Results for “the culture that is japan”
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The culture that is Japan

A contentious requirement for Japan-specific trials has delayed the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in Asia’s largest advanced economy and threatened the Tokyo Olympics.

Small clinical trials that demonstrate the vaccines generate a similar level of antibodies when used in Japan are the main outstanding condition for approval of the jabs from BioNTech/Pfizer and several other companies.

Japan’s demand for proof that safety and efficacy do not differ in the country means that it will not start vaccinations until the end of February — three months after the earliest rollouts and fewer than five months before the delayed Tokyo Olympics are due to start.

Here is the full FT article.  Via the Approve AstraZeneca wisdom that is Garett Jones.

Mahjong as signaling the culture that is Japan who needs higher ed?

Fifty Japanese graduates opted to gamble with their job prospects at a mahjong tournament set up by recruiters looking for a different way to find the next high flyer.

Held in a crammed mahjong outlet in downtown Tokyo, prospects competed against each other on Friday (June 24) to gain the chance to face recruiters from six companies in the fitness, education, technology and real estate sectors.

“Mahjong is a very strategic game, so I think people who are good at it would be good at marketing. This is a new approach and I find it really interesting,” candidate Tomoko Hasegawa, who is aspiring to become a designer, told Reuters.

Here is more, via Edward Craig.

Kyoto markets in everything the culture that is Japan

Kyoto-based company Cerca Travel has set up a service providing all the glamor of a wedding without any of the commitment in what they call a “Solo Wedding.” That’s right: women can now have the full wedding day experience without actually having to get hitched.

A Solo Wedding is a two-day excursion where clients spend the night in a hotel as they go in for dress fittings, bouquet design, hair and make-up, and even a full photo shoot. Each of these services is handled by a professional in the industry and done with the same level of quality and attention to detail as a real wedding ceremony.

When she’s all done up, the tour coordinator will take the solo bride to some beautiful Kyoto backdrops which complement her appearance for a commemorative photo shoot. If wedding dresses aren’t your cup of champagne, Cerca Travel can also set you up with one of the many other historical dress-up tours around Kyoto such as putting on Geisha make-up and clothes. There is also an option to have a decorative man between the ages of 20 and 70 to pose alongside you, but reportedly none of the 10 women who have enjoyed the Solo Wedding experience since Cerca began offering it in June this year have opted to do so, instead focusing on making the day all about them.

The article also offers some customer testimonials.  That is via the excellent Adam Minter, here is Adam’s excellent recent piece on having children in China.

Not what I expected from the culture that is Japan

 In a bid to be more globally competitive and raise the level of English education in the country, the Japanese Ministry of Education will soon begin conducting their meetings in the language. As using English in meetings is highly unusual in the country, the ministry will start implementing it slowly, beginning with high-level officials in their department.

To help them with this, the ministry has sought for an English Education Project Officer that will be in charge of coming up with strategies and plans pertaining to English education. The post, though on a part-time basis, would require someone who has taken an English proficiency test called TOEIC with a score of at least 800. The ministry has chosen a candidate who was successful in integrating the English language as a corporate official language to a private company, and will stay with the ministry for a one-year contract. The English Education Project Officer will join top-level meetings within the ministry to assess their capability and suggest improvements. An official from the Education Ministry said, “By using English among ourselves, we hope we will be able to broaden our perspectives on English education.”

The story is here, via the excellent Mark Thorson.

Markets in everything the culture that is Japan (Finland)

Introducing Japan’s Moomin Cafe, which seats those who are dining alone with large stuffed animals to keep them company.

Moomin Cafe is a theme restaurant, based on a series of Finnish picture books about a family of hippopotamus-like creatures.


At the link you also will find interesting pictures of the food.  For the pointer I thank R.H. and also Jeffrey Lessard.

By the way, here is a parable about the “Hello Kitty” craze in Singapore.

The Living Wallet (markets in everything, the culture that is Japan)

A Japanese company has finally found a possible answer to out of control spending. A so-called “Living Wallet” is equipped with runaway skills, the ability to call out for help, and dodge your ready-to-reach-out hands rolled into one. It’d be no surprise if Rebecca Bloomwood would swear by it to keep her shopaholic tendencies.

The folded wallet has wheels that make it move away once it detects your hands reaching out for it. But if you happen to get a hold of the wallet, cries of “Don’t touch me!” and “Help me!” can be heard. If you’re persistent enough, it activates its last resort to save your bills from being spent and your cards from being swiped. It automatically sends an email to your mom that you might just find you pleading to a robotic wallet, “Don’t tell my mother!”

The Living Wallet is also connected to a mobile app that checks one’s spending, all to make sure that one stays away from unnecessary shopping or any impulsive buying. That’s what you can expect once you put your Living Wallet in “Save Mode.” If you put it in “Consume Mode,” you can expect something else yet, still a little crazy.

Once you let it know that you have enough money for spending, it puts on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, 4th Movement.

There is a bit more here, with photos and a short video, via the excellent Mark Thorson.

The culture that is Japan markets in everything Newcomb’s paradox edition

In Japan, where palm reading remains one of the most popular means of fortune-telling, some people have figured out a way to change their fate. It’s a simple idea: change your palm, change the reading, and change your future. All you need is a competent plastic surgeon with an electric scalpel who has a basic knowledge of palmistry. Or you can draw the lines on your hand with a marker and let him work the magic you want.

The story is here, hat tip goes to Robert Martinez.  There are some other interesting points in the article, but I shall not reproduce them here.

Markets in everything the culture that is Japan there is no great stagnation

You can basically create a gummy replica of yourself to eat. It looks absolutely delicious.

FabCafe in Japan is offering the service for approximately $65 (6,000 Yen), which sounds like a complete steal to me. It’s apparently a 2-part process that requires a 3D body scanner and a lot of gummy colors. FabCafe, which made a chocolate replica for faces, is doing this for Japan’s White Day (in Asian countries, White Day is like Valentine’s Day but the girls give the gifts to the guys. Awesome).

Here is a bit more with photo, hat tip goes to Rob Raffety.

The culture that is Japan

The number of elderly criminals being caught by Japanese police has rocketed, the Japanese Justice Ministry said yesterday, with pensioners committing almost 50 times more assaults than two decades ago.

The number of criminals aged 65 or older booked by police last year increased by 475 from the previous year to 48,637, more than six times as many as 20 years ago, the ministry said in its latest white paper on crime.

Here is more, courtesy of Mark Thorson.

Markets in everything the culture that is Japan

1. World’s First 3D Printing Photo Booth to Open in Japan, where you can have your portraits taken, except instead of a photograph, you’ll receive miniature replicas of yourselves.  Three sizes and prices will be available, approximately 4 inches ($262), 6 inches ($400) and 8 inches high ($525).

That is from Mark Perry, there is a bit more on London and New Jersey at the link.

Bagel head saline injections the culture that is Japan

Here’s how it goes down: technicians insert a needle into the forehead and inject about 400 cc of saline to create a forehead-sized blob. (One bagel-ee describes it as feeling like “something’s dripping down [his] head” and a “slight stinging sensation.”) The practitioner then places his or her thumb into the blob to create the indentation.

For those of us who don’t see the appeal in any sort of forehead needles, you can’t help but wonder: why in the world would you want a bagel on in your head? A Japanese artist named Keroppy who pioneered the “modcon” body art explained to Vice back in 2009 that it’s about innovation: “People who like extreme body modification want to find their own way of doing things, and they’re always looking for new ways to do that. The more progressive the scene gets, the more these people have to experiment and go their own way.”

Luckily, the bagel-shaped injections aren’t permanent; the round protusion fades after about sixteen hours as your body absorbs the saline.

Here is more, photos included, hat tip goes to the excellent Daniel Lippman.

Markets in everything the culture that is Japan

In theory the mechanism is really quite simple:

1. A sensor detects the rumblings of an earthquake.

2. Within .5 to 1 second an air tank pushes air in-between an artificial foundation and the actual structure of the home, lifting it as high as 3cm off the ground.

3. While the earth below violently shakes, the levitating home quietly and patiently waits, returning back to the ground once the tectonic plates have settled.

There are pictures and videos at the link, and the company claims it is implementing the idea at 88 sites.  The final video is especially fine.

The culture that is Japan markets in everything

Uguisu no Fun’s main effect – that being bleaching and exfoliating the skin – is a result of Guanine, a naturally occurring enzyme found in nightingale droppings. Kabuki actors and high-ranking geisha girls have always prized it as the best way to remove their heavy makeup while leaving their high-priced skin smooth and supple.

The link with photos is here and for the pointer I thank Scott Rogers.

Markets in everything the culture that is Japan

Meanwhile, in Japan, a new fashion has women paying to have their straight teeth purposefully disarranged.

A result of tooth-crowding commonly derided in the United States as “snaggleteeth” or “fangs,” the look is called “yaeba” in Japanese or “double tooth.” Japanese men are said to find this attractive: blogs are devoted to yaeba, celebrities display it proudly, and now some women are paying dentists to create it artificially by affixing plastic fronts to their real teeth.

“It’s not like here, where perfect, straight, picket-fence teeth are considered beautiful,” said Michelle Phan, a Vietnamese-American based in Los Angeles, who wrote about the phenomenon on her popular beauty blog. “In Japan, in fact, crooked teeth are actually endearing, and it shows that a girl is not perfect. And, in a way, men find that more approachable than someone who is too overly perfect.”

Here is more, thanks to Jack Kessler for the pointer.