New column to track coronavirus calamity's impact on young women's livelihood


"Living in desperation" is the title of a new column that commenced from Nov 26, and for its start, writer Kaoru Natsume tells the tale of a worker at one of the S&M bars in Shinjuku that was forced to halt business due to the coronavirus pandemic. "The corona pandemic… Read


Specialty movers orchestrate successful 'fly by night' escapes from abusive spouses


Yonigeya, (fly-by-nighters) originated as specialty moving services that assist customers fleeing their creditors, and for other reasons. They are said to have enjoyed a major boom around 2008-2009, during the "Lehman Shock." "Yo-nige used to be closely associated with debts, but about 80% of our customers these days are running… Read


A growing number living alone in their 90s: How do they spend their time and money?


What’s life like, at 96 and alone? asks Shukan Gendai (Nov 13-20). Good, answers Masaji Fujioka. Media reports of extreme old age tend toward bleakness, possibly distorting the overall picture. Fujioka grew up near Hiroshima. During the war he served in the navy. The war over, he moved to Kobe… Read


Magazine advises people to shrug off peer pressure and do what they like


"At international sports activities, one must cheer loudly for Japan." Oh really? Sez who? The above is one example extracted from a four-page article in Jitsuwa Bunka Tabuu (January), which purports to challenge the "mystifying peer pressure-driven behavior that makes Japanese appear as fools." With regard to the item shown… Read


Wages in Japan, alone among OECD countries, have been stagnant over 30 years


Books on politics are rarely runaway bestsellers. But it does happen. The success of one written by freelancer Shizuka Wada in collaboration with Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan rep Junya Ogawa is explained in part by its very lengthy title: “If My Hourly Pay Never Rises Above Minimum Wage, is… Read


Will the coming big chill lead to winter power shortages?


An unusually cold winter, perhaps the coldest in the past 10 years, is being forecast for the northern hemisphere. This has prompted Yukan Fuji (Nov 7) to warn that perhaps by February the nation's power utilities might be stretched to their limits. Should one or more power plant fail, blackouts… Read


Infamous Ise island dims red lights, welcomes student groups


Not all prostitution that flourished in Japan over the centuries operated out of government-designated yukaku in major urban areas, such as the famous Yoshiwara of Edo (and later Tokyo). Many were situated at rural hot springs, and others at post stations along such thoroughfares as the Tokaido and Nakasendo, where travelers… Read


Love outside marriage turns out to be, strangely enough, largely platonic


“Even married people want love,” says Spa! (Nov 9-16) – more so, it finds, in a crisis such as the current pandemic. A rough survey it conducted of 100 married men in extra-marital affairs seems to indicate as much. The cause-and-effect connection is not crystal clear, intuitive rather than scientific,… Read


Foreign women catching on to 'papa-katsu' as a means of economic survival


The coronavirus pandemic has brought hard times for young women in Japan. According to a Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications survey, from April to June this year the average number of women out of a job for more than six months reached 340,000, considerably above the average of 280,000… Read


Hints for fighting back against ballooning energy costs


Just when the meteorologists are forecasting a cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere due to La Nina, the nation's utility companies are in the process of jacking up prices. Tokyo Electric Power Co has already announced a price increase of 133 yen for standard residences from November, and from January… Read

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