holidays

How to deal with sushi harassment in the workplace

The following story is an important example of how one person’s holiday cheer can be another’s form of abuse in the workplace.

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26 scenes from one of the liveliest Coming of Age Day celebrations in Japan 【Photos】

For some young adults in Japan, Coming of Age Day is a somewhat solemn or drab affair, but in Kita-Kyushu it is anything but.

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Holiday screening of “Your Name” in Japan allows singing, cheering, and cosplay!

Laugh, cry, sing, and scream along with everyone at all of the plot twists and turns (even though we all know what’s going to happen)!

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Doraemon gives solid advice for how to survive the holidays with people you don’t like

And you don’t even have to build a giant Doraemon tree to do it.

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This Kentucky Fried Chicken Day we investigate the rumored “custom ordering”

We discover that it is possible to order thighs, breasts, or whatever piece of chicken you want in your bucket of Original Recipe KFC, but there are rules.

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Join in the holiday cheer by drinking a baked apple at Starbucks Japan this winter

As their third holiday drink this year, Starbucks Japan will be offering baked apples in drinkable form – served either hot or cold! 

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Get your sugar fix with a giant Pon de Ring doughnut from Mister Donut this Holiday Season!

If you want to enjoy a larger-than-life doughnut in Japan this winter season, hurry and place your order with Mister Donut now!

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Japanese “Exorcism Holiday Plan” for dogs helps rid them of bad spirits in their unlucky years

Have your pet feeling rejuvenated both physically and spiritually after a getaway in Japan.

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Traditional Japanese holiday gets boost with an injection of cold hard cash

A lesser-known Yamagata Prefecture custom may just be what Obon needs to stave off invasive species of the holiday kingdom like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.

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“My dog has basically forgotten me”—Tragic tales from Japanese net-users returning home【Photos】

Returning home for the holidays after being away for months at school or work, Twitterers all over Japan are finding their pets’ love is rather short-lived. Or at least their memories are!

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Ikea Singapore releases Christmas carol ad with adjustable “merry meter”【Video】

Can’t wait for Christmas or feeling a bit grinchy? Either way, Ikea is here to help with this cute, interactive commercial!

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Survey shows most Japanese employees don’t like Western-style work socials

With December less than two weeks away, Japanese companies are beginning to make preparations for their annual bounenkai (end-of-year) and shinnenkai (New Year) parties. Even if they’re the kind of people who sometimes duck out on after-work drinks with the boss, most Japanese employees are painfully aware that skipping the biggest corporate celebrations of the year is tantamount to career suicide.

Because large-scale events usually require more space than your average drinking party, many Japanese companies have recently been moving away from typical sit-down enkai banquets and are holding more Western-style events where staff are encouraged to move around freely and interact over a few drinks.

But according to a recent survey, these Western-style work socials are overwhelmingly unpopular in Japan. Here are the top seven reasons why.

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Get your Christmas caramel toffee fix with sweet Starbucks Japan holiday drinks and goodies

It’s that time of year again! Starbucks Japan has announced their line of holiday beverages and goodies! Yes, it’s amazing how quickly a year seems to go by, isn’t it?

This year, the coffee chain will be offering their customers seasonal goodness featuring caramel and toffee (and plenty of whipped cream), and if that’s how they’re expressing their holiday spirit, well, we have to say, “Bring the holiday sweetness on!!!”

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Our Japanese coworkers remind us that today is No Bra Day with words and photos

After a couple years of living in Japan, I got into the habit of sending out emails to fellow expats and other internationally minded friends on American holidays that aren’t really a big deal here. Nothing fancy, just a quick “Happy Thanksgiving!” or “Have a fun 4th of July!” It’s always nice to have a reason to celebrate, and I know from experience that without a reminder, some of these lower-profile holidays can get lost in the shuffle of our busy daily lives.

Meg, one of my Japanese-language coworkers, seems to have a similar mentality, since she sent out a message to remind us all that today, July 9, is No Bra Day. And just to make doubly sure she had our attention, she sent photos, too.

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Japanese website wishes users a Happy Xmas with sweet animation【Video】

Get into the Christmas spirit with this festive video featuring flip-book style animation and a Japanese rock rendition of “Happy Christmas”, put together than none other than master animator Tekken.

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We visit Hong Kong’s luminous landscape during the holiday season for an added holiday twinkle

During this time of the year, a lot of cities like to bring out elaborate light decorations to warm up their otherwise ice cold streets. Whether it’s for Christmas, New Year’s or just the heck of it, as the days grow darker the streets tend to go brighter.

So what about cities that are already known for their abundance of colorful lights? Do they to amp it up even more for the end of the year? Our reporter FelixSayaka went to Hong Kongto find out, a city that is said to have one of the most stunning skylines in the world. She came back with this handy list of places you should check out if in Hong Kong during the holiday season, or if you’re just into pretty pictures.

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Travel Warning: Beware Taiwan’s creepy zombie bus driver

I can only imagine what it would be like for a tourist from some far off country to inadvertently disembark in the United States right in time for the Halloween holiday. Stepping off the plane to be surrounded by blood-covered nurses, mad scientists and cackling witchcraft wielders would be extremely traumatizing for someone not specifically told that people are going to be walking around in costume like it’s no big deal.

Well, now I sort of have an idea of what that might feel like now that I’ve watched this YouTube video of a Taiwanese bus company that decided to replace its bus driver with a creepy zombie for Taiwan’s annual Hungry Ghost Festival.

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What’s that emoji? Let’s take a look at Japanese culture with these texting emoticons!【Part 2】

In Part 1 of this article, we learned some fun facts about three iconic foods so beloved by the Japanese that they, yup, became icons—how an old lady and a samurai gave birth to the first rice cracker; what it means to be called a pudding-head in Japan; and how a classic 1960s manga cemented the way oden would be illustrated for decades to come.

So get ready for Part 2, in which I’ll attempt to sift through millennia of history and get you further acquainted with three more emoticons!

First we’ll look at the mythical tengu, a complex, multifaceted creature that in modern times pops up in things like Digimon and the Mega Man series. Then we’ll check out a New Year’s decoration that may have originated from taketaba, a shield made from bundled bamboo that became necessary once firearms were introduced. To close, we’ll explore the customs and lore surrounding the Tanabata festival, including the romantic legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are both star-crossed lovers and actual stars in the sky.

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Is Halloween in Japan evolving?

A recent Ameba News Japanese blog post asked a 37-year old American woman her thoughts on Halloween in Japan, and based on her answer you’d think Halloween in Japan was somehow expressly responsible for all the unhappiness in her life.

The woman asked the blog author, “Why do adults in Japan get drunk together and wear costumes on Halloween? Don’t they know it’s a holiday for kids?”

Her response seemed to be dripping with condescension, which inspired us to dig into just what Halloween is about in Japan and how it differs from the US, and if our research is any indicator, the holiday has really come into its own out here over the past few years.

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One in twenty Japanese people sunbathe nude – how does your country compare?

Ever sunbathed topless? How about totally nude? Expedia conducted an opinion poll across 21 countries to gather information on people’s holiday habits, and managed to slip in some cheeky questions on how much clothing people were willing to do without at the beach.

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