Category Archives: Weird

On Having Sex With an Octopus in Japan

There’s an old joke that any revolutionary tool mankind creates to express our highest ideals and ambitions will always simultaneously be used for pornography.

Posted in Culture Shock, Uncategorized, Weird | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

On Smoking Cigarettes in Japan

Rene Magritte’s “Treachery of Images” shows us a picture of a pipe, then denies that a picture of a pipe is a pipe at all. Of course, we get it now: It’s a picture of a pipe. In Japan, I … Continue reading

Posted in Tradition, Weird | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

On Losing Your ID In Japan

The last time I’d seen it, it was 4:59 a.m. I stood in the streets in a robe watching 50 men haul a one-ton shrine through the city on sticks. I sleepwalked home with empty pockets.

Posted in Weird | 2 Comments

On Wacky Japan (or: On Pretending to Have Fun in Japan)

Japan would like to be known for its temples, shrines, natural beauty, onsen, kimonos, and amazing food. Instead, it’s mostly known abroad for inscrutable anime and game shows where people are flung naked out of toilets without warning or screaming girls’ … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, Fun, Uncategorized, Weird | 10 Comments

On Law (and Order) in Japan

When I look at the Japanese justice system, I see it through the eyes of Law and Order. I imagine a Law and Order: Kabukicho edition, with one episode focusing on a university student who downloads an AKB48 album.

Posted in Music, Uncategorized, Weird | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

On Making Ice Cream Out of Plastic in Japan

Somewhere near the divine Buddhist wholesale district of Tokyo is Kappabashi-dori, the street with the highest concentration of plastic food manufacturers in Japan.

Posted in Food, Weird | Tagged , | 8 Comments