Month: November 2009

Nagoya police go undercover in drag

Oh, Japan Times. Bringing us the news we need. God bless you. The story above tells the tall tale of Nagoya police going undercover in drag to catch purse snatchers. For reasons unexplained, women police officers were not given the opportunity, and the men were selected for short stature and martial arts expertise.

Despite the obvious preparation, as documented in the photo above, not a single criminal was arrested! I love the policeman’s vow, “We’ll never forgive criminals who target women.” I guess forgiving is one thing, being effective is another.

The only result seems to be increased skill acquisition on the part of “young, skinny” male police officers, and the louche appreciation expressed by passing motorists. Apparently it takes more than high heels, wigs and designer bags to catch a criminal. Or as my sister-in-law says, this sounds more like a “hobby” than a public safety exercise.

Jenny Sanford, first lady of South Carolina

I am a bit fascinated by Jenny Sanford, first lady of South Carolina. After her husband disappeared on the “Appalachian Trail,” code for visiting his Argentinian soul-mate, she separated and launched her own career: trademarking her name to sell household wares, writing a memoir, and being interviewed by Barbara Walters as one of “10 most fascinating people of 2009.”

My favorite quote is this absurd political writer’s take on how Jenny is moving from first lady to political/business career woman: “She was always the driving force behind Mark Sanford, the engine that powers the car. Now the car broke down, and she’s on her own.”

Congratulations: Man marries DS video game character

Awwww. I am touched by this Nico Nico Douga live-casted marriage between man and Nintendo videogame character. I like the honeymoon photo above. See below for a video report of this path-breaking wedding. The happy couple’s names are SAL9000 & Nene Anegasaki.

I hope the marriage lasts longer than the console!

Matching hair to fur collar

Another blog post shamelessly “borrowed” or re-blogged from InvisibleGaijin is this post about the latest Tokyo men’s fashion: dyeing your hair to match your fur collar. I love both the fashion itself and the reporter, who claims that “man skirts” are so last month. This photo is a visual love poem to the Tokyo Metro.

Underwear obsession

Just when I feel jaded about the blogosphere, I discovered a new blog InvisibleGaijin that mixes wicked satire and faux news with a focus on men’s fashion. Swoon.

The above is from InvisibleGaijin’s story about Japanese underwear, which connects undergarment obsession with recession and soshoku danshi (herbivores), and in part reads:

Self-professed gaijin with love/hate relationship with Japan, Fuzakeruna Konogaijinme, commented, “Japanese salarymen always turn inwards in recessions, peering into their navels in hopes no one notices they don’t do shit at work. Underwear that makes your balls feel good always sells.”

(Image from www.pants-ya.com. Almost NSFW).

Americans in danger in Tokyo!!

This is too choice! In the safest city in the world, the US Embassy is now warning Americans to stay away from Roppongi. This story was circulating widely on Twitter yesterday, and I laughed out loud. Based on the photo above, I guess the warning only applies to Americans (^_-)

From Kosins Attorney at Foreign Law blog, I must quote the entire post:

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo reissued its July 10, 2009 warning advising American citizens from frequenting bars and clubs in the Roppongi area of Tokyo due to drink-spiking incidents. As stated in the American Citizenship Services (ACS) Newsletter, the U.S. Embassy “continues to receive reliable reports of U.S. citizens being drugged in Roppongi-area bars.”

The U.S. Embassy continues to receive reliable reports of U.S. citizens being drugged in Roppongi-area bars. Most reports indicate that the victim unknowingly drinks a beverage that has been secretly mixed with a drug that renders the victim unconscious or stuporous for several hours, during which time large charges are fraudulently billed to the victim, sums of money are charged to the victim’s credit card, or the card is stolen. Victims sometimes regain consciousness in the bar or club, while at other times the victim awakens on the street. Assaults on Americans have also been reported in connection with drink-spiking.

U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.

I have been invited to talk at a well-known cultural space/bar next week in Roppongi. Do you think I should only invite Japanese and Europeans?

Cute uniforms

A bunny clutching a teddy bear? In front of a house smaller than the bunny’s head?

Only in Japan would middle-aged men working for a tract home builder wear super-childish manga splashed uniforms. Do you think the worker feels professional, confident, and ready to move some pre-fab homes?

Can US bow low enough?

I am, of course, *loving* how US conservatives are going crazy over Obama’s bowing to the Japanese Emperor. How dare he show respect to the titular leader of a foreign country?! Never mind how W walked hand-in-hand with the Saudi Arabian royal petro dealers or cozied up perched on their arm rests.

Obama playing nice in Japan and currying favor in Chinese signals a shift from the aggressive unilateralism into a new era where the US must please and satisfy the purchasers of our ballooning Treasury debt. The sexual undertones add to the political realignment of new roles and possibilities.

As others have noted, Obama was poorly prepared for his meeting with Japanese leaders. You do not bow while hand-shaking. It is either/or, or at the least bow-then-shake.