Unseen Japan

The Japan You Don't Learn About in Anime.

Help pay our writers/translators what they're worth - become a Patron through Patreon today! All subscribers get one-week advance access to essays before the public, and access to exclusive content. You can also get access to other exclusive perks, such as having a voice in future content. Join us today!
Man in handcuffs
Woman being blamed
Picture of pumps/high heels

#KuToo: A Revolt Against High Heels in the Japanese Workplace

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  March 01, 2019 • Tagged with feminism, women's rights, metoojapan, women, society, culture

A model deploys a clever play on words to make the case against compulsory heels. Learn why her campaign is resonating with Japanese women.

Picture of surgery

Japan Considers Compensation for Forced Sterilization Under Eugenics Law

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 28, 2019 • Tagged with children, human rights, health, society

Japan's eugenics law remained on the books until 1996. Now, the victims are fighting back - and the country's government grapples for a formal response.

7-11 store in Tokyo

A Major Inconvenience? Citing Overwork, 7-11 Owner in Osaka Stops 24/7 Operation

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 22, 2019 • Tagged with business, society, money

A 7-11 franchisee who's "on the verge of working to death" said he's shortening his store's hours - a move that has 7-11 Corporate fuming.

Girl being bullied

Is Japan's Bullying Problem Overblown?

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 21, 2019 • Tagged with bullying, law, crime, society, culture, psychology

Japan has gained a reputation in the West for being a nation of bullies. But do the facts back that up?

A businessman with a fat stack of yen

Who Donated a Box Full of Moldy Yen to This Japanese Prefecture?

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 19, 2019 • Tagged with law, society, money, charity

The incident is just the latest in a trend in Japan toward anonymous donations.

Worker picking fish out of the garbage

"Part-Time Terrorism": Japan Aghast Over Videos of Food Mishandling

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 13, 2019 • Tagged with business, economy, society, viral

A viral trend of culinary terrorism by part-time workers makes Japanese customers question if they can trust what they're eating.

Girl shoving chocolate in dude's face

Is Valentine’s Day in Japan a Male Power Trip?

Essay   By Krys Suzuki  ·  February 11, 2019 • Tagged with love, society, holidays, feminism, women

Why is a popular Japanese chocolate-giving tradition once rooted in gratitude and appreciation now being called out as a form of power harassment?

Woman in jail cell in anguish

The Kurihara Mia Case: Should Dead Girl's Mom Be Charged for Staying Silent?

News   By Jay Andrew Allen  ·  February 08, 2019 • Tagged with child abuse, society, health, law

Kurihara Mia died at the hands of her father, but now her mother is under arrest for neglect. How much culpability does the mother have for not speaking out?