Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Nakamura Ikumi at Bethesda Softworks Conference (from YouTube Video)
Woman lying in bed
Mishima Yukio

Man of Masks: The Strange Life of Author Mishima Yukio

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  June 12, 2019 • Tagged with history, biography, literature, WWII, Showa, LGBT, nationalism, extremism, far-right

A youth who found excitement only in books, Mishima Yukio became a brilliant author who challenged his country's sexual mores - until the day his life became stranger than fiction.

Woman sitting in filthy room

After High-Profile Killings, Japan's Hikikomori Fear Being Stigmatized

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  June 11, 2019 • Tagged with hikikomori, mental health, psychology, society, culture, aging population, elderly

Why two separate sets of killings have Japan's recluses fearing that what little space they have in society will be taken from them.

Samurai against demons

The Original Yokai Watch: Japan's Famous Night Parade of Demons

Essay   By Alyssa Pearl Fusek  ·  June 10, 2019 • Tagged with fiction, myth, legend, culture, art

How did Japan's "parade of demons" get its start? Learn about the history behind the creatures who haunt some of Japan's most popular games and anime.

Man at the airport

Paternity Harassment? A Japanese Dad's Job Transfer Causes Online Furor

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  June 04, 2019 • Tagged with business, economy, children, child rearing, population

A man who recently returned from parental leave has his life turned upside down by his company. Learn what happened when his wife spoke out about it on Twitter.

Takarazuka Theater

The Takarazuka Revue: From Male Stereotype to Safe Haven

Essay   By Krys Suzuki  ·  June 03, 2019 • Tagged with feminism, women, art, theater

How did a theatrical troupe with profoundly sexist and homophobic origins end up challenging gender stereotypes instead?

Sugihara Chiune

Japan's Schindler: How Sugihara Chiune Saved Thousands of Jewish Refugees

Essay   By Noah Oskow  ·  May 30, 2019 • Tagged with history, wwii, judaism, russia, heroism, lithuania, poland

The story of how a Japanese diplomat went against the dictates of his own government in order to issue Jewish refugees with visas to Japan.

Incident on subway

Self-Defense for Japanese Women: Safety Pins or Cell Phones?

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  May 28, 2019 • Tagged with women, women's rights, society, crime, sexual assault

Over half of Japanese women say they've been victims of groping, leading to a rise in recommended - and in some cases, controversial - countermeasures.

Mom gives death stare to inconsiderate dillweed on a subway

Japan's Perennial Baby Stroller War

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  May 23, 2019 • Tagged with women, mothers, children, child care

Some moms don't regard Japan as a friendly place to raise kids - and attitudes towards baby strollers have become symbolic of their dissatisfaction.