Tag Archives | Japan

Japanese Gangsters Hiring Homeless To Clean Up Fukushima Disaster Area

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Pic: Sean Wilson (PD)

Organized crime controlling construction and waste disposal? That sounds familiar. Crime bosses in Japan are recruiting the nation’s homeless and paying them next to nothing to clean up the deadly remains of the Fukushima disaster.

Japan’s three biggest crime syndicates have established illegal recruitment under construction powerhouse Obayashi, a top contractor. Reuters speaks to one man paid by a gangster to collect potential homeless workers: Seiji Sasa would find men at a local train station and get them work through a number of smaller contractors that eventually reported to Obayashi (which has not been fingered in the scheme). The workers would be paid less than minimum wage after middlemen skimmed some and deductions were taken for food and housing; in other cases, those deductions were taken from their scant pay, leaving the workers with no money, or even in debt.

Keep reading at Newser.

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‘Japanese Pickle’ Can Prevent The Flu

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Pic: Schellack (PD)

DOCTORS HATE THIS PICKLE! LEARN HOW TO PREVENT THE FLU WITH THIS ONE WEIRD OLD TRICK!

Via Eureka Alert:

Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can prevent flu. Could this be the next superfood?

The research, which assesses the immune-boosting powers of Lactobacillus brevis from Suguki – a pickled turnip, popular in Japan – in mice that have been exposed to a flu virus, is published today (06 November) in the SfAM journal, Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Lead researcher, Ms Naoko Waki of KAGOME CO., LTD. in Japan said: “Our results show that when a particular strain of Lactobacillus brevis is eaten by mice, it has protective effects against influenza virus infection.”

Suguki enthusiasts have often cited its protective powers but it is not known yet whether the same effects will be seen in humans. Human clinical trials using a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus brevis KB290 bacteria are underway and scientists are hopeful that, given a suitable quantity of bacteria, foods containing them may turn out to be the next superfood.

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Aokigahara Forest, The Suicide Woods Of Japan

AokigaharaInformational signs scattered throughout warn passersby, “Your life is precious”. Tofugu on one of the spookiest spots in Japan:

Located at the base of Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is perhaps the most infamous forest in Japan. Also known as the Sea of Trees, Suicide Forest, and Japan’s Demon Forest, Aokigahara has been home to over 500 confirmed suicides since the 1950s.

Wataru Tsurumui’s controversial 1993 bestseller The Complete Suicide Manual is a book that describes various modes of suicide and even recommends Aokigahara as the perfect place to die. Undoubtedly, the most common method of suicide in the forest is hanging.

Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara’s soil and trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the gnarled depths of the forest.

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Creepy Japanese Rubber Sex Doll Lips Sold to ‘Slim Face’

o-JAPANESE-LIPS-570Via Huffington Post comes news of a product that is in no way a kinky sex toy, so don’t even think about it that way.

From the website:

Just three minutes per day is all you need; pop in the mold and then make mouth movements. The makers recommend you say vowel sounds out loud over and over again, producing regular and methodical exercises that will strength the twelve facial expression muscles in a comprehensive way.

 

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French Cartoon With Fukushima Multi-Limbed Sumo Wrestlers Has Japanese Mad

Le-Canard-EnchaineOne assumes that the outrage in Japan won’t quite reach the heights of those Danish Mohammed cartoons, but the Japanese are extremely riled up by a French cartoon depicting radiation victim Sumo wrestlers, reports AFP via the Telegraph:

Japan has expressed its anger over cartoons published in a French newspaper that lampooned the decision to award the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo despite the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima.

Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine published a cartoon depicting sumo wrestlers with extra limbs competing in front of a crippled nuclear plant, which said the disaster had made it a feasible Olympic sport.

Another cartoon showed two people standing in front of a pool of water while wearing nuclear protection suits and holding a Geiger counter, saying water sport facilities had already been built at Fukushima.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the satirical jabs give the wrong impression about Japan.

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Radiation Leaking From Fukushima Site 18 Times Greater Than Previously Believed

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Radiation levels were being measured using devices with far-too-limited scales, the BBC reports:

Radiation levels around Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than previously thought, Japanese authorities have warned.

Last week the plant’s operator reported radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank into the ground. It now says readings taken near the leaking tank on Saturday showed radiation was high enough to prove lethal within four hours of exposure.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) had originally said the radiation emitted by the leaking water was around 100 millisieverts an hour. However, the company said the equipment used to make that recording could only read measurements of up to 100 millisieverts.

The new reading will have direct implications for radiation doses received by workers who spent several days trying to stop the leak last week. Experts have said the scale of water leakage may be worse than officials have admitted.

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Japanese Government Opens “Internet Fasting Camps” To Treat Addicted Teens

Computer_labCould you survive these brutal camps? Via the International Business Times:

In response to rising numbers of young people who are “pathologically addicted” to the internet, Japan is opening up so-called “internet fasting camps” to wean youths off the web. Researchers at Japan’s Nihon University estimate that about 8.1 percent of the country’s students are addicted to the internet.

The Tokyo government’s education ministry will introduce “web fasting camps” to help young people disconnect from their PCs, laptops, mobile phones and hand-held devices. Akifumi Sekine, a spokesman for the education ministry, added: “We want to get them out of the virtual world and to encourage them to have real communication with other children and adults.”

Youths forcibly removed from their beloved mobile devices may suffer withdrawal symptoms, i.e., “cold turkey.”

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Japanese Company Markets Pillow Shaped Like Woman’s Lap

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 11.11.50 AMOh, Japan. I love you so much. You’re like America’s  repressed id come to sparkling, slightly sticky life.

Via Oddity Central:

Designed to replicate the relaxing experience of resting your head on a woman’s lap, the Himazakura Lap Pillow is still very popular in Japan, years after it was launched.

On the popular online store Japan Trend Shop, the Himazakura Lap Pillow is described as” soft and elastic to the touch, and perfectly suited to lying your head on. You’ll be surprised at how comfortable and real it feels!” Shaped as the lap of a woman kneeling in Japanese style, the polyurethane cushion recreates the comfortable feeling of resting your head on a woman’s lap, be it your mother or your loving wife.

Have that talk with your girlfriend about her “sharp knees” and click here to keep reading.

 

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On Door-To-Door Salespeople, Brainwashing, And Trances

brainwashingAmway, traveling magazine sales, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others arguably blur the line between door-to-door sales and cults. The Neurocritic presents an unusual psychiatric report from Japan describing a door-to-door salesman’s use of religious brainwashing and hypnosis to make a Tokyo-area housewife be “possessed by God”:

In Japan, due to the prevalence of door-to-door peddling of items such as amulets and talismans to ward off curses and misfortune, the term ‘door-to-door sales’ has come to have a religious connotation.

Recently, we treated a case of possessive state accompanied with suicidal tendencies which are thought to have developed in connection with door-to-door sales.

When the patient was 47 years old, a male she described as a ‘salesperson type’ came to her home in May. He predicted that some misfortune would befall her husband. The patient’s husband had fallen in an accident a few days earlier, and she became extremely anxious. The man then said, ‘I have a talisman, a lucky name chop (family seal) which will protect your husband from misfortune’.

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Nuclear Reactor At Fukushima May Turned Into A Tourist Attraction

dark tourismA summer vacation spot that will give you a healthy glow? Thanks to a tip from Rhoid – Japan Today reports:

Paying visits to historic places where death and suffering occurred is known as “dark tourism.” After taking note that in 2011, or 25 years after the accident, the Chernobyl reactor site has become open to general tourism, a group of individuals in Japan is attempting to lay the groundwork for plans to make the No. 1 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant a tourist spot.

The group includes author-critic Hiroki Azuma, tourism scholar Akira Ide, artist Kazuki Umezawa, media activist Daisuke Tsuda, sociologist Hiroshi Akenuma, editor Kenro Hayami and architect Ryuji Fujiwara.

Along with providing a venue to convey their own histories to future generations, the members aim for the activities to be useful in aiding in recovery of the affected areas.

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