Japan

maximus otter

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Prepare to be slightly depressed by what the modern world can do to people:

l have learned the Japanese phrase for these people’s lifestyle: saibā hōmuresu. lt’s Japlish for “cyber homeless”.

Whoopee.

maximus otter
 

Yithian

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l have learned the Japanese phrase for these people’s lifestyle: saibā hōmuresu. lt’s Japlish for “cyber homeless”.

Whoopee.

maximus otter
It's very common to adopt English loanwords into Japanese, but the pronunciation changes to meet the Japanese phonemic set. The funny endings (waifu!) exist because certain endings are not possible in the language so that final schwa-like vowel is added to make them fit.

The fun part is when the loan words are... well... borrowed for a new coinage: the Koreans have 'eye-shopping' for window shopping, for instance.

Some are impossible. I read the word Parfait in Korean fifty times before I realised what it was. I knew it wasn't Korean owing to the ending, but I couldn't figure it out ('F' changes to 'P' which further cloaked the original). It sounds like PA-luh-pay.
 

PeteByrdie

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Prepare to be slightly depressed by what the modern world can do to people:

I haven't been able to watch all of this, but the guy at the beginning gave me a thought. My life is cluttered with books and DVDs and ornaments I barely give a second look at these days. They take up more room than they should really. I look at my nine year old stepson, and he's got toys he doesn't play with. When I was nine my toys were my life, but he has so many detailed virtual worlds to access his expensive Schleich castle and knights sit on a shelf. We have online access to our accounts wherever we go these days. Increasingly we can work from home. Our mail is often electronic. Is there much need for actual homes? I spend a lot of time on the road and am often parked in a layby in a lorry... watching films or reading books on my phone, communicating with people online. Laws have struggled with new age travellers, how will society cope with increasing cybernomads? How much cheaper a way to live might it be for a new generation who are fine with very few comforts as long as they're connected?
 

ramonmercado

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More about the hikikomori, they can also be victims of attacks by elderly parents at the end of their tethers.

After the stabbing of 17 schoolgirls and two adults at a bus stop near Tokyo last week, a shocked public has been grasping for answers as to what could possibly have driven someone to commit such a horrific act.

Investigators and the news media have zeroed in on the fact that the attacker, who killed himself after the assault, which left two dead, lived as an extreme recluse – or “hikikomori,” as the condition is known in Japan.

Then came another grisly crime over the weekend: a retired senior government official fatally stabbed his 44-year-old son, who lived with his parents and had no other social contact. The father (76) reportedly feared that his son, who had physically abused his mother, might attack others, specifically citing the mass stabbing in Kawasaki, near Tokyo.

Even before these spasms of violence, Japan’s hundreds of thousands of hikikomori faced a stigma in a country that has retained a strong taboo against even acknowledging mental illness. Now, psychiatrists and advocates worry that a new wave of fearmongering will leave hikikomori even more vilified and painted falsely as prone to heinous crimes.

While there are extreme recluses in other countries, experts say the condition may be most pronounced in Japan, where a culture that emphasises conformity prompts those who do not fit in to hide away.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/wor...-stigma-after-attack-on-schoolgirls-1.3918044
 

Yithian

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Young, broke, Japanese? Try buying Jiko Bukken.

Just don't ask how the former owner checked out...

The Japanese estate agent selling 'haunted' houses

Akira has been selling 'haunted' houses for five years and has dealt with around 500 homes.
In Japan, many people believe that houses can be haunted, and that the ghosts of people who died a lonely death, killed themselves or were murdered can haunt the living.


These properties are on the increase with a declining Japanese population, which is expected to drop from 127 million to about 88 million by 2065.

Video produced by Daniel South and Terushi Sho:
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-48585587/the-japanese-estate-agent-selling-haunted-houses

Screenshot 2019-06-11 at 22.21.25.png
 

Yithian

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I think we've all now heard of places where single men and women can hire 'fake' partners, but the business is expanding its scope in Japan:

How to Hire Fake Friends and Family
In Japan, you can pay an actor to impersonate your relative, spouse, coworker, or any kind of acquaintance.
Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is everything. As a man whose business involves becoming other people, Yuichi would know. The handsome and charming 36-year-old is on call to be your best friend, your husband, your father, or even a mourner at your funeral.​
His 8-year-old company, Family Romance, provides professional actors to fill any role in the personal lives of clients. With a burgeoning staff of 800 or so actors, ranging from infants to the elderly, the organization prides itself on being able to provide a surrogate for almost any conceivable situation.​
Yuichi believes that Family Romance helps people cope with unbearable absences or perceived deficiencies in their lives. In an increasingly isolated and entitled society, the CEO predicts the exponential growth of his business and others like it, as à la carte human interaction becomes the new norm.​
I sat down recently with Yuichi in a café on the outskirts of Tokyo, to discuss his business and what it means to be, in the words of his company motto, “more than real.”​
Interview that goes some way to explaining the cultural currents which have given birth to the industry:​
A mini-documentary on the topic:

https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p07d23t6/a-rental-service-for-lonely-people

I find this so damned depressing. I consider myself neither excessively nor deficiently charitable, but if I knew there was somebody lonely living within a short walk of my place and I had some kind of interaction with them, I'd happily call round once or twice a week with a bottle and have dinner with them.

It's that you don't know and people, generally, aren't saying.

There has to be a way around that barrier.
 

Mythopoeika

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A mini-documentary on the topic:

https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p07d23t6/a-rental-service-for-lonely-people

I find this so damned depressing. I consider myself neither excessively nor deficiently charitable, but if I knew there was somebody lonely living within a short walk of my place and I had some kind of interaction with them, I'd happily call round once or twice a week with a bottle and have dinner with them.

It's that you don't know and people, generally, aren't saying.

There has to be a way around that barrier.
People need to carry flags saying 'I am lonely'.
Or maybe not, because that may make them targets.
 

ramonmercado

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Interesting experiment attempts to model prehistoric migration.

In the next week or so, five adventurers will attempt to paddle a primitive hand-hewn canoe across 200 kilometers of ocean in hopes of revealing how humans originally populated East China Sea islands.

The 40-hour trip, from Taiwan to Yonaguni, the westernmost of Japan’s Okinawa Islands, is the culmination of a 6-year effort to experimentally determine what kinds of craft Paleolithic peoples may have built and used, and how they navigated over long ocean voyages.

Archeological sites show humans first arrived in Japan more than 30,000 years ago. They likely reached the main islands from northeast Asia via a land bridge from Siberia and by crossing the straits in watercraft from the Korean Peninsula.

But how Paleolithic humans settled the Ryukyus, the present-day Okinawa Islands that stretch 1200 kilometers from Taiwan to Japan's Kyushu Island, “is really a big mystery,” says Yousuke Kaifu, an archaeologist at Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo who dreamed up the expedition. The “very difficult” sea voyages were undoubtedly made in boats built of materials that have not survived, he says. And sailing boats had not yet appeared, So Kaifu’s team has been building and testing watercraft that prehistoric seafarers might have paddled.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/explorers-voyage-japan-primitive-boat-hopes-unlocking-ancient-mystery
 

Yithian

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Tokyo's shoebox apartments.

Video:
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190718-the-arms-length-flats-of-tokyo

I'm not saying I want to live there--it would be impossible now that I have a family--but I think I could make one of these tiny places very liveable, and the points the residents raise about cost, modernity proximity to workplace, amenities and convenience absolutely ring true for me. My college room in the halls of residence was absolutely tiny, but I am super-organised and neat and tidy with my living/workspaces, so I felt very comfortable. The convenience of all the facilities nearby and proximity to libraries, academic department and college entertainment meant that I elected to return for my final year when others preferred to splash (too much and usually borrowed) cash on privately-rented accommodation.

If you're thinking, ah, but you were young, you might have a point, but I also lived in a one-bedroom bedsit in my late 20s. Again, it was tiny, but I made into a nice little spot. Clean, plenty of sunlight and ten minutes' walk from my job. With the money I saved, I ate out a lot and used local cafés for socialising rather than having guests back home.

I think the reaction for a lot of people is How? or No! But it strikes me that the kind of pragmatism on display by these residents is the antithesis of the kind of entitled mindset that some see in the younger generations today. None of these would be my 'dream home', but if I knew it was for a limited span of time, I'd give it a whirl.

The bigger issues are 'backgrounded' here. The young lady has trouble making ends meet in Tokyo as she works 'part-time' in a call-centre. Part time, she goes on to mention, is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. four or five days per week. I'd be very surprised if this allowed her more than a 15min break to eat at her desk. Those hours should not be considered 'part-time' (and indeed wouldn't be in many other nations). The second point is the slightly silly, slightly touching idea that the final chap craves interaction so much, that he appreciates the sounds of his neighbours as they grant him glimpses of their lives and help him to emphasise with them. With such an excessive fetishisation of familial relations, marriage and procreation, the loneliness of East Asia probably feels even deeper than elsewhere: you're not just lonely because you are alone without others to talk to and care for; you are actually failing as a member of society.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Hope this is an appropriate thread for Japanese archaeology - a news article maybe of interest.

When Did Written Language Reach Japan?

Source: archaeology.org
Date: 4 February, 2020

MATSUE, JAPAN—According to a report in The Asahi Shimbun, dark lines on one side of a three- and one-half inch-long piece of stone may be Chinese kanji characters written some 2,000 years ago, although scientists caution that infrared imaging has not been able to confirm that the lines were drawn with ink. The artifact was unearthed at Tawayama, an archaeological site of the Yayoi Pottery Culture located on the western end of the island of Honshu, and has been dated to the beginning of the first century A.D. Takeo Kuzumi of the Archaeological Property Section of the Fukuoka city government said rubbing marks on the other side of the stone suggest it was used to grind ink. The oldest-known confirmed Japanese writing in ink, found on pottery vessels, dates to the second and third centuries A.D.

https://www.archaeology.org/news/8403-200204-japan-written-language
 

Comfortably Numb

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Japanese firm holds bizarre funerals for sex dolls with a porn star officiating

For up to £630, men can now say a formal goodbye to their sex dolls with one of three plans from Japan's Human Love Doll Company - and they're given a piece of the life-size figure as a keepsake

Source: mirror.co.uk
Date: 4 February, 2020

A Japanese firm has started holding funerals for unwanted sex dolls- for up to £630 a pop.

The services are officiated by a porn star, Rei Kato, before the life-size dolls are destroyed in a machine and disposed of.

But those who don't want their dearly departed to be shredded can buy the most expensive funeral plan, which allows them to watch as the doll is taken apart piece by piece.

Photos posted on the company's website show young or child-like female dolls completely surrounded by or holding flowers.

It turned out there was a demand for such a thing - an online survey found that men who were replacing or getting rid of broken or "used" dolls wanted a formal goodbye because they considered it to be such a personal loss.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/japanese-firm-holds-bizarre-funerals-21428413
 

Yithian

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Yithian

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In Japan, you can pay private agents called ‘wakaresaseya’ to seduce your spouse or their partner.

In 2010, Takeshi Kuwabara was sentenced for the murder of his lover, Rie Isohata. What captured the world’s imagination was not the tragedy itself, but the fact that Kuwabara was a wakaresaseya – a professional hired by Isohata’s husband to break up their marriage.

The wakaresaseya agent Kuwabara, who was married with children himself, engineered a meeting with Isohata in a supermarket. He claimed to be a single IT worker, which his nerdy, bespectacled appearance may have helped with. The two began an affair, which eventually led to a genuine relationship. Meanwhile, a colleague of Kuwabara’s photographed them in a love hotel, and Isohata’s husband used these photographs as evidence for a divorce. (Such evidence is needed when a Japanese divorce is contested.)

Once Isohata learned of the deception, she angrily attempted to break off the relationship with Kuwabara. Unwilling to let her go, he strangled her with a piece of string. The following year, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The wakaresaseya industry took a hit after the killing of Isohata. Along with fraud cases, the tragedy inspired some reform of the industry, including a requirement that private-detective agencies obtain licences. Yusuke Mochizuki, an agent of the “farewell shop” First Group, says that the effects included a clampdown on online advertising of wakaresaseya services, and more suspicion on the part of the public, which made it more challenging for wakaresaseya agents to carry out their work.

Yet a decade on from Rie Isohata’s murder, online ads are back and business appears to be flourishing again, despite the high costs and controversies involved.


Continued:
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200731-the-saboteurs-you-can-hire-to-end-your-relationship
 

Yithian

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Yet another niche service provided to members of the ever-more-atomised Japanese society:

The companies that help people vanish


Each year, some choose to 'disappear' and abandon their lives, jobs, homes and families. In Japan, there are companies that can help those looking to escape into thin air.

All over the world, from the US to Germany to the UK, some people decide to disappear from their own lives without a trace – leaving their homes, jobs and families in the middle of the night to start a second life, often without ever looking back.

In Japan, these people are sometimes referred to as “jouhatsu”. That’s the Japanese word for “evaporation”, but it also refers to people who vanish on purpose into thin air, and continue to conceal their whereabouts – potentially for years, even decades.

“I got fed up with human relationships. I took a small suitcase and disappeared,” says 42-year-old Sugimoto, who’s just going by his family name for this story. “I just kind of escaped.” He says that back in his small hometown, everybody knew him because of his family and their prominent local business, which Sugimoto was expected to carry on. But having that role foisted upon him caused him such distress that he abruptly left town forever and told no one where he was going.

From inescapable debt to loveless marriages, the motivations that push jouhatsu to “evaporate” can vary. Regardless of their reasons, they turn to companies that help them through the process. These operations are called “night moving” services, a nod to the secretive nature of becoming a jouhatsu. They help people who want to disappear discreetly remove themselves from their lives, and can provide lodging for them in secret whereabouts.


Article continues:
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200903-the-companies-that-help-people-vanish
 

AlchoPwn

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Yet another niche service provided to members of the ever-more-atomised Japanese society:Each year, some choose to 'disappear' and abandon their lives, jobs, homes and families. In Japan, there are companies that can help those looking to escape into thin air.
That's an interesting business model. I wonder if it would work in other countries? I'm sure there is a demand.
 

Lord Lucan

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In 2003 the 5th Best Pink (adult) film of the year in Japan was 'A Lonely Cow Weeps At Dawn'

Synopsis: Noriko, a young widow, lives with her senile father-in-law, Shukichi. In order to convince Shukichi that his favorite cow is not dead, Noriko rises before dawn, poses as the cow and allows Shukichi to milk her instead. Conflict arises when Shukichi's daughter tries to put an end to this relationship.

alonelycow.jpg


Japan, may you never change.
 

AlchoPwn

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In 2003 the 5th Best Pink (adult) film of the year in Japan was 'A Lonely Cow Weeps At Dawn'

Synopsis: Noriko, a young widow, lives with her senile father-in-law, Shukichi. In order to convince Shukichi that his favorite cow is not dead, Noriko rises before dawn, poses as the cow and allows Shukichi to milk her instead. Conflict arises when Shukichi's daughter tries to put an end to this relationship.

View attachment 30015

Japan, may you never change.
From the people who brought you Pokemon Go... Norkiogomu I choose YOU !
 
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