Meet Mr. James, gaijin clown

| Sep 1, 2009

Meet Mr. James, gaijin clown

by Debito Arudou

If you want to sell stuff, it helps to have a recognizable mascot representing your company. Disney has Mickey Mouse, Sanrio Hello Kitty, Studio Ghibli Totoro. These imaginary characters grace many a product and ad campaign. However, McDonald’s Japan dropped a clanger on Aug. ...

Cops crack down with 'I pee' checks

| Jul 7, 2009

Cops crack down with 'I pee' checks

by Debito Arudou

My blog has been getting periodic pings about rumblings in Roppongi: Tokyo cops cleaning out pesky foreign touts before Olympic inspectors see them; the U.S. Embassy warning Americans to stay away from the area after reports of drugged drinks and thefts. The latter was ...

| Jun 2, 2009

The issue that dares not speak its name

by Debito Arudou

A few columns ago (“Toadies, Vultures, and Zombie Debates,” March 3), I discussed how foreign apologists resuscitate dead-end discussions on racial discrimination. Promoting cultural relativity for their own ends, they peddle bigoted and obsolescent ideologies now impossible to justify in their societies of birth. ...

| May 5, 2009

Fujimori gets his; Japan left shamed

by Debito Arudou

News item: Alberto Fujimori, former president of Peru, was sentenced last month to 25 years in prison by a Peruvian court for connections to death squads. In my humble but loud opinion, hurrah! World media headlined it “a victory for the rule of law.” ...

| Mar 3, 2009

Of toadies, vultures and zombie debates

by Debito Arudou

If there’s one thing execrable in the marketplace of ideas, it’s “zombie debates” — discussions long dead, exhumed by Dr. Frankensteins posing as serious debaters. Take the recent one about racial discrimination. When you consider the human-rights advances of the past 50 years, it’s ...

| Feb 3, 2009

2channel: the bullies' forum

by Debito Arudou

Bullying in Japan is a big problem. The victims have limited recourse. Too often they are told to suck it up and self-reflect. Or if they fight back, they get criticized for lashing out. It’s a destructive dynamic, causing much misery and many a ...