Why Foreign Residents in Japan Need a Name Stamp

If you have spent any length of time in Japan, you have encountered name stamps, those handheld seals used to mark documents. Embossing a bit of salmon-colored ink using one of these personal or corporate...

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The Trouble with English in Japan

This week, the entertainment behemoth Johnny and Associates will change its name to “Smile-Up.” If you haven’t been following the news, the talent agency founded back in the 1960s has been mired in scandal, stemming...

Into Japan Book Now Available!

When you move to Japan, one of the first things you realize is how woefully unprepared you are for the experience. Naturally, there’s the language to deal with, its never-ending foreign words and phrases coming at you...

Does Japan Have Too Many People?

Anyone who cares about Japan and its people knows that it is going through some demographic turbulence right now. A large baby-boom population entering its twilight years is clashing with those in their twenties and...

Why Isn’t Japan Political?

I moved to Japan in part to get away from all the politics. America, in its modern incarnation, is politics on steroids. The old adage, “All politics is local,” was once linked primarily to elections, a reminder to...

The Burger Kingification of Japan

Japan is great at standardizing things. Whether it is Just-In-Time manufacturing processes in an automobile factory or the shuffling of paperwork at city hall, organizations in Japan are adept at creating and adhering...

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