Tag: Japan

  • Japan’s view of celebrity

    With the Oscars coming up tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to share this performance by Japanese comedian Yuriyan Retriever where she nails (as in totally skewers) the genre of the overly emotional acceptance speech.

  • Baseball Opening Day

    It’s the first day of the Japanese baseball season today which gives me occasion to share this excellent commercial from last year.

  • My Pushcart in Yokohama

    My Pushcart in Yokohama

    When I was a sophomore in college, I took a year off to teach English in Japan to help pay for tuition. Having experienced taco truck street food while attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, I yearned for the late night snack and saw an opportunity to introduce a decent street taco to the Tokyo late-night […]

  • A tale of two incentives

    A tale of two incentives

    Meanwhile, the bullet train has sucked the country’s workforce into Tokyo, rendering an increasingly huge part of the country little more than a bedroom community for the capital. One reason for this is a quirk of Japan’s famously paternalistic corporations: namely, employers pay their workers’ commuting costs. Tax authorities don’t consider it income if it’s […]

  • Radio Taiso

    Radio Taiso (ラジオ体操) is as core to growing up in Japan as the Pledge of Allegiance is to an American. Before school, kids are lead through these exercises which have been a standard for years. Wikipedia says that Radio Calisthenics was something actually imported from the US where the MetLife was broadcasting a 15 minute […]

  • Japan as the great curator

    Japan as the great curator

    The Smithsonian Magazine shares a trend that any American who has spent anytime poking around the back alleys of Tokyo knows in their bones. The Japanese have a loving appreciation of American culture that runs deeper that Americans. From burbon to jazz, denim to hamburgers, the attention to detail of the Japanese is flawless. If […]

  • The Importance of Being Human

    The New York Times has a front page story about the All-Japan Phone-Answering Competition. In this day of automated voice mail trees and customer service forms, Japan still stresses the importance of having a human answer the phone  promptly and efficiently. What is ironic is that, to the Western ear, the high-pitched tones and honorifics used […]

  • Why Ise is rebuilt every 20 years

    Why Ise is rebuilt every 20 years

    The Shinto shrines of Ise in central Japan are famous because they have been re-built every 20 years for hundreds of years (2013 is a re-building year). In an example of long term thinking, there is a special grove of cedar trees that are grown specifically so that they may be harvested in time for […]

  • Specialty Coffee around the World

    Specialty Coffee around the World

    The New York Times has a piece about the San Francisco coffee scene, specifically the barista training upstairs from the local temple of the perfect cup, Sightglass. While the West Coast style of brewing is making it’s way to Japan in places like Shibuya, Japan has it’s own professional brewing method which they take very […]

  • Struggling is a given and struggling can be good

    Nice post over on my dad’s blog about the difference between learning in Japan and learning in America, When that one boy as applauded for struggling to learn, the teacher gave the lesson that anyone struggling to learn deserves to be applauded. The lesson was that struggling is a chance to show that you have […]

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