Christmas tree growers combat popularity of artificial trees


Rosa Villarreal's three young sons jumped and ran around the field of Christmas trees like jackrabbits, their excitement palpable as they raced from evergreen to evergreen. The boys, ages 2, 4 and 6, were picking out a real tree this year — a new tradition their young parents hope will… Read


Fake idol neural network company explains its goals: 'Humans and AIs creating together'


Kyoto-based startup DataGrid made quite a stir in otaku circles five months ago when they posted a video featuring the fruits of their labor: a litany of fresh-faced, unthreatening girls with sweet smiles and dimpled cheeks. Unlike AKB48 or even the cheery 2.5D girls of 22/7, however, these girls were generated entirely from the… Read


Triumph sums up Japanese women, trends and achievements in Heisei bra and skirt lingerie set


For over a decade, Triumph International Japan has been making headlines with their fun and creative one-off promotional bras that reflect trends in Japanese society. The annual tradition has grown to include full lingerie sets, and this year Triumph is waxing nostalgic over an entire era, as this will be their final… Read


Birth control advocate Margaret Sanger brings 'dangerous thoughts' to Japan in 1922


On March 10, 1922, the passenger ship Taiyo Maru docked at Yokohama Bay. On board was women's rights and birth control advocate Margaret Sanger and her 14-year-old son Grant. Her visit was sponsored by the magazine Kaizo (or “Reconstruction”). The respected publication had bankrolled a series of visits from leading… Read


Letters from Japan: 'The guy I met online wants to go on a trip together. Should I say yes?'


Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to with a subject "Ask Hilary." Hi Hilary, I read about your article the other… Read


Nissin collaborates with taxi app to introduce 'Donbei Cabs,' offering users free rides until Dec 31


Donbei, the udon branch of Japanese instant noodle company Nissin, can be rather adventurous when it comes to marketing their products, at one time even hiring artists to feature their products in glorious paintings. And now in a move that will likely have everyone nodding their heads in approval, Nissin has… Read


Japanese school explains why it won't let cold schoolgirl wear tights under her skirt


It’s getting chilly in Japan, and so common sense says that wearing warmer clothing is the way to go. Of course, if your school requires you to wear a uniform, you’re kind of stuck as to what the primary components of your outfit are going to be, but Japanese mother… Read


The dos and dont’s of class control for ALTs


“All kids in Japan are polite and well-behaved.” A common trope, but this is absolutely not the case. Japan isn’t so different from anywhere else. There are good kids who will play along with an almost angelic demeanor and there are difficult kids can who make The Incredible Hulk seem… Read


A night out in Doyamacho, Osaka’s LGBT district


Nowhere in Japan is like Osaka, where every night the bright, neon streets come alive with the brashest, wackiest and quirkiest individuals in the nation. Tourists tend to flood nightlife districts like Namba and Umeda, but where do the notoriously crazy Osakans go to get down? The answer for many… Read


Neighboring suburbs in Japan face divergent futures as one grays, one grows


Katsuya Kodama's wife died two years ago, and the 77-year-old keeps her ashes on a Buddhist altar in their suburban home. "I talk to her morning and night, tell her everything," he said. "I sit on the chair she used in the bath while ill. Sitting where she sat makes… Read

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