A fashion crime against the pope on the tarmac

Is it just me, or do you think this is a fashion crime committed in broad daylight on the airport tarmac? How can the First Lady of Mexico greet the pope in a matching outfit? I am thrilled that she won’t cede all the spotlight to the creepy guy with the gold cross.

Demure, feminine, and yet not unlike wearing a white lace gown to a wedding where you are not the bride.


Is it OK for a teen boy to wear this t-shirt?

“Spread eagle,” worn as a three pink tone, muscle t-shirt by a neighborhood lad, is an invitation to a crime. Recently I saw an even more directly inappropriate teen t-shirt message: “Arctic Monkeys, Suck it and See.” This music fan may not have understood the lyrics, but his hair and outfit were asking to be observed.

I still have not discovered what the Japanese word for jailbait is. What is the age of consent, or of propriety? Are the teens somehow complicit? Even looking feels like a crime.

(Photo credit: Katy L)

New slang & trends of 2009

One of the joys of November in Japan is the release of the top 60 new slang and trends of the year. Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha provides the list, and fortunately Pink Tentacle provides excellent translations of each term (with explanations for those who may be less familiar with pop culture, politics and notorious crimes in Japan).

Next month 10 finalists are selected. I will start introducing some terms on my blog. You can read the full list of 60 new slang of 2009 on Pink Tentacle.

Above is sekushii buchō (セクスィー部長, or sexy department chief), a character with exaggerated masculine sex appeal from the NHK sketch-comedy show “Salaryman NEO.”

Japanese men behaving badly

Oshio & Manabu

A week full of scandals and bad behavior. Above is Oshio Manabu, an actor and pop singer, who fled the house of a woman with whom he did Ecstasy after she fell ill. He called his manager and left without calling for medical help. Later, she died. Now And now Manabu’s wife is divorcing him.

The second scandal involves “self-proclaimed professional surfer” Takaso Yuichi  busted for amphetamine stuffed in his underwear who blamed his wife, popular actress Sakai Noriko. She fled the city but was arrested today after leaving her son at the home of her husband’s mistress.

takaso yuichi

Sadly I can’t find a photo of alleged surfer Takaso (Above is Takaso, thanks to an anonymous tipster, unfortunately not caught in surfer action), although I was charmed to hear that the government has pulled the wife’s movie promoting the new lay jury system in Japan. Apparently they don’t want a fictional “juror” who is a real life suspect.

Noripi as fictional juror

The Japanese press is finding many warnings that Noripi was corrupted by her husband of ten years. Why she even got a tattoo last year: a clear signal of descent into depravity, no?

Early last year a tattoo was spotted on her left ankle, something not considered in keeping with her pure and innocent image. Showbiz sources say she had lost a lot of weight and was behaving erratically lately.

Noripi tattoo

And lastly here is Noripi singing her “Blue Rabbit” (Aoi Usagi) song:

Nearly Asian, RIP

If you spend as much time online as me, some of your closest friends are online only. Every day you visit their blog, read about their adventures, and feel that you are learning something about another person who in some ways shares your city or world.

Without any notice, right after the new year started, Nearly Asian, my favorite foreign blogger in Tokyo, disappeared. When I click my bookmark, I get a Blogger page in Japanese saying that it’s now private and can only be accessed by those who email him. Of course I don’t have his email. In fact, his was the only blog I followed that accepted *no* comments.

What are his newest obsessions? Does he still post daily? Will I never hear more strange stories from him?

For those of you who don’t know Nearly Asian, he described himself as a 20-something, half-Japanese creative professional living in trendy Shimokitazawa. His daily stories included his office, Tokyo events, and biking. But mostly they revolved around his obsessions with the older office lady, the flight attendant, and the other hapa he met biking.

Most peculiar were two contradictory threads. Nearly Asian was an avowed chikan. A chikan is someone who commits a crime by inappropriately touching women in crowded trains. His most over-the-top post involved his story of joining the crowds on Emperor’s Day, and, unhhhh, to put it more modestly than he did, leaving his fluids on a woman’s back. That she didn’t immediately call the cops, or punch him, raised issues of credibility, yet somehow the sheer perversion of the story had me even more hooked than ever.

The contradictory occasional theme was that he’s a born-again Christian. Ah, one of *the* three most popular American stereotypes held by Asians (that we are all fat, smell bad, and are religious freaks). Every time he brought it up, I was nauseated, but at the same time, it added to the perversion of his persona.

So why did the blog disappear? Did his mother/cousin/co-worker/bike crush learn his identity and read his blog? If anyone knows, please leave a comment (or email me directly). I also wonder if I may have met Nearly Asian in person a year ago through mutual friends.

Is anyone else suffering from the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of an internet friend?