Get inspired for the weekend with this fun YouTube video from Down Under! It’s sure to leave a big smile on your face and an itch to get your dancing shoes on.
Feb 17, 2014
Though it’s not something we think about often, Japan has a number of very strange and ardent groups of ultra-right-wing conservatives. You can often catch them riding around in black vans or stinking up online forums denouncing pretty much everything. The ideology that each of the groups expresses tends to vary, though rabid nationalism and emperor-worship are typical.
Some of them also apparently love the Nazis–and one of them, one Hiroyuki Seto, has even called on people to join him for a party celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday. “Crazier than a barrel of monkeys” is an appropriate description…
Jan 8, 2014
The end of one year and the beginning of another is party time in Japan, particularly for workers. Before the winter holiday, many offices have a bounen-kai, literally a “forget the year party,” and after the holiday, there are shinnen-kais, or new year’s parties. Some offices even do both, and generally attendance and copious alcohol consumption are compulsory.
Of course, as we all know, adding booze to the office dynamic can be a recipe for disaster—or hilarity, depending on your point of view—so Japanese netizens have shared their most embarrassing office party stories for your edification or amusement.
Dec 20, 2013
Though it may not be a traditional holiday dish, pizza is often the perfect entrée for the holiday season. After all, between Christmas and New Years, there’s bound to be an opportunity to throw a party for your friends, and for those who’d rather not slave away in the kitchen for a day, pizza is often the best way to provide food to a group.
Well now Pizza Hut Japan has given us a new reason to party: in its latest promotion, the company is giving away actual gold necklaces worth nearly a thousand dollars each.
Kumamoto, a rural prefecture on Kyushu Island off the mainland of Japan, is one of the remaining “car societies” in a country using more and more public transportation. It is also home to one of the country’s roving party locations: the Beer Garden Train. While it’s nothing unusual to see drunk people on public transportation in Japan, this one-car trolley actually encouraged us to imbibe!
Jan 14, 2013
Coming of Age Day is a public holiday held in Japan in the first week of January each year. The holiday has existed since the late 1940s, and, with most of the country given the day off work, those who have recently turned 20 are encouraged to celebrate their entry into adulthood by wearing traditional clothes and throwing parties with their friends and family, perhaps even paying a visit to a temple. Proud parents look on as their once rosy-cheeked cherubs stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them as mature men and women, ready to join the workforce and steer the country towards greatness.
This year’s crop of adults on the island of Okinawa, however, have become cause for concern in the Japanese media this week as a number of seijin-shiki (coming of age ceremony) parties got just a little too rowdy. What is normally a day of dignity and teary-eyed parents looked more like a public demonstration or protest as Japan’s newest adults filled the streets of Naha city, prompting lines of police and camera crews to show up.
The full video of the mayhem and despairing cries of “what is this country coming to!?” after the break.
Nov 21, 2012
As much as Japanese people love to go on about how “Japan has four distinct seasons, you know!” (yes, so does the UK…), the gap between summer and winter – that fantastic period when you’re neither dripping with sweat nor trying to get the feeling back in your fingers – is mercilessly short, and we already seem to be at the end of it.
Japanese buildings are usually made from lightweight materials and, outside of places like Hokkaido in the north, have very little insulation, which means they start getting cold as early as late October. By the time January arrives, you’re wearing a wooly hat in bed and putting off getting up as long as possible since it means surrendering your body to the icy air in the kitchen while frantically boiling the kettle to make a cup of anything hot.
While most of us try to be sparing in our use of our heating (except my neighbour who runs her air conditioner 24/7 so that it constantly sounds like there’s a car idling outside…), more often than not we burn more gas and electricity than we really need to, locked away in our private little sanctuaries.
With this in mind, a number of businesses, shops and community centres in Japan have launched a new campaign for winter, known as Warm Share, which encourages people to switch off their heating at home and head out to a heated public area where, as the name implies, they share the warmth with everyone else.
It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet, it gets you out of the house.
But perhaps the coolest thing about Warm Share is the fact that many locations offer discount coupons and completely free hot drinks to visitors who simply utter the magic words: “I switched off my heating and came here instead.”
Have you ever bumped into an acquaintance and asked how their spouse was, only to find out they got divorced a month earlier. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to avoid these social landmines which multiply with the ever growing divorce rate?
Divorce Newspapers have been developed in Japan which allow couples to distribute a report of the demise of their marriage to friends and family quickly and easily. It’s also a way for the newly divorced to save the embarrassment of telling each person individually and helps people to avoid social blunders like above.
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