The Day I Begged

Until that day, I had never thought 130 yens (about $1) could make such a difference. It was one of those hot Japanese summer days. I went to Yokohama for some shopping. Back in those days, I would go to Yokohama quite often because it was on the way to my high school. Yokohama was […]

Growing Up in Post-war Hiroshima

That summer, we decided to make a thousand origami paper cranes. It was a collective project involving a few families: me (about six at the time), my brother, my mother, my friends, their parents—whoever had time made cranes, as many as possible. A thousand cranes was a lot: it would take about 20 man-hours. Every […]

Is Dating Hard in Japan? – Myths and Reality

It is commonly believed that dating in Japan is easy for non-Asian (particularly white) men and hard for women. I came across a blog post by zoomingjapn, a German girl living in Japan, writing about dating in Japan as a foreigner. She expresses this view. She writes, ‘It is comparably easy for a western foreign man to […]

Racism in Japan – Some Other Aspects

* In this article, I define ‘racism’ as discrimination based on race, ethnicity, colour, descent or nationality, following the UN Convention. Read the reference section for details. * Racism is a complex subject. I’m focusing on some of the aspects people usually don’t talk about online. Hair colour In the late 90s, dying hair became […]

Top 5 Mistakes Journalists Make about Sexless Japan

Honestly, I wasn’t planning to make the article this long. I just thought I could point out some obvious statistics many journalists seem to be oblivious of. But as I looked into publicly available statistical data, I noticed that some of their inaccurate assumptions were potentially fatal. It all started with an article by the […]

Japanese Office Love – What Everyone was Doing behind My Back

It was during lunch when she told me the news. We were having lunch with two other colleagues in a casual French restaurant in Tokyo. ‘I am getting married,’ she said. ‘Umm, ok. To who?’ I asked. ‘It’s him.’ She told me the name of a colleague we both knew. ‘Alright.’ ‘Hey, you might be […]

Being Awkward is Freedom – On LAHWF (Andrew Hales)

If you are a normal person who has good social skills, this video will make you feel very uncomfortable. The title is ‘Staring at people 3’. Basically he stares at random people in public without saying (or saying some creepy) words. He tries both men and women. It is almost too painful to watch. He […]

You Know You Are Japanese When

1. You protest vehemently when they think you are Chinese Let’s face it: people will keep saying that you are Chinese in most of the non-Asian countries, at least for another couple of decades if not centuries. If you are Japanese, I bet you have tried to explain the differences between China and Japan many […]

What Men Really Talk About

The nature of men’s conversation can be described as what they call a ‘dick measuring contest’. Every time there is more than one man, a conversation automatically turns into such a contest no matter how sophisticated they may appear. As a human being of the male variant, I have had the privilege of getting involved […]