Tag Archives | Japan

Japanese Prosthetic Expert Makes Fake Fingers for Ex-Yakuza Members

via Oddity Central Hardcore_Business_Manga

Shintaro Hayashi, a prosthetics maker from Japan, is helping out former members of the Yakuza, or Japanese mob, by creating fake fingers they lost during their life of crime, so they can get normal jobs easier.

The Yakuza organized crime syndicates are renowned for their strict codes of conduct and organized nature. When a member causes serious offenses, he is required to perform a ritual known as “yubitsume”, which implies cutting off his own fingers as a form of atonement. Usually, the left pinkie is the first one to go, but repeated mistakes can cause a sloppy Yakuza to lose several digits.

It becomes a stigma that signifies current or former membership in the Japanese mafia, and those who manage to leave their troubled past behind and become reformed citizens have a hard time finding jobs because of it. Most Yakuza try to conceal their missing fingers in public by keeping a fist, but there comes a time when they can’t hide their defects anymore, and that’s where prosthetics maker Shintaro Hayashi comes in.

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Is Yonaguni Monument The Japanese Atlantis?

yonaguni monumentIs the breathtaking stone structure the work of a 10,000-year-old civilization, or is it somehow an illusion? Atlas Obscura explains:

The Yonaguni-jima Kaitei Chikei, literally translated as “Yonaguni Island Submarine Topography,” is an underwater mystery off the coast of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. The massive underwater rock formation is speculated to have existed for more than 10,000 years, but whether the formation is completely man-made, entirely natural, or merely altered by human hands is still debated.

The monument was first discovered in 1986 by a diver. Masaaki Kimura, a marine geologist at the University of the Ryukyu, explored the monument for nearly two decades. Kimura remains convinced that the site was carved thousands of years ago, when the land mass was above water.

According to Kimura, the Yonaguni’s right angles, strategically placed holes and aesthetic triangles are signs of human alteration. He also claims that carvings exists on the monuments, resembling Kaida script.

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Japanese Officials Upped Radiation Yardsticks to Dodge Compensation Costs

Picture: Steve Herman (PD)

Picture: Steve Herman (PD)

Andrea Germanos writes at Common Dreams:

Japanese officials raised the level of acceptable radiation doses for evacuees of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to avoid increasing costs for compensation, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reported on Saturday.

A 5-millisieverts per year dose, the same level of exposure used as a yardstick to relocate residents after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, was proposed at an unofficial meeting of ministers in October of 2011, seven months after the disaster began, they report.

But just weeks later, the yardstick was upped to 20 millisieverts per year.

… at a meeting on Oct. 28, joined by Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura and Tatsuo Kawabata, internal affairs minister, participants appeared reluctant to approve a yardstick other than 20 millisieverts. [...]

“The prefectural government could not function with population drain under the 5-millisievert scenario,” said a state minister who attended the meeting. “In addition, there were concerns that more compensation money will be needed, with an increase in the number of evacuees.” [...]

The Abe administration in March decided to release by the end of this year a set of protection measures for evacuees returning to areas with doses of up to 20 millisieverts.

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Japanese Tsunami Survivors Turn To Exorcists To Relieve Haunting By Ghosts

Via Yahoo! News, a sad example of how can ghosts can manifest in even in the most hypermodern society when there is unresolved trauma:

The tsunami that engulfed northeastern Japan two years ago has left some survivors believing they are seeing ghosts. In a society wary of admitting to mental problems, many are turning to exorcists for help.

Tales of spectral figures lined up at shops where now there is only rubble are what psychiatrists say is a reaction to fear after the March 11, 2011, disaster in which nearly 19,000 people were killed.

“The places where people say they see ghosts are largely those areas completely swept away by the tsunami,” said Keizo Hara, a psychiatrist in the city of Ishinomaki. “We think phenomena like ghost sightings are perhaps a mental projection of the terror and worries associated with those places.” Hara said post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might only now be emerging in many people,

Many people in Japan hold on to ancient superstitions despite its ultra-modern image.

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Japanese Advertising Firm Rents Ad Space On Young Women’s Bare Legs

A frank metaphor for how we are viewed by companies. The Daily Mail reports:

Japan has gone one step further with women wearing short skirts or shorts renting out their bare legs for companies market their products in return for payment.

The clever marketing strategy is proving a huge hit with businesses all across Tokyo. As of November 2012, about 1,300 girls have already registered their legs as ad space with Absolute Territory PR, and the number keeps increasing.

As long as the ad is showing on their legs for eight hours a day or more, their job is done, and they are paid an advertising fee. As proof of their work, participants must post pictures of themselves ‘wearing’ the ad on their own Facebook, Twitter or other social networks. Rock band Green Day recently employed the service to promote the Japan release of their new CD, !Uno!

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The World’s Most Romantic Death Spot: Japan’s Suicide Volcano

Would you let yourself be consumed by burning love at an infamous volcano where thousands have taken the plunge? Providentia writes:

On February 11, 1933, a 21-year old student named Kiyoko Matsumoto committed suicide by throwing herself into the volcanic crater of Mount Mihara on the Japanese island of Izu Oshima. Matsumoto had developed an infatuation with fellow student Masako Tomita. Since lesbian relationships were considered taboo at the time, she and Tomita decided to travel to the volcano so that Matsumoto could end her life there,  [where] an observation post allowed visitors to look straight down into the lava.

To profit from Izu Oshima’s new popularity, the Tokyo Bay Steamship Company set up a daily steamship line to the island and the brim of Mount Mihara picked up the new name of “Suicide Point”. In 1933 alone, 944 people would jump into the crater. In the two years that followed saw an additional 350 suicides and visitors would often travel to Mount Mihara just to watch people jump.

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LSD Dream Emulator: The Japanese Mind-Simulation Video Game

The best late-night console game of all time? Lovely Sweet Dream (LSD) Dream Emulator was released in Japan in 1998 by Playstation. There is no way to win or lose, and no defined tasks  -- except to explore one's subconscious, set to a trip-hop-jazz soundtrack:
There are many strange environments in this world, and one way to travel through them is by foot. Bumping into people, animals, or special objects usually results in a stranger dream. The number of "days" are kept track of. As the player progresses, the pattern on walls and the form of the player may transmute. Occasionally the player may come across a man in a gray trench coat, commonly referred to as the "Gray Man" or the "Shadow Man". He walks in one direction only. Getting too close to him will make the screen flash, the man will disappear.
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