National Topics

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

| May 7, 2016

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

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Later this month, the Diet’s Upper House will pass a bill submitted by the ruling coalition addressing the problem of hate speech, specifically directed at non-Japanese. As sociologist Takehiro Akedo explains in his article for the Web magazine Synodos, the Liberal Democratic Party isn’t ...

Have you read any good mooks lately?

| May 7, 2016

Have you read any good mooks lately?

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The word “mook” is a portmanteau of the words “magazine” and “book.” I had long assumed, mistakenly, that it was one of those examples of wasei-eigo (Japan-made English terms), such as “open car” (a convertible) or “virgin road” (the aisle down which the bride ...

Idols put Band-Aids on fragile male egos

| Apr 30, 2016

Idols put Band-Aids on fragile male egos

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Two cities in Tottori Prefecture have set up a facility called the Tottori Deai Support Center, which is a kind of matchmaking service for young residents. In December it published a pamphlet to help people looking for mates better understand what the opposite sex ...

On the money: Hitting TV where it hurts

| Apr 23, 2016

On the money: Hitting TV where it hurts

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Earlier this month, the Association of Television Viewers Who Demand Compliance With the Broadcast Law announced that it may launch a “national campaign” targeting TBS, which it accuses of biased news reporting. Should the broadcaster fail to address the accusation, the association will ask ...

TV takes the lazy approach on 'hikikomori'

| Apr 9, 2016

TV takes the lazy approach on 'hikikomori'

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On March 21, TV Asahi’s long-running variety show “TV Tackle” ran a special feature on hikikomori — people who have withdrawn from society. Hikikomori first came to the attention of the general public in 1999 when a Niigata man was arrested for keeping a ...