Lifestyle

Vibrant sense of community: Customized experiences at MORI LIVING

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MORI LIVING, currently with 23 rental residences, offers a wide range of cultural events throughout the year to inspire residents’ interest and curiosity, as well as to build a vibrant sense of community. The mission of MORI LIVING is to offer not only a comfortable living space, but also exciting… Read

Lifestyle

Anime vs idols? Annual otaku survey shows where fans are spending their money

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The word otaku often gets tossed around as an alternative for “anime fan,” but it can actually be used to describe fans of a number of hobbies whose passions are extraordinarily strong. Each year, the Yano Research Institute takes a look at the wide world of otakuism, with a specific interest in how much money… Read

Lifestyle

'Giri' (obligation) chocolates seen as power harassment; more Japanese companies ban practice

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While Valentine’s Day in many countries might spark images of red roses, romantic dinners, and lovers generally spoiling each other, here in Japan it’s a day when women give chocolate to all the men in their lives. Boyfriends and husbands receive honmei choco (“true feelings chocolate”), while all other men receive… Read

Lifestyle

Notebook passed by hand from Hokkaido to Kagoshima, connects railway fans in heartwarming event

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In an age where the internet and social media are accessible by just about anyone with a computer or a smartphone, finding people with similar interests is merely a click away. Yet arguably, perhaps it is because of this heightened convenience that deep and real connections between people can sometimes… Read

Lifestyle

‘Setsubun’ festival: Everything you need to know

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Setsubun, the Japanese festival involving the unique rituals of throwing dried soy beans at people wearing oni (demon) masks and eating a fat sushi roll facing a certain direction, is approaching. Setsubun literally means “division of seasons”, and the special day signifies the start of spring.  Setsubun this year is… Read

JAPAN YESTERDAY

Bertrand Russell’s blinding Japanese resurrection

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On March 29, 1921 the Japan Advertiser of Tokyo newspaper published a report stating that British philosopher, mathematician and sociologist Bertrand Russell, at the age of 49, had died of pneumonia while teaching at a university in Beijing. There was just one minor problem with this report, however — Russell… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese women encouraged to give boyfriends sexy underwear and loaf of bread for Valentine’s Day

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For Valentine’s Day in Japan, it’s customary for women to give gifts of chocolate to guys they like (and also guys they don’t like, for that matter). However, if the guy you like doesn’t have a sweet tooth, odds are he isn’t going to be all that excited over getting a box… Read

Lifestyle

Balance of intelligence factors makes Japan the world’s smartest country, according to this list

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Being Japanese sure has its benefits. For example, the Japanese have the strongest passport in the world, which gives them the chance to go just about anywhere they like without much trouble. More interestingly, however, the also have the privilege of being the smartest people in the world, according to a recent statistic analysis… Read

Lifestyle

We try a pay-to-use premium Japanese toilet at Ikebukuro train station in Tokyo

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One of our Japanese-language reporters, Yuichiro Wasai, was travelling through Ikebukuro Station the other day when something caught his eye. It was a brightly lit, swanky looking entrance that made him think a hotel had popped up on the concourse, but when he looked closer, he could see it was… Read

Lifestyle

5 misconceptions about 'shibari,' Japanese rope bondage

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Kinkster or no, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of shibari, Japanese rope bondage. Perhaps you’ve perused pictures of this sensual and twisted practice, puzzling over what on earth could possibly inspire people to bind and gag each other for fun. Maybe you’ve even felt embarrassingly enchanted by this mysterious… Read

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