On the day of the highest youth suicide rates in Japan, a letter to troubled teens

”The world you’ve known so far is still such a small piece of our world.”

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With youth suicide spike looming, Tokyo zoo offers itself as a place of refuge

Ueno Zoo reminds youths that they don’t need anyone’s permission to run away from a dangerous situation.

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Amazingly young-looking Singaporean photographer is 50, but looks less than half his age【Photos】

Muscular, smooth-skinned Chaundo retired from modeling decades ago, but not because he lost his looks.

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Japanese Twitter shows off list of seven hilarious differences between being 18 versus being 81

Are you closer to the 18-year-old or 81-year-old side of the spectrum?

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Snappy as they look, Japanese school uniforms can be an extremely expensive hassle for parents

The annual hit to the family’s finances has certain households dreading the start of each new school year.

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Japanese Twitter tears up over touching tale of why bullied child never contemplated suicide

Tormented grade schooler didn’t have to look far for proof that someday things could be better.

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No more miniskirts? Changes happening in Japanese schoolgirl uniform fashion trends

New generation shows new tastes in subtly personalizing school uniforms, according to survey.

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Japan’s lazy, free-wheeling youth can’t even be bothered to join biker gangs anymore

Seriously, kids these days, right?

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Japanese Twitter user’s sad memory of when school literally refused to look at bullying problem

Pain of heartbreakingly clueless ethics lesson continues years later.

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Think kids spend too much time on smartphones? Clever Japanese tweet will make you think again

Infographic argues that today’s youth really isn’t so different from the pre-smartphone generation.

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Japanese schoolgirl says education is pointless, gets schooled in debate on Twitter

Internet users offer counterpoints that suggest disgruntled high school student may, in fact, not know everything.

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Japanese publisher groups protest “agreement” to cover up adult magazines in convenience stores

Organizations don’t want bare-all periodicals to have to hide under obscuring plastic covers.

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Little sister anime star grows up, becomes spokesmodel for Japan’s teen voter education campaign

My little sister can’t possibly be this politically active, can she?

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Japanese schoolgirl seeking crowdfunding, art submissions to produce anti-train groper pins

Japan’s public transportation network gets high marks for its punctuality and cleanliness. Not every ride on the rails is a pleasant one, though, because some lowlifes called chikan use the crowded conditions on commuter trains as cover to grope unsuspecting women.

Now, one high schooler and her mother have had enough, so they’ve started a crowdfunding campaign to design and distribute what ae essentially “Don’t touch!” signs for women to wear while taking the train.

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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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New study suggests Japanese people born in late winter at higher risk of suicide

While Japan is famous for its animationfood, pop-culture, it’s also infamous for its extremely high suicide rates. Many Japanese students and salarymen succumb to the pressures of school and work by taking their own lives. There is little knowledge about what factors increase the risk of suicide, but recent research has found that people, namely adolescents, born between January 1 and April 1, are 30 percent more likely to commit suicide

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Five reasons Japan’s karaoke boxes are great places for group study sessions with your classmates

Odds are at some point you’ve been part of an after-school study group with your classmates, either to help each other power through a difficult course or cram for an important exam. Maybe you got together at a friend’s place or took over a corner of your local coffee house, but in Japan, neither of those of those is really a viable choice of location.

Japanese homes are generally too small to host a large group of visitors. Meanwhile, the coffee break-loving country’s cafes tend to be packed when schools let out in the afternoon, so it’s often a serious challenge to find even a single empty seat in a Tokyo Starbucks, let alone adjacent ones for all your study buddies. So in response, clever Japanese students thought outside the box and discovered a trendy new venue for group study sessions: karaoke boxes.

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Japanese student protesters announce “WE WILL STOP!!!!” in English on Twitter, get clowned for it

Over the past few weeks, the Japanese organization SEALDs, which stands for Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy, has been staging large-scale protests in opposition of those politicians who’ve proposed expanding the role of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The gatherings have become regular features on news programs, with footage showing large groups of impassioned youths chanting for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to step down.

So after such a show of conviction, it must have been surprising for followers of SEALDs’ English Twitter account to see a tweet that suddenly announced the group is calling it quits.

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Japanese teacher sick of hearing about anime Love Live! forbids students to write about it

After coming back to school from summer vacation, it’s customary for teachers in Japan to ask their students to write a short essay about what they did during their break. Many of the youngsters no doubt spent their extra leisure time watching TV and movies, and rather than upbraid his students for wasting their time on such idle activities, one Japanese educator even asks his students for their impressions of what they watched.

At first, this teacher sounds refreshingly flexible and in-touch with contemporary youth lifestyles…at least until he singles out one anime series he expressly forbids students from writing about.

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American English teacher in Japan takes a moment to remind student that anime is not real

Spend enough time teaching a foreign language, and eventually you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to stop and ask yourself whether your job, which ordinarily involves correcting how your students speak, also includes correcting what they’re saying. For example, I once had a teen pupil declare that “Being good looking is the only thing that’s important.” After a moment of consideration, I decided that trying to fix that shallow philosophy was above my pay grade, so I told her, “OK, nice grammar” and left it at that.

Still, when working with kids, it’s nice to impart a useful life lesson when the opportunity to do so relatively gently presents itself, as it did for one expat in Japan who reminded his young English-learning student of the difference between anime and real life.

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