealth marketing strategy to be illegal, it will mean Samsung paying a US$835,000 penalty.
A thesis which assesses the risks of internal radiation exposure within Fukushima Prefecture following the explosions at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, suggests that the effects of internal radiation fall far below that recorded after Chernobyl.
Ryugo Hayano, who works as a professor at Tokyo University’s Science Research Department, has collected the findings of doctors who conducted research into internal radiation exposure among those living inside of the Fukushima Prefecture. He consolidated these findings into an English journal entitled ‘Proceedings of Japan Academy Series B89’, which is available on the net.
The latest journal is a collection of reports that looks at the degree of radiation exposure through daily food consumption and it is reported to be the first of its kind.
On April 10, the mayor of Kyoto Keiji Yamada made public his intentions to appeal to the government to award overseas students who graduate from Kyoto University with the right to permanent residence. It is a proposal entitled ‘Kyoto University Special Ward’ and also incorporates other supportive measures for foreign students. With a decrease in student intake within Japan in recent years, it is hoped that by providing incentives for academically skilled overseas students, Kyoto will not only be able to compete with other cities like Tokyo but will also be able to add a new lease of life to its cultural city.
In the past decade or so, the widespread use of computers in both the public and private sphere has seen the personal computer become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Whether it be creating a chart of company expenditures or simply recording important appointments in a software-based diary, almost all of our work has been a layer of digital varnish. The birth of the laptop computer has meant that work can be done virtually anywhere, with a wealth of information available in a few clicks and taps of the keyboard. As wonderful as all this is, it’s easy to overlook some of the problems that arise from a computer-centric life. Here we’ll take a good, hard look at the downside to spending the vast majority of our day plugging in and screen-facing.
Wherever we go out into society, we are reminded to some degree of our gender. The most obvious example would be the male or female washrooms, or public baths. Similarly, the adult video corner in video and DVD rental shops is one which attracts what is predominantly a male customer base. Owing to this, the adult video rental corner is a place that has given rise to a rather peculiar phenomenon; something that is known as the ‘gentleman spirit’. Follow us as we explain all below!
A research team, whose major investors include some of the biggest telecommunications companies in Japan, has announced that it has successfully deciphered the contents of human dreams with high precision by analyzing the human brain’s activity during sleep.
At around 10 a.m. on April 2, a man living in the town of Fukuchiyamashi, Kyoto called the police after he discovered that the light of a nearby parking lot had been vandalized with white spray-paint. Upon arriving at the scene, officers also discovered that an expensive, multi-function toilet had been stolen from a park located nearby.
Earler this week, Japanese website Niconico ran an article suggesting that the capsules containing ground up human fetuses are being smuggled into Korea.
As shocking as it sounds, this is not the first time such stories have appeared online. Incheon International Airport Customs and Excise Department reportedly made public the discovery on 31 March this year.
- Japanese duo support Lady Gaga with a unique cover of Telephone
- Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs creates high fashion Hatsune Miku
- From Russia with love (for J-pop), we present trilingual cover band Pudra
- What Are You Afraid Of? 19 Bizarre Phobias Revealed
- Chinese woman wearing nothing but an iPad on subway picked up by authorities
- Waiter, I think some pasta got into my plate of locusts
- Welcome to the future: Control your computer with a wave of your hand
- Japanese duo support Lady Gaga with a unique cover of Telephone1
- What Are You Afraid Of? 19 Bizarre Phobias Revealed2
- From Russia with love (for J-pop), we present trilingual cover band Pudra3
- Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs creates high fashion Hatsune Miku4
- Chinese Photoshop Trolls Part 3: This Time It’s Personal5
- Chinese Photoshop Trolls Part 3: This Time It’s Personal1
- China’s Photoshop Experts Will Fix Your Bad Photos, But Be Careful What You Wish For2
- Chinese Photoshop Trolling Part 2: Now with 20% More Shirtless Men!3
- Fashion Friends: Twitter Proves Almost Every Japanese College Student Wears the Same Exact Outfit4
- Take a Ride on the Zoo Train Where the Seats Stare Back5
- We Made Coca-Cola Transparent and Colorless. It Tastes Like…1
- Peenzilla Worship! Japan’s Kanamara Festival Coming Up this April!2
- Chinese Woman on Trial for Killing Man by Squeezing His Scrotum3
- Before and After: 31 Startling Images of Plastic Surgery in Korea 【Photo Album】4
- Chinese Student’s Bicycle Seat Breaks and… Gyah!5
- Male to Female in 14 Months! Series of Photos Document Transgender Girl’s Amazing Transformation
- Japanese mom shows daughter how it’s done with awesome old-school gaming notebook
- Ukraine’s Anime Girl and Real Barbie Meet Face to Eerie Face!
- Japanese iPad artist is the Leonardo da Vinci of digital finger paints 【Video】
- Wanted! Good smartphones for cute dogs to sit on
- Is the fountain of youth located in Japan? New study supports beauty claims of famous Japanese hot spring
- Japan Still Skeptical of PSY’s Popular Appeal
- “Blue Dragon” Sea Slug Reminds Us That the Ocean is Filled With Strange Creatures That Look Like Pokemon
- Fast Cars, Tree Houses, Anime, and Secret Rooms: Crazy Beautiful Cafes in Tokyo and Yokohama
- The Mega Potato is Finally Here!!! McDonald’s Potato Party Fans Rejoice!