Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Alyssa Pearl Fusek

Alyssa Pearl Fusek is a freelance Japan and mental health content writer living in Chico, California with her partner and one cat. She graduated in 2015 from Willamette University with a B.A. in Japanese Studies and continues to improve her Japanese language skills. She is also a published poet and fiction writer. You can check out her freelance writing work at The Japanese Pearl.

Brazen Road Rage Assault in Japan Makes Waves

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  August 23, 2019 • Tagged with crime, driving, safety, police

A brazen road rage incident recorded by the assailant's companion has Japan in an uproar. But it turns out this isn't the suspect's first brush with vehicular terrorism...

A female cosplayer surrounded by cameramen at Comiket 2017

A Cosplayer's Treatment at Japan's Comiket Draws Criticism Worldwide

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  August 16, 2019 • Tagged with feminism, anime, manga, entertainment, culture

Attendees' grotesque behavior towards a Chinese cosplayer attending a comics convention leaves many questioning whether Japan's Comiket convention is a safe space for women.

Woman seeking job

Japanese Recruiting Firm Sold Job-Seeker's "Scores" Without Consent

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  August 15, 2019 • Tagged with business, technology, economy, jobs, scandal

A recruiting company used a predictive program to assess the odds that a candidate would decline a job - and then sold the precious data without permission.

News piece on Furuta Junko

The Horrific Murder That Tested Japan's Juvenile Criminal Law

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  August 07, 2019 • Tagged with crime, true crime, law, press

An appalling murder case in Japan led the press to break the rules, and citizens to question the country's juvenile criminal law. But did anything change afterwards?


Aging Ramen Shop Owners Struggle to Pass on Their Legacies

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  July 23, 2019 • Tagged with business, depopulation, economy, food, ramen

Japan's aging population has created a successor crisis that threatens to shutter half of the country's ramen shops.

Visual Kei woman holding a lemon

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

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

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.

Scene from Message from Space

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

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

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.

Older couple standing on money

Japan's Predicted Pension Gap Puts Government on the Defensive

By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  June 20, 2019 • Tagged with pension, economy, society, aging population

A government report telling citizens they'll need to save big to make it to 95 has Japan anxious - and Prime Minister Abe is scrambling to contain the fallout.