What Happens When You Fall in Love – How Romantic Love Works

I was in my second year at my Japanese high school. I was walking along a hot, summer street to school. There was something different that day. I was thinking about the previous night I had spent with the girl I was in love with. The sun, the sky, the asphalt road, the green trees, […]

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 […]