internationalism

Five things that shock Japanese people living abroad

Travel-broadened Japanese Twitter users share their stories of culture shock and pleasant surprises.

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The woman on the “I’m glad I’m Japanese” posters spotted in Kyoto? She’s actually Chinese

Turns out the controversial posters aren’t quite as nationalistic as their creators likely intended them to be.

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Kimono Project is creating a different kimono to represent every country on Earth【Photos】

Crowdfunding campaign opens for Japanese international friendship initiative’s gorgeous designs.

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“I’m glad I’m Japanese” posters in Kyoto spark outrage among Japanese Twitter users

Mysterious posters draw concerned comments about the insensitive mentality of their anonymous creators.

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Emperors, anime icons, and porn stars show up in six-nation survey of most famous Japanese people

Respondents in the U.S., China, and four other countries’ top 10 answers included Pokémon, military leaders, and adult film actresses.

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Japanese man extends heart, covers eyes for blindfolded free hug experiment in China 【Video】

Moving results offer hope for improved relations between the two nations.

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Five Japanese misconceptions about foreign male/Japanese female couples

Japanese blogger and internationalist Madame Riri explores five prejudices and misconceptions foreign male-Japanese female couples experience in Japan.

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Five ways college life is different in Japan and the United States

From fashion to extracurricular activities, the lives of an American colleges students are an ocean apart from their counterparts in Japan.

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University lecturer calls out his lazy Japanese students, praises his hard-working Chinese ones

Japan places a tremendous importance on education. Many would even argue that studiousness is part of Japan’s national character, and diligent students are seen as source of pride and an object of respect in Japanese society.

Nevertheless, a lecturer at one of Japan’s renowned universities is calling out the lazy Japanese youths he says he encounters in his classes, while praising his hard-working Chinese and Southeast Asian pupils.

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We ask Japanese people about their favorite aspects of eight different cultures

We often hear about foreigners’ favorite parts of Japanese culture, like trains running on time and unparalleled customer service, but it’s not every day that we hear from Japanese people about their favorite parts of foreign cultures.

With that in mind, one of RocketNews24’s Japanese-language writers decided to interview a few well-traveled Japanese people and hear some of their favorite aspects of the different cultures they’ve experienced and how they compare to their own.

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Video asks young Japanese adults what they know about Canada. Do they know more than you?【Video】

Though referred to by some as “America’s hat,” Canada is actually one of the most highly regarded countries in the world. In fact, it was recently raanked the most admired by the Reputation Institute, with Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia following. Of course, this survey was apparently focused on respondents in G8 countries, so there was probably a bit of a bias, but it’s obvious that many think quite highly of the large country.

But what do young Japanese people think of Canada? Would they like to visit? And how much do they actually know about the country anyway? Watch the video blow to find out and see if you beat these (mostly) college students in some Canadian trivia!

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50 things our Japanese reporter learned while driving in the U.S.

Our Japanese-language reporter Go recently returned from a trip to the U.S. While there, he hunted for aliens and sampled the local cuisine, but mostly what he did was drive.

While Japan is filled with winding mountain passes that make for enjoyable drives, the wide-open American road has an appeal all its own. After days of barreling down the highways of the southwest, Go came back to Japan with these 50 experiences he had driving in the U.S.

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Four areas in which Japan needs to improve if it wants to attract more overseas travelers

Japan’s National Tourist Organization recently released its statistics on the number of overseas travelers who visited in the country in 2014, and we’re proud to say that 13,413,467 of you came to visit (though we’re also a little hurt that so few of you called us up to get ramen while you were here). That number represents almost a 30-percent increase from the number of foreign tourists Japan received in 2013, and a whopping 60-percent jump compared to 2012.

Still, Japan only ranks 27th globally in its ability to draw travelers from abroad, making it eighth in Asia, behind world-number 22 Korea and number four China.

So what’s holding Japan back from becoming an even more popular international travel destination? RocketNews24’s non-Japanese staff put our heads together, and after getting over the initial pain from our foreheads violently colliding, came up with the following list of areas Japan could do better in that foreign travelers would definitely appreciate.

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The changing face of Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo and the decline of Japan’s biggest Korea Town

If you are looking for some Korean food while in Tokyo, the place to go is Shin-Okubo. The famed “Korea Town” in the middle of the metropolitan Tokyo area has served as a gathering place for fans of Korean TV dramas, K-pop music and Korean cuisine. Sadly, though, what was once was a bustling consumer zone for people who loved all things Korean, though, has seen its fortunes decline in recent years, and there are a number of theories as to why.

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American marketing turns anime’s Doraemon into an ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! star

Even if a movie or TV series has elements that give it a broad international appeal, different countries might take very different approaches in marketing it. For example, Disney’s Big Hero 6 had a pretty even mix of exciting and heart-warming scenes, but as we looked at before, U.S. ads emphasized the former, while in Japan Disney relied on the latter to fill theater seats.

Now, we’re seeing that phenomenon running in the other direction. Classic anime Doraemon just got picked up for a second season in the U.S., set to start on June 15. But while in Japan the titular blue robot cat is seen by many as a symbol of relaxed family programming, some American commercials are portraying him as an action star.

Oh, sorry, we meant to say they’re portraying him as an ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! ACTION! star.

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Anime series Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, also known by its Japanese nickname Danmachi, looks like the breakout hit of this TV season. What’s the secret to its success? Well, it could be the way it fuses video game conventions onto its fantasy setting, or the popularity pump-priming light novels and manga that preceded the animated adaptation.

Or it could be the outfit of female lead Hestia, which is inventive even by the already outlandishly sexy standards of anime costume design with its boob-lifting ribbon that’s become known as rei no himo, or “The String” among fans in Japan.

It’s already making inroads into the cosplay world, with anime shops selling replicas, or sometimes handing them out for free. So strong is The String’s appeal that it’s also serving as muse for talented otaku costume crafters, and even helping foster international friendship on the streets of Tokyo.

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Expats give their opinions on Chinglish, China’s garbled English translations 【Photos】

We’ve talked before about Engrish, the often humorously garbled form of English that peppers products and signage in Japan. The phenomenon isn’t unique to Japan, though, as the expat community in China also often comes across similar blunders, which the local community sometimes refers to as Chinglish.

But are these botched translations a sign of callous disrespect, or the end result of earnest effort coupled with sub-par linguistic skills? That was the question put to users of China Daily’s Internet forum, and here’s what a few had to say.

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Blogger offers four pieces of advice for foreign women looking for love with a Japanese guy

Blogger Madame Riri often writes about her experiences as a Japanese woman in an international relationship who’s spent a considerable amount of time living abroad. Recently, though, she took a look at women in the opposite situation.

Sifting through the writings of Grace Buchele Mineta, a Texas-born expat married to a Japanese man and living in Japan since three years ago, Madame Riri pulled out four pieces of advice for non-Japanese women in or looking for a romantic relationship with a Japanese man in Japan.

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We try Japan’s most exclusive beer at the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka【Taste test】

In recent years, Japan’s gotten pretty into craft brewing. A few of the more prominent brands can be tracked down at specialty liquor stores in major cities like Tokyo, but many smaller outfits don’t have anything close to a national distribution network. For example, if you’re in the mood for a nice Doppo or Miyajima Beer, you’re looking at a trip out to Okayama or Hiroshima, respectively.

Still, most Japanese microbrews aren’t too hard to get your hands on, as long as you’re in the city, or at least the prefecture, where they’re made. Recently, though, we tried what might be the most exclusive beer in Japan, which is served in one place only, inside the U.S. naval base in the city of Yokosuka.

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Blogger offers her top four tips for Japanese women dating foreign guys

A while back, we dissected a list from blogger and internationalist Madame Riri about three things Japanese women do that scare off foreign guys. Love is a two-way street though, which means the romantic roadblocks run in both directions.

Today, we’re taking a peek at Madame Riri’s latest batch of bullet-pointed suggestions, which focuses on her top four tips for Japanese women looking for a successful relationship with a man from overseas.

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