70 Japanese students volunteer to help clean Canada’s shores of Tohoku Tsunami debris


Props to Ritsumeikan University student Yusuke Oike and his colleagues for showing overseas the same spirit of volunteerism they showed in Japan they showed in Japan.

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

On 11 March, 2011 Hiroki Takai was studying at a university in Vancouver. Instead of feeling helpless at the steadily flowing images of destruction in the media following the Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami, he quickly took action and gathered other Japanese students to raise money for their homeland. Thanks to the students’ efforts and the generosity of the people of Vancouver the “Japan Love Project” managed to raise CAN$320,000 (US$288,000) in aid.

Now, with the 3-year anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake approaching, Takai wanted to pay the kindness of the Canadians back. As a part of the International Volunteer University Student Association (IVUSA) he asked for a team to travel to the West coast of Canada to help clean up the still-increasing driftage that is washing up on its shores. Headed by fourth-year Ritsumeikan University student Yusuke Oike, a crew of 70 students answered the call.

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Hundreds of Copies of Anne Frank’s Diary Vandalized in Japan


Early press reports had people blaming the vandalism on foreigners, saying Japanese could never commit such a crime. While we wait for the guilty parties to be named, the response from within Japan and overseas has been encouraging, as volunteered copies of the books have arrived.

Originally posted on World:

Japan’s slide to the political right appeared to take an alarming new twist with the discovery this month of hundreds of vandalized copies of the famed diary by Holocaust victim Anne Frank.

So far, more than 300 copies of The Diary of a Young Girl and other books related to Frank have been found with pages torn out or slashed at public libraries throughout Tokyo. Although no one has claimed responsibility, suspicion has fallen on conservative or rightist elements that have been pushing a revisionist view of Japan’s wartime and colonial history.

Officials in southern Japan were heavily criticized overseas this month for submitting farewell letters and other documents from World War II kamikaze pilots for inclusion in the UNESCO register of world cultural heritage.

The Frank diary, which chronicles the life of a young Jewish girl as she and her family hid from the Nazis, was added to the…

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Who are Japan’s grass eaters?


A new twist to Orientalist critiques of Japan from the West, Japanese men are still not ‘masculine’ enough. When Japanese men aren’t depicted as nerdy otaku or work-obsessed salarymen (with hidden perverted tendencies), now they’re herbivorous men. What about the idea that Japanese men perform masculinity in a variety of ways? Would that be so wrong?

Originally posted on Discover Japan:

Susuki (640x360) Lately my American friends have been asking me the most strange question:   “Who are Japan’s grass eaters?”  Initially I thought they were referring to vegetarians or people who ate grass, but it turned out to be something entirely different.

The media overseas has been reporting a shocking recent phenomena in Japan for some time.   According to their report, soshokukei danshi (草食系男子)  -herbivorous boy – refers to men who are not interested in dating, sex, or marriage.  These men have decided to live a life without a partner or even a romantic relationship as a way of turning their back on “macho ways.”   They find it safer both emotionally and financially to stay single and celibate.  This is a serious matter, they say, because it’s contributing to the rapidly declining birth rates in the nation.

One article cites that 60 percent of Japanese men aged between 20 and 34…

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Reblog: All Nippon Airways uses crude racial humor in TV commercial

Originally posted on The Lobster Dance:

Via Japan Probe:

Image via Japan Probe . ACTUAL SCREENSHOT from the commercial.

Two Japanese men in ANA uniforms are discussing the new possibilities of international travel that ANA is offering. One of them says, “Let’s change the image of Japanese people.” And then we get the supposedly humorous ending. One of the Japanese guys is suddenly wearing a blonde wig and a big rubber nose.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 65,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Guest post by Elizabeth Anderson on race in American politics

Originally posted on Understanding Society:

Elizabeth Anderson is John Dewey Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author most recently of The Imperative of Integration. This contribution extends a question posed in a recent post on the conservative war on poor people (link). Thanks for contributing, Liz!

American Conservative Politics and the Long Shadow of Slavery

Elizabeth Anderson

An “outright Marxist!”  That’s what Rafael Cruz, Senator Ted Cruz’s father, declared of President Obama on the campaign trail in April 2013.  His accusation is common on the right.  Google “Obama Marxist” and you will get about 4.95 million results.  “Obama communist” yields 40 million.  It’s a strange charge against a man who vigorously supported the bail-out of Wall Street banks as a Senator, and expanded it to other major firms as President.  Yet the charge is nothing new.  Conservatives have long accused anyone…

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