Illegally parking bicycles is a persistent problem in Japan, and one creative train station has come up with a new strategy to stop people from leaving bikes where they shouldn’t – by putting cute illustrations done by children on the ground!
On 1 December Yokohama customs and police departments announced the arrest of an allegedly high ranking 49-year-old member of the Sumiyoshikai yakuza group along with six other men in a case of smuggling. They found in his possession 17kg of rock salt, which was actually planted on him by Yokohama customs agents prior to his arrest. All involved are considering it a flawless example of proper law-enforcement.
If you’re confused by this then you might not be familiar with the police tactic known as “oyogasesosa” (swim investigation) or “controlled delivery” as it’s called in English speaking countries.
Japan tends to be a very drug-shy country. Most people you talk to will say that they’ve never gone anywhere near substances like marijuana, and according to a Public Library of Science survey, 98 times out of 100 they’re telling you the truth.
And yet you might be surprised to hear that there is an abundance of cannabis growing wild all over the northern island of Hokkaido. But before you go booking a ticket, you may want to learn why.
Nov 4, 2014
Prostitution is often called the oldest job in history. While that seems like a less-than-realistic claim, it doesn’t change the fact that the sale and purchase of sex has been around for millennia and will likely continue despite the various efforts to ban it. However, that hasn’t stopped some from trying. Take, for example, a Russian politician who recently suggested that people caught with prostitutes ought to face a fine and prison term–unless they agree to marry the sex worker!
Oct 27, 2014
Last Friday, on the recommendation of a special committee the Abe cabinet agreed to suggested changes to the Fueiho laws which place severe and unclear regulations on dancing in Japan.
As we reported last week, under Fueiho (Act on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Business), businesses such as nightclubs are required to operate under a loosely defined set of parameters. However, most didn’t. This led to a string of raids and closures which crippled the night club scene in much of Japan.
After these new changes pass through the Diet, clubs will be allowed to host dancing after midnight – provided the lighting is bright enough.
Oct 20, 2014
On 15 October it was reported that Masatoshi Kanemitsu would have to go back to court after being acquitted by the Osaka District Court. His alleged crime: allowing his customers to dance in the Umeda area club he owned called Noon.
This kind of law prohibiting dancing might sound straight out of some fundamentalist theocracy, but it’s alive and well in Japan. Actually, it’s far worse than a draconian “no dancing whatsoever” law that you know where things stand; nightclubs in Japan seem to allow dancing until someone in authority decides otherwise. There’s no way to know until officers start bursting through your doors.
This sword dangling over the heads of the remaining clubs is called the Act on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Business or Fueiho for short. So let’s take a quick look at why this law is crushing dancing in Japan, and I’ll do my best to avoid any Footloose references.
Oct 18, 2014
It’s often said that nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes, but for one Osaka resident, that maxim was little more than an old wives’ tale.
One day, the taxman came calling to the tune of 816 million yen (US$7.7M) over years of unreported winning horse race bets. However, in a game where the house always wins, this guy managed to flip the script and knock down the money owed to a relatively modest 67 million yen ($635,000).
Sep 3, 2014
Japanese people love to take pictures. Whenever you see them on vacation, no matter if it’s their first time or their thousandth time, they are always taking them. In fact, Japan was one of the first countries to sell mobile phones equipped with a camera back in 2000. Having a camera on you at all times sure does come in handy, as you’ll always be able to capture that special moment wherever you are.
Unfortunately, sometimes that special moment is a peep-shot or a scandalous photo which is certainly a violation of privacy. Japan has taken a very no-nonsense approach to help stop these highly inappropriate photos, and it comes in the form of the Anti-Nuisance Ordinance. So powerful is this law that the latest person to be arrested has caused a bit of commotion. His crime? Taking a picture of a fully-clothed woman sitting beside him on the train.
Sep 3, 2014
If you’re like me and enjoy riding a bike while smoking a cigar, kicking a soccer ball around, with a group of friends and your dog while also shooting off a bottle rocket or two when going to the park, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that will accept you.
But you don’t even have to be nearly as obnoxious as I am to be denied entry into some of the thousands of municipal parks across Japan. In recent years, the number of bans on a vast range of activities ordinarily done it parks from riding bikes to walking dogs have been getting banned at an alarming rate.
At least, they would be, but alarms are also probably banned in many parks.
Jun 22, 2014
It’s only been a few months since Japan’s consumption tax jumped from five to eight percent, making everything consumers buy instantly at least three percent more expensive. Some sneaky retailers even took advantage of the opportunity by tacking an extra three percent onto their displayed, pre-tax prices.
Now comes a rumor of an entirely new revenue stream the Japanese government might be moving to secure: a tax on cell phones.
Scott R Dixon
Jun 17, 2014
Singapore may have a reputation for being an extremely safe and clean country, but there is a good reason for that—very strict laws. The infamous gum ban is just one of the many rules in Singapore designed to keep the city-state tidy and well-behaved. So if you are planning a trip to Singapore (besides perfecting your race-walking skills) you might want to check out some other local laws that are surprisingly stricter compared to other developed countries. Click below to read about 10 laws in Singapore that you should probably follow unless you plan on taking an up close and personal tour of a Singapore jail!
Jun 12, 2014
When starting a new business, one of the most important things to do is build name recognition. An easy, if ethically questionable, way of doing this is to base your company’s name on an existing, more recognized brand, such as calling your new restaurant McBurgers, or your talent agency filled with only the most charming and pleasant-smelling individuals RocketGoodSmell24.
Of course, McDonald’s would probably put a stop to such a plan, even if you weren’t directly competing with them in the fast food market. In fact, the company would probably be all the more swift in dropping the hammer if you were setting up shop in an industry it wants to avoid any association with. For example, if you were a budding pimp and called your brothel McHumptown, you could expect an angry letter from the Golden Arches.
You know who else doesn’t like being connected to the skin trade? Denny’s, as three men in Japan who appropriated the restaurant’s logo for their sexual services company just found out.
As a sign of China’s continuing integration into the global community, the country’s long-standing ban on video game consoles was lifted last year. This doesn’t mean Chinese gamers are free to enjoy all that modern gaming has to offer, as censorship regulations mean certain types of content aren’t allowed.
Some of the problem areas are nebulously defined, such as restrictions on games that “besmirch the image of China” or “intentionally blacken the image of the Chinese army.” A possible upcoming addition to the list of punishable offenses is a little easier to understand: no more video game characters wearing bikinis.
Mar 25, 2014
Once upon a time, the North American video game market was incredibly squeamish about gory content. The blood and guts present in Japanese releases were painstakingly removed, most hilariously with the North American version of Neo Geo title Samurai Shodown, which retailed for $200 in 1993. Apparently the game’s producers thought their customer base was old enough to have that kind of cash in their pockets, but still too young to handle the sight of a little crimson hemoglobin, so they replaced the fountains of blood that occurred in the game’s swordfights with geysers of what appeared to be highly pressurized milk.
Eventually, everyone saw how silly this was. Gamers as a whole were getting older and more mature, and the youth of Japan, where this kind of content had been allowed for years, weren’t turning into crazed remorseless killing machines. So restrictions were loosened, allowing games like Grand Theft Auto to top North American sales charts.
Now, things have come full circle, as a side by side video comparison of publisher Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes shows less graphic content in its Japanese version.
Mar 19, 2014
As Japan’s population continues to grow older, the nation is having to change to cope with the challenges that come with this aging demographic. The following story is just one unfortunate example of how current systems can fail to meet the needs of the elderly.
Feb 24, 2014
Back when I was applying for my first Japanese work visa, there was a thick stack of paperwork I had to submit. Most of the items made sense, but one that struck me as weird, though, was my college diploma. I knew that Japanese law required a college education for the visa I was applying for, but wouldn’t sealed, authenticated transcripts make more sense than a personal diploma, which could be easily forged for 20 bucks at any print shop, or even with a high quality home-use printer?
Nope, I was informed, it had to be the diploma. That’s the paperwork they give you when you graduate, right? After all, from the standpoint of honest and by-the-book Japanese society, who would be so dishonest as to provide false educational credentials?
How about a man in Osaka, who taught junior high school for 15 years without ever obtaining his teaching credential.
Who doesn’t love a good vacation? Particularly for working adults, it’s the only time we can take a step back from our hectic work lives, unleash the wild-child within us, and perhaps do something silly without worrying about (too many) repercussions since we’ll be jetting off in a couple of days.
But wait, hold your horses! The last thing you would want to do on an overseas vacation is to unknowingly breach the law, right? Some of the things that we normally do in our homeland might be illegal in other parts of the world. Things as normal as ladies wearing pants. Strange, huh? There’s more coming up!
I’ve never been bothered by being asked for proof of age when buying beer. Maybe it’s because even when I was 16 I apparently already looked old enough that strangers in convenience store parking lots would ask me to buy a six pack for them, but I never took a clerk asking to see my ID as an insult. I simply accepted it as part of the societal dance necessary to procure my beloved barley juice.
Some drinkers in Japan, though, take offense at being asked for proof that they’re not minors. The Aeon Group, one of Japan’s largest retailers, has responded with a generous change in policy, and will no longer ask certain customers for confirmation of age, despite the fact that Japan’s underage drinking prevention is already ridiculously easy to circumvent.
Jan 8, 2014
Despite the thriving grey market that has existed since the ban was put in place 14 years ago, both gamers in China and console manufacturers outside the country will no doubt be excited to learn that China’s State Council yesterday lifted restrictions on the importation and sale of foreign video games consoles, albeit on a “temporary” basis. That’s right: China may soon became a legitimate market for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft once again.
Dec 18, 2013
On 16 December, Judge Ryosuke Takahashi of the Fukuoka District Court ruled in favor of Japan Rail Kyushu and ordered a Higashi Ward resident to pay 1.3 million yen (US$13,000) to compensate for damages brought about his near daily urination routine over the course of six months.
- Ready to tie the anime knot? Company offers marriage certificate for you and your 2D waifu1
- New Evangelion short film now streaming on animation studio’s website2
- Latest evolution of Pokémon cafe to open in Shibuya this January3
- One more time! Anime fans choose the series they’d most like to see rerun on TV4
- Too busy to wrap Christmas presents? Not if you’ve got 12 seconds, Japanese store shows【Video】5
- Love dolls, strippers, jacuzzis and drugs: The Philippines’ largest prison gets raided by police6
- 11 never-ending hypnotic GIFs that just made a portion of our weekend disappear mysteriously7
- “2D vs. Katana” exhibition shows off recreations of swords from anime and video games in Osaka8
- Rock band KISS collaborating with Sailor Moon Crystal’s Momoiro Clover Z9
- 20 crazy facts about North Korea10
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Character images of new Digimon Adventure series released, expected to air in spring 20153
- Chinese dude bags super hot Ukrainian wife, generates major envy online4
- Life imitates (Sword) Art (Online) as Japanese gamers find they can’t log out of online RPG5
- Artist magically transforms Sailor Moon characters into black women6
- Japan’s cutest rodent commuters take the high-road【Video】7
- Our hero Ladybeard shows us and the world how to properly wear the much-talked about boob shirt8
- 39 looks at the lighter side of Asia9
- How humanity ends: Virtual reality headset hooked up to Tenga love cup for men 【Video】10
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood1
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin2
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】3
- How to say “I love you” in Japanese – 47 different ways 【Videos】4
- Japanese man proposes to girlfriend with Guinness World Record-winning GPS drawing5
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings6
- A Ghibli mystery solved — the identity of exotic looking food in Spirited Away revealed!7
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】8
- Hayao Miyazaki comments on Chihiro’s final test scene in Spirited Away9
- Fashion gone wrong? Boob shirts take Twitter by storm10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】3
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China4
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood5
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin6
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked7
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours8
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】9
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school10
- Love dolls, strippers, jacuzzis and drugs: The Philippines’ largest prison gets raided by police
- 11 never-ending hypnotic GIFs that just made a portion of our weekend disappear mysteriously
- “2D vs. Katana” exhibition shows off recreations of swords from anime and video games in Osaka
- Rock band KISS collaborating with Sailor Moon Crystal’s Momoiro Clover Z
- 20 crazy facts about North Korea
- Clever cat duo cause havoc in the bathroom but are too cute to scold
- Tips from Japan to make your skin extra beautiful! It begins with a bath and…
- Cotton Wife and Cotton Husband aren’t huggy pillows, they’re life partners for the lonely!
- Sick of BABYMETAL? How about some sumo metal!
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong
- Korean illustrator gives Western fairy tales a whimsical Eastern makeover【Pics】
- Artist magically transforms Sailor Moon characters into black women
- Blogger offers four pieces of advice for foreign women looking for love with a Japanese guy