Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

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The Freedom to Describe Yourself: Japan's Visual Kei Movement

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 15, 2019 • Tagged with fashion, entertainment, clothing

How a music-fueled rebellion against conformity and fixed gender roles became a significant cultural movement in Japan - and why some people are still trying to keep it alive.

Woman signing her name (or something...)

Reformers in Japan Push for Change to Outdated Surname Law

News   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 12, 2019 • Tagged with marriage, relationships, law

In Japan, married couples must share the same surname. A growing chorus of voices says it's time for that to change.

Nagoya castle

Nagoya City Suggests the Disabled Use Drones to Scale a Castle

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  July 10, 2019 • Tagged with equality, technology, disabled, history, politics

When the city of Nagoya announced the renovated Nagoya Castle would lack an elevator for disabled access, the response was...less than uplifting.

Fukushima Fallout: Eight Years Later, An Evacuated Family's Struggle for Normalcy

Essay   By Hiro Ugaya  ·  July 09, 2019 • Tagged with people, fukushima, nuclear disaster, tsunami, translated

Closed stores. Bullying. A spate of suicides. Fear of cancer. In UJ's first translated article, reporter Hiro Ugaya interviews a mother on the challenges her family faces after returning to Fukushima - and on how the area is still struggling to recover.

Hay Fever in Japan: A Man-Made Nationwide Epidemic

Essay   By Krys Suzuki  ·  July 08, 2019 • Tagged with environment, health, government, politics, economy

How did a condition once thought to be non-existent in Japan become the country's "national illness"? Blame the government, says Krys Suzuki.

Sushi and sake

How Much for Great Sake? A New Tokyo Restaurant Lets You Decide

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  July 03, 2019 • Tagged with food, dining, restaurants, sake, drinking

A new sake bar is using a radical model to bring in customers - but there are a few catches.

Scene from Message from Space

Dud from Space: Why "Japan's Star Wars" Almost Failed to Launch

News   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 02, 2019 • Tagged with movies, entertainment

In 1978, the Toei Company rushed a Star Wars knock-off into theaters. It nearly blew up on the launchpad. Here's why (and why you should watch it anyway).

Kimono vs. KimOhNo

#KimOhNo: Anger in Japan Over Kim Kardashian's "Kimono" Clothing Project

News   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 01, 2019 • Tagged with clothing, culture, cultural appropriation

"Cultural appropriation" usually hasn't made waves in Japan. Then Kim Kardashian came along. Learn why even the city of Kyoto is objecting to the celebrity's latest business project.