Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Jay Andrew Allen

I'm the publisher of Unseen Japan. I hold an N1 Certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and am married to a wonderful woman from Tokyo.

Japanese flag and LGBT flag

In Japan, The Surge for Marriage Equality Builds

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 18, 2019 • Tagged with law, marriage, lgbt, equality

An uptick in public support has LGBT couples in Japan on the offensive, as a new series of lawsuits aims to turn the legal tide for same sex marriage.

Japan's Olympics Minister: From Faux Pas to Fired in Two Hours Flat

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 16, 2019 • Tagged with politics, olympics

He was vilified worldwide as the cybersecurity chief who didn't use a computer. But Sakurada Yoshitaka's gaffes didn't stop there...

MUJI store in Portland, Oregon

MUJI: Is Japan's "Brand-less" Brand Taking Over the World?

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 12, 2019 • Tagged with business, economics, stores, travel, tourism

With stores popping up globally, copycats abounding in China, and even a hotel in Ginza, MUJI is on a roll. What's the secret of its success?

Dude getting a tattoo

Unseen Japan Kaiwa 3: Tattoo Blues - Japan's Tattoo/Tourist Problem

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 09, 2019 • Tagged with tattoos, tourism, travel, culture, hot springs

How deeply ingrained are cultural attitudes against tattoos in Japan? We sat down again with YouTuber Misaki to talk about her experiences in Japan - and how her thinking shifted after moving to America.

Gavel within a maze

"Rape Paradise": Father's Absolution in Rape of 12-Year-Old Daughter Sparks Backlash

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 08, 2019 • Tagged with crime, feminism, women's rights, children

Critics in Japan are calling out their country's judicial system after a series of rape cases are thrown out - and one case in particular has advocates in an uproar.

Asahi Shinbun newspaper declaring the new era name

There's Something About Reiwa: The Frenzy Over Japan's New Era

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 04, 2019 • Tagged with emperor, imperial era, heisei, government, politics, imperial family, reiwa

Chosen under intense secrecy, it's sparked a 10-day holiday, a new song, and even a minor crime wave. The meaning behind Japan's new era name, and how people in Japan are responding.

Fetishizing German Ad "Based on Japanese Culture" Draws Fire Across Asia

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 02, 2019 • Tagged with equality, racism, commercial, television

Is it Dolce & Gabbana all over again? German company Hornbach's attempt to lampoon a sexual fetish has sparked an online protest across Asia calling for its removal.

Hourglass

Is Time Running Out for Japan's Idol Culture?

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 29, 2019 • Tagged with music, entertainment, idols, women, women's rights, feminism

A high profile abuse case has the Japanese press saying to idol groups: Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Woman looking at her checkbook in shock

Why Do Japanese Programmers Get Paid So Little?

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 26, 2019 • Tagged with business, technology, software, money

Programmers, systems engineers, and software architects can command great salaries around the world. Japan, however, is a different story...

Man in handcuffs

Will Japan Outlaw Corporal Punishment?

By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 20, 2019 • Tagged with society, psychology, health, mental health

A series of high-profile deaths of kids has led the Abe admin to proffer a ban on corporal punishment. Is this going too far - or an idea whose time has come?