Posts Tagged: Japan



It is estimated that 1.24 million households in Japan are headed by single mothers, of which about 81 percent have some form of employment. This compares with an average 70.6 percent of single-parent households in member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The average single mother in Japan makes 1.81 million yen a year, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

With public child support and financial assistance from relatives, the total income for a single-mother household averages 2.43 million yen, or about one-third of that for a household with at least one child.



An excerpt from a Asahi story on a Japanese woman who hired a babysitter she met online. Unable to afford other alternatives, she left her two kids with a stranger. One of her children died and the sitter is under arrest. The Asahi story notes that public opinion has been very much against the woman without considering what drove her to take such a risk.

1.81 million yen = about $17,000 US. And that’s over the poverty line in Japan.

More from the story below:

Read More






astromonster: Nude Date with Baragon

so when they say “nude” they’re talking about the monster?



Super Smash Bros. vs. AKB48 ⊟

Nintendo cleverly uses the “Mii Fighter” character as a way to cross-promote Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, a game that is still called that, with Japanese idol army AKB48. I bet these Miis look just like the singers! (Also in Smash apparently: Fierce Deity Link and Pikmin's Alph)

Do you think there was internal competition or negotiation about who got to be the one trying to punch Mario in the video?

I was tempted to headline this post “48 new characters for Super Smash Bros.,” and I’m proud of myself for resisting.

PREORDER Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS, upcoming releases

I feel like that preview image is a metaphor for the War Over Japanese Video Games: on one side you have assorted characters in all their shapes and sizes and on the other NOTHING BUT SCHOOLGIRLS


Source: tinycartridge
Photo Set




(via nadiaoxford)

Source: giemma
Photo Set


Kanō Naizen

Namban Screen: Arrival of Portuguese Traders

Japan (c. 1600)

[x] [x] [x]

Namban Art

I do love the woman clutching her child in the doorway

might as well paint a “GASP” word balloon over her head

(via medievalpoc)

Source: medievalpoc
Photo Set


This happened totally by accident when I was playing, I swear to God.


meanwhile there’s a dozen games on Vita right now where “touching the girl” is the fucking objective. The half-naked girl, I might add.

Source: a-strawbarry


Love this new Smash Bros. 3DS ad ⊟

Just a bunch of bros getting smashed. This releases next week in Japan, which explains why the country is already rolling out commercials. The rest us won’t be able to buy it for another month…

PREORDER Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS, upcoming releases

It’s very similar to the Monster Strike ads in Japan, which often feature real-life humans being flung around at high speeds

Source: tinycartridge

HEY remember this asshole? He ran for Governor of Tokyo this year and drew a significant number of votes, particularly from young people. That’s creepy because his views of Japanese militarism and World War II are, to put it mildly, “revisionist.”

He didn’t win, mind you, but he remains a visible member of Japan’s right-wing. And lately he told his 225,000 twitter followers that he is not happy with the amount of foreigners in Japan, speaking out against government initiatives to increase the number of foreign students and tourists.

Foreign students are bad because they might find jobs after graduation and decide to settle in Japan. Foreign tourists are bad because some of them will illegally stay in Japan. And if coming out against both legal and illegal immigration didn’t make his position clear, he flat-out says “I am strongly opposed to any plan to increase the number of ‘foreign-related people’ in Japan.” In fact, he says the current numbers of students and tourists are “too high” and should be reduced!

Everyone loves to trot out the word “xenophobic” when describing Japan’s insular views but let’s take this for what it is: this is racism. Naked, unambiguous racism. This is a guy who looks at Japan, a country which is 98% homogenous, and thinks there are too many foreign faces.

Is his position extreme? Yes. Not even the Prime Minister, a man whose view of World War II is highly suspect, would be so stubborn as to turn away foreign visitors and their cash. But Tamogami is not so extreme that he would not be welcome on any talk show or even run for office again. And when views this extreme go unchallenged, even welcomed in public, it makes moderate views (e.g. “we need immigrants to continue as a society”) seem far-fetched. Instead of right vs left it becomes right vs center or even far-right vs mostly-right.

ugh, Japanese politics are the worst. how does a society this polite allow these elements to flourish?



Nintendo posted some interesting statistics: 93% of the Wii U eShop audience are men, only 7% are women.

In June, when I said Nintendo should market more to women, I wasn’t blowing smoke out of my butt.  I have very close connections to a lot of employees at Nintendo, and they told me that they were struggling with the female demographic.

My conversations with Nintendo’s employees are the reason why I posted this article two months ago. I chatted with some Nintendo employees a week before E3, and they were worried about the Wii U’s demographics. After I wrote the article, journalists from major gaming sites reached out to me and said, “Yeah, we’ve been hearing similar things from Nintendo.  They are pissed that they are slowly losing the female audience.”

I didn’t write that article with some feminist agenda; this is strictly about what’s good for business.

Furthermore, there was a report last week revealing that Adult females oust teen males as largest gaming demographic in US.

Is it a coincidence that Nintendo’s games have become so heavily focused on female protagonists lately? Examples: Splatoon, Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, and Smash Bros?  Even Tomodachi Life’s marketing seemed to be aimed at young girls for a huge portion of the campaign.

Is it a coincidence that Nintendo wants to release some QOL device to attract more women to their brand?

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.  I think Nintendo is fighting tooth and nail to get women to buy the Wii U, but everything keeps blowing up in their face.  Sing Party was aimed at women, and it bombed.  Wii Fit U was aimed at women, and it bombed.

Unfortunately, Nintendo of America keeps marketing the console to seven year olds, and that makes it very difficult to attract adult men and adult women to your hardware. Which is a shame because Wii U does have software for adults to enjoy.

this is blowing my mind because here in Japan Nintendo openly courts women with advertising that centers on boy-band pop-stars/actors playing Nintendo games. There’s also ads with women playing games, though I think those might be more for guys because it’s always a young actress being “cute.”

Animal Crossing and Tomodachi Collection were flat-out aimed at women, and female audiences made both games big hits (don’t forget, Tomodachi Collection was originally a DS game that sold over 3 million copies).

of course there’s also this ad for Famicom Remix that suggests only men played 8-bit games as children, but that’s thankfully the exception not the rule.

Source: emilyrogersblog

With possible legislation in the works to build casinos in Japan, gambling is a hot topic in the press right now. And when you talk about gambling in Japan, the conversation starts with pachinko.

Pachinko parlors are everywhere and they are gaudy. Whatever you think of Las Vegas or neon lights, I promise you that pachinko parlors look like a nightmare. I remember on my first trip to Japan I kept taking pictures of the pachinko parlors because I couldn’t believe A how many there were and B how ugly they looked (also C they usually had weird English written on the side of the building).

Why is pachinko so popular? Because it is gambling. But gambling is illegal in Japan, so pachinko throws the thinnest of veils over the gambling and acts like it’s just a game where customers walk away with nothing more than prizes. It’s like a carnival!

The above graphic explains how the system works: players (the silhouette) have balls. Little metal balls, usually by the tray-load. You put the balls in the machine to play, and if you win, more balls come out. At any time you can take your balls to the counter and return them in exchange for a prize (think cigarette lighters, stuffed animals, anything but actual cash). This is parts 1 and 2 shown above, and it’s the official version of what pachinko is.

But what happens next is the player leaves the pachinko parlor and goes to a small window. That window is typically next to or just around the corner from the pachinko parlor. There is no sign above the window, but everyone knows where it is. At this window, players sell their pachinko prizes for cash (steps 3 and 4, above). Steps 5 and 6, where the prizes are returned to the pachinko parlor, happen behind the scenes.

Thus pachinko players are in it to win money, and even though the money doesn’t come directly from the pachinko parlor, it’s a system that everyone understands. Everyone, that is, except the cops.

The Asahi Shimbun has a quote from a police spokesperson claiming that “[Japanese police] have no knowledge of pachinko prizes being exchanged for cash.” (日本語で「パチンコで換金が行われているなど、まったく存じあげないことでございまして」)

…which is kind of like saying they have no knowledge that massage parlors offer sexual services because it doesn’t say “sex = 15,000 yen” on the sign outside.

Obviously this police spokesperson was feeding the press a line, but what has Japanese netizens baffled is: why? Everyone knows how pachinko works; the players, parlors, and exchange windows are all operating in full public view (unlike, say, the sex workers) so why feign ignorance? Maybe the cops just don’t want to explain to the press why pachinko is accepted while underground casinos get busted?

I don’t have an answer, but it’s weirder that the cops didn’t have a better answer prepared. It strikes me as dishonest to shrug your shoulders rather than admit that you look the other way.

UPDATE: maybe the cops look the other way and don’t want to talk about pachinko because they make money on the deal