How not to be a drug offender in Japan

Cops must hear the same excuses for pretty much every crime there is.

I didn’t mean to hurt him / her.

I thought it was my car.

I didn’t intend to…whatever.

The king of all of these has to be “I didn’t know it was drugs.”

You think with the police hearing these kind of excuses on a regular basis they would have a sense of how hollow they come across. This makes it especially interesting when, despite these experiences they fall into the exact same trap when they get caught.

Enter the officer who worked in the evidence department of a Fukuoka police station, Akiyoshi Sato. He lost a small bag on the train. This being Japan, no one stole the item, it was promptly, and properly, turned into the station staff. The staff, no experts in drug identification, thought that the substance in the bag looked an awful lot like marijuana, a still very illegal drug in Japan.

They did what upright and proper citizens do, they called the Police. Sato, having realized he lost his bag, called the station to see if it had been turned in. With luck, it had, and he was happily on his way to retrieve said bag, with the Police waiting there for him.

Promptly being arrested his excuse was that he did not know they were drugs in the bag. The bag he had carried with him, lost and come to collect, which he had brought from work, where there were a lot of drugs in evidence.

Drug dealers in Japan might not be as savvy as in other countries because there just isn’t that much availability but here is some advice: If you lose your stash on the train, it’s gone man, just let it go. Basically Sato just made it easier for the Police to catch him by coming back to the train station.

How not to be taken seriously

Here’s a problem that pretty much every porn star must have. They start making money as a porn star, but at some point realize they can’t keep up this lifestyle forever. Then they drop out and try to get a different job and hope their background stays anonymous, or they try and go legit.

The second option is probably the way harder one because once you are viewed as someone from the sex industry you can assume that is how people are going to see you going forward.

It takes a lot of very serious work, but that goal has to stay at the forefront all the time. Why am I telling you this?

Japan’s oldest “love doll” maker wants people to appreciate the artistry of their creations and not just view them as sex dolls anymore. All I can say is, from this promotional video from a recent event they aren’t doing a very good job.

You want me to look at your dolls as artistic creations you might want to re-think your presentation. Stop the video at the 40 second mark and you won’t just see that they have taken the top off one of the dolls, but put them in a cliché bunny outfit that screams “artistic”. Also, in the background, mounted on the wall like a trophy, is a butt. A butt that seems to send a message that isn’t so much “art” as “bangin opportunity”.

There is no problem with people promoting sex, just like there is no problem with people promoting art, but if you want to be taken seriously then how you present yourself is going to dictate how people see you.

Are you stinky? There’s an app for that

Japan is a hot and humid place in the summer. It also suffers from the inability to understand how indoor heating and cooling works. Also, people get stuffed onto trains. These things combined mean people stink.

Smell Harassment, or sume-hara, derived smell and harassment, like power harassment (pawa-hara) and sexual harassment (seku-hara), is now a thing that is popping up in the news every summer. Last year it was 40 SoftBank employees being pulled aside and forced to go to what I can only assume, was the stinkiest seminar ever.

More seriously, complaints filed have doubled from last year, so thanks media, for making that a new thing I actually have to care about.

There are two problems here, one: most people don’t even know they stink and two: What’s the point of harassing someone if you don’t even know you’re doing it.

Enter technology, specifically Kunkun body. A small device that you hold up to various body parts that is connected to your smartphone that measures your stench.

Now you can slip out of the office and into any private setting to check if you are getting strange looks for your smell or your off colored racist humor, helping you decide which one to try and hide better in the future.

Old Outdoor Torizo

People all over the world tend to discount old people. That can’t happen in Japan anymore as they are the country’s biggest demographic. Old people are everywhere and they are getting into everything. Everything even includes crime.

Tokyo Police have arrested Torizo Hirose for pickpocketing. That isn’t so unusual except Hirose is 83 years old. His modus operandi seems to be going to large crowded events, like a fireworks festival where is was arrested, and getting his ancient hands on whatever he could.

Although, he does have a rock solid defense stating “I was only using my hands to clear the large amount of people out of my way.” And if objects on their person fell into my hands I assumed they were giving them to me so I kept them as a point of pride and felt joy that someone had shared their life with me.

All I can really say is that it isn’t looking good for Hirose since he is so well known to the police they have given him a nickname, “Outdoor Torizo”

Is it odd that somehow the nickname makes him seem more sympathetic?

Luckily he was caught by a spry 72 year old because as we all know, the only thing that can stop a bad old man, is a good old man.

Sexy video not coming down

A while ago Miyagi Prefecture posted a video to promote tourism in the area. That’s very normal, boring, government business. Then some lady politicians decided to say that the video was using Dan Mitsu as a sex object and maybe it wasn’t best way to promote wholesome tourism.

The governor of Miyagi said “Fuck that, I like my sexy video” or, more specifically “[The video] aims to maximize the appeal of the voluptuous Mitsu Dan, who shows Miyagi is cool even during the summer”.

The assembly women said that the sexist video wouldn’t encourage people to visit the area, but it has racked up more than 2.3 million views on youtube. Logically speaking Miyagi is now preparing for 2.3 million visitors this summer as the views clearly had nothing to do with the sexiness, or controversy involved that hit the media.

The governor stated that the video would be removed at a later date if more people complained about it. That later date probably being when the actual popularity of the video dies down so the governor can claim to be an altruistic servant of the people and yet still reap the benefits of sexy ladies in his videos for his prefecture.

The guy who lays things out. Vol 1

There is one job that fascinates me more than any other. Mainly because I doubt any person understands how this job comes about.

Some young people dream of becoming police officers, I commend them, but I could see the frustration in them finding themselves in a career that lacks a certain amount of artistry. For the artistic soul cries out for expression even when you are tied to your blue uniform of justice.

Then along comes an opportunity, one that I have followed for a long time with a strange sort of envy, because it is the job that I might consider a dream job.

It is the guy who lays things out.

With every police story in japan there comes one of two things, a picture of the accused, or a picture of the contraband all laid out. This is a common thing, the Police showing their spoils as it demonstrates they have really returned some order to a chaotic society.

For these photographic opportunities one must employ few weapons. Mainly a blue tarp and the deep love of organization. Yes, things that are laid out perfectly are more beautiful as the human eye seeks symmetry.

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Let me share with you some examples of the art of laying out contraband from Japan.

Here is the most obvious score, the piles of drugs. While in other countries they stack the drugs so that they seem to aim towards the heavens, in Japan the guy who lays things out makes even rows. He calculates the perfect amount for each rows and lays them tenderly , as they are now his ward.

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Do you steal shoes from high schools? Your booty is not disregarded as a lower form of theft. These shoes are treated with the same respect as the highest level drug bust.

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When we discuss someone who has impersonated an officer it is often difficult to imagine the effect. The guy who lays things out re-creates the whole experience and demonstrates the thoroughness of the criminal act.

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Dozens of thefts from pharmacies? What was stolen from each shop is presented with the care of someone who knows they must shave a thousand times before they really get to the core of any issue.

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Perhaps the mother load for any guy who lays things out, the criminal who has stolen items from high school girls. Laid out with the care one would have for the tenderest lover at the tenderest age.

Sorry, that got real gross just now.

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Finally, the piece du resistance, the full scene recreation. The crime in question was streaming uncensored girls on webcams, and just the items (the computers in the background) is not enough as your meager imagination could not build up a sense of the reality from just that. No, this guy who lays things out has taken that extra step and created the initial scene where the woman in question is still pretending to be shy about taking off her clothes. Oh, and here the anticipation will last forever.

Thank you, guy who lays things out. I strike forth into the future knowing that this is only the first entry into a thousand more weird crimes you will illustrate in orderly lines.

Xbox vs Japan

The Xbox experiment in Japan is a demonstration of a company never really learning how to engage its market. The failure of the platform here is usually explained as the marketplace being hostile to foreign products. Japan has the homegrown PlayStation and would never accept another console. Certainly not an American one.

This explanation comes from people representing the company and it is their job to explain away failure as not being the fault of the company they work for. The harsh reality is there is rather strong empirical evidence to demonstrate otherwise.

Maybe the only person who showed up for the XboxOne launch, the lady paid to be there. AFP PHOTO / Toru YAMANAKA

The Xbox consoles are made by Microsoft. Windows is also produced by Microsoft. If Japan were hostile to American products, particularly American ones, then Windows would not be the defacto standard in every office in the country. If Japan were really that hostile to foreign products and technology then some homegrown variant of an operating system would have risen up in its stead.

To further support Japan’s openness – the iphone. In 2016 it held 72% of the market share for  smartphones. The homegrown Sony Xperia has only about 20%, showing that not only can Japan, as a market, be broken into, it can be dominated with the correct branding and message.

No one ever staples xboxs to their head in Japan

The argument could be made that gamers are a different breed with stronger brand loyalties, but look at the introduction of the Xbox360. There was ample advertising and great interest. The first Xbox sold poorly in Japan, managing just over half a million units between 2002 to 2005.

Despite this weak install base the 360 managed to sell 1.5 million units over a similar time period. This is despite the poor reputation the 360 garnered when it was released. The high failure rate (the red ring of death) at launch was jumped on by the media as a scandal that demonstrated the comparable weakness build quality of American products.

Still, the 360 managed to gain ground. They had poor sales in comparison to the much more expensive PS3 (60,000 yen), the Xbox 360 was almost half the price if you bought the basic system, but it wasn’t enough to get over that initial gaffe. The marketing strategy was to make the 360 look fashionable where consumers wanted a better price (which the 360 had) and higher gaming specifications.

To make the Xbox One successful in Japan efforts needed to be doubled and the focus needed to be on video games. Xbox 360 sales spiked when JRPG Blue Dragon was released as an exclusive title.

Everyone who showed up for the XboxOne release…that guy.

A better system, a larger selection of games aimed at the local market (more RPG’s, less shooters) and a campaign directed at people who played games, not people who wanted a home entertainment system and Microsoft would have a real foot in the door.

At this point, Microsoft clearly gave up. There were a few television commercials that showed the machine, again, in a stylish and cool way, without making a clear appeal to players or demonstrating any advantages over the PlayStation.

There were few exclusive titles to pull people away from the PS4 and there were some ads on the Xbox 360 dashboard stating the release date of the new console. If the company wasn’t going to put effort into the market on release, then clearly the market was going to respond appropriately and buy the system marketed to them.

A secondary failure in this is the fact that on release the Xbox One was bundled with the Kinect. A camera that was touted as being “always on” that could respond to voice and gesture controls. Japan is a very privacy conscious culture and the idea of the camera watching people in their homes at all times was a massive turn off. This fact alone could have guaranteed failure in Japan, even if everything else was perfect. That is how serious privacy is to Japanese people.

Mircosoft then reduced shelf space in stores to save money. In Japan, the amount of shelf space a product gets isn’t always based on popularity and demand, it’s often paid for by the company. The reduction in space sent a message to consumers that the Xbox brand was on it’s way out, thus furthering the impression that it was not the console to choose since there would be less support in the future.

How did this not sell people?

Xbox One sold 23,562 units on the first day. To date they have sold a little over 76,500 units. The did 30% of their sales on the first day and as everyone knows, the initial sales are generally the peak.

Now comes Microsoft’s latest effort, Project Scorpio, later revealed to be the XboxOneX, obviously named by a 12 year old clan member. Last February Phil Spencer (head of Xbox Division) came to Japan in an attempt to garner interest for the platform and get some Japanese games on the console. Something Xbox One suffered from greatly as it just went further to demonstrate that Japan was no longer a market of interest.

If Microsoft wants any hope of making an impact on Japan it needs those Japanese games. With two main consoles in competition, the one that has more games will always come out on top. Of course, Spencer’s comments on the trip have been positive, but with all the failures in the past to make up for his task in Japan must be focused and well designed to bear out any kind of success. This may be Xbox’s last chance to see Japan as a viable market at all.

How to: Survive the Summer Festival

You’re in Japan, it’s summer, everything is awesome and you want to go to a summer festival because everyone else seems super excited about it. You should absolutely get out there and do it. Summer festivals in Japan are an integral part of the culture and it’s just part of the full experience.

You want to make sure you have the best time possible so let me help you out with some basic pointers.

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First: Japan is hot. You might come from a hot place too, in which case this might not be as much of an issue, but most people don’t. Some of you might come from hot places, but they aren’t as humid. This is the thing that surprises most visitors in the summer. Japan is crazy hot and disgustingly humid.

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This politician is drinking water from a Fukushima puddle to prove it’s safe. The thing is, drinking from puddles isn’t safe.

The best way to battle that is to drink water. You need to have some with you before you get started and keep drinking through the whole day. Most festivals culminate in a fireworks display, which happens in the evening, but the festival usually starts in the morning. You need to be prepared to be outside, in the hot sun, in humidity, in a crowd for hours and not die. Water is your best friend for this.

You can bring water with you, but they will be selling it at the venue. While water isn’t going to be cheap, they aren’t going to do the same kind of price gouging you would see at a popular music festival.

Second: Go with a friend at least, or with a group of friends. There is a lot of walking involved in most festivals as they set up artificial streets with stalls and the routes usually lead to local temples or parks with kids playing games. There is a pretty even split between the stalls with games where you can win prizes and food stalls where you can buy questionable food. The games, like in every festival all over the world, are a bit sketchy. You tend to always walk away with some prize, but these things are aimed at kids so you’d probably just be doing it to walk away with a souvenir for the day.

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Festival games, teaching children about death and disappointment since time immemorial

Going with a group of friends gives you kind of a buffer to the crowds and even means you can split up to find the cool things to do. Eventually you will want to carve out a spot to sit and eat, and if it is late enough, watch the fireworks. Going with a group means you can sustain yourself off each others energy throughout the day.

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Men’s Yukata, for some reason, makes it hard to balance.

Third: clothes. You need to dress for a long hot day. That includes sunscreen if you are the paler end of the spectrum (like myself). Nothing is more miserable than having sunburned arms mid way through a day because you weren’t thinking ahead. Japanese people, in general, tan, so they won’t be thinking about this for you.

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Traditionally people wear a summer yukata. Girls are wearing bright summer colors while men’s tend to be more subdued navy blues and dark colors, but they are light and very comfortable. They don’t tend to come with proper pockets, they have those in sleeve pouches, which if you are not used to them makes it feel like you’ve lost your wallet all the time. I bring a small pouch that I can keep my hands on, mainly because I don’t trust myself.

Be wary of the wooden sandals. They are part of the traditional get up, but if you are not use to them the rope that holds the wood to your feet is going to rub and cause blistering. The wood is also going to be tough on your feet. I recommend a sports sandal, which might get commented on, but will be way more comfortable throughout the day and I see a lot of Japanese people wearing them.

You may have noticed I keep hitting the theme of thinking about the whole day. This brings us to:

Fourth: drinking. I mentioned water, but this is a festival, so there will be alcohol. I have also mentioned that you will be there all day. These are two elements that should be included in the calculation as to how much and how often you imbibe. There is no need for a frat party keg stand at the beginning of the day, think more of a slow burn that you want to fuel through the upcoming energy crisis. Be conservative. The worst thing you can do is end up with a hangover before the festival is even over.

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This is a real image from the Tokyo Oktoberfest. Barely a Japanese person in it, that’s how much foreigners come out for booze.

As an addendum, drinking water fixes most of that.

Fifth: I waited on this one until after alcohol because the previous point can negatively impact you feeling about this one. Crowds. There will be some. These are Japanese crowds, some of the crowdiest people in the world. Think shoulder to shoulder for most of the day. The bigger the city, the worse that situation gets. Since festivals generally happen in designated areas it means that as many people who want to attend the festival will be crowded into a finite amount of space.

You cannot get annoyed, upset or angry about crowds because you are there making the situation worse by existing in the same space. You are one with the crowd. You are the crowd. This was something that took me a long time to come to terms with. I hate being pushed, whereas in Japan, pushing past people to get around is much more common and socially acceptable. You might be thinking you are fine with it, but the addition of alcohol into a crowd situation can have catastrophic effects. Knowing it’s going to be this way means you’ll be mentally prepared for it when the people get tight.

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Sixth: Now we’re getting to the end of the day, the sun goes down and the fireworks start. Everyone is basically going to stop and watch. If you can find a place to sit before this you should. Japanese fireworks displays are on the long side. Some festivals stretch them out to 2 hours. In Japanese society this is a very romantic time, so if you are with an attractive person, this is when you take their hand and they smile shyly, or you lean in close to them.

No big public displays of affection, Japan is generally more on the subtle side of these things.

The finale: You’d think that the fireworks is the end of the festival, and it technically is, but there is one more event that if you don’t take into account can ruin the whole experience. Now you have to get home.

If you drove a car, that was probably a mistake as everyone is leaving at exactly the same time, when the fireworks end. This means traffic jams. In big cities this also means 99% of the people attending are about to attempt to take the same train home.

You thought it was crowded before, wait till you see station attendants trying to push all those people from outside into the sausage links that are the train. And if you thought it was hot and gross before, welcome to the same thing being stewed in a metal case.

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This is why I recommend actually leaving a bit before the rush. Not a huge amount of time, but if you can’t walk back to where you live, you probably don’t want to experience one of the worst things about being in Japan. The last train rush.

Of course, it’s up to you. I think for a lot of people this is part of the package. I always wanted to bail about 30 minutes early so we could ride the train like humans instead of cattle. You can also avoid the risk of someone who didn’t take point #4 properly into account. The guy who is dehydrated and drank too much that is now on a swaying train. That is a prime candidate for public vomiting and the less packed the train is, the easier it is to escape.

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Armed with this information hopefully you can make some good decisions for yourself and have a great summer festival. They truly can be some of the highlights of a stay in Japan. Unlike that guy, who is trapped in his own nightmare.

 

 

Since we’re doing sex + music

This is the release ad on instagram for Anri Okita’s next single. Taking into account I didn’t know she had a first single and she is mostly known as a porn star, I’m not surprised by how impressed I am.

V O T I N G has started in my Twitter account till 8/3 now!! (@ AnriOkita_real) Happily,Either GORILLA(DJ BAKU ver) or Gorilla(DJ Yuutam ver), including Weibo results, the most v_oted will get the chance of making the MUSIC VIDEO!! Please tell me your favor!! 投票が私のTwitter(@ AnriOkita_real) にて開始されました!!期限は8/3です! 10月4日に発売となるニューシングル "GORILLA"。 嬉しい事にGORILLA(DJ BAKU ver) か Gorilla(DJ ゆうたむver)のいずれかが私のウェイボー(冲田杏梨_real)の投票結果と合わせて多かった方のミュージックビデオを作成する事になりました。 お好みを教えてください! two minute trial listening for the two pieces are available here in the SoundCloud👇 サウンドクラウドにて両曲2分間の試聴がお試しいただけます👇 h ttps://soundcloud.com/user-542820634/sets/gorilla #anriokita #GORILLA #newsingle #october4 #cantchoose #voting #till #august3 #musicvideo #MV #ニューシングル #ゴリラ #投票 #念願のMV #嬉しすぎ #悩む #私も #決められない #だから皆さんよろしく @djbakuofficial #djbaku @namikiyuu #djゆうたむ

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Which is not very.

How to learn Japanese

Here is a video that is blowing up on Japanese Twitter. It’s about sex.

If you are studying Japanese there is some essential vocabulary you will need.

yaritai – I want to do

kimochi – feels good

boku – me / I

daisuki – love

itsumo – always

mainichi – everyday

chinko – slang for penis

manko – slang for vagina

iretai – I want to put it in

hana chi ga deru – blood is coming from my nose

yapari – as I thought

There is some more in there, but with this you will have the foundation for the whole song and can probably figure the rest out.

Feel free to record your karaoke versions and send them in.