Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Help us pay our writers/translators what they're worth, and to translate more great content from Japanese - become a Patron through Patreon today!
Woman seeking job

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.

Man swimming in plastic trash

Japan Tackles Its Plastic Problem

News   By Robin Griffin  ·  June 25, 2019 • Tagged with environmentalism, lifestyle, economy, business

From Cup Noodles to onigiri wrappers, some major Japanese businesses are taking steps to reduce plastic waste. But many experts say these companies aren't addressing the real problem.

Older couple standing on money

Japan's Predicted Pension Gap Puts Government on the Defensive

News   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.

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.

The Woman Who Was Worked to Death

Essay   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  May 07, 2019 • Tagged with business, economy, health, work, suicide, mental health

Nine months after starting work at Japanese advertising firm Dentsu, Takahashi Matsuri leaped to her death. Her death sparked a series of reforms - but some say it's still not enough.

Woman depressed at computer

May Blues: Will Japan's Regularly Scheduled Depression Be Worse in 2019?

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 30, 2019 • Tagged with psychology, mental health, economy, business, work

Will the Japanese workforce's annual battle with depression be even worse after a 10-day vacation?

7-11 Convenience Store

Unseen Japan Kaiwa 4: An Inconvenient Conbini

Video   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  April 27, 2019 • Tagged with economy, business, lifestyle, society

Why has the 24-7 Japanese convenience store suddenly become controversial? How critical are such stores to daily life in Japan? And why did Anthony Bourdain always head to a conbini when he landed in Japan?

People walking through the Shibuya scramble

Tourism Pollution in Japan Sparks Strife - and Bans

Essay   By Krys Suzuki  ·  April 24, 2019 • Tagged with overtourism, travel, tourism, economy

How can Japan reduce "tourism pollution" problems without reducing tourism? ? And how can travelers help reduce friction when visiting?