Tag Archives | Japan

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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What the Sock?

Picture: Calliopejen (CC)

A “socklifter” is on the loose in Japan according to France 24:

A Japanese high school girl who was tackled by a sock-stealing thief is the latest victim in a series of similar attacks against teenage targets, police said Friday.

The 16-year-old was walking in an eastern Tokyo suburb on Thursday when she was wrestled to the ground by a man who ripped a sock off her left foot and fled with the goods.

At least four other high school girls in the same neighbourhood have been victims of socklifters since September, police said.

The latest victim was not injured by the thief, who appeared to be in his thirties or forties. It remained unclear if the same man was responsible for all the incidents.

“In the third case, a man took the girl’s leggings off. In all the other cases, victims lost one of their socks,” said a local police officer.

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Ninjas Headed For Extinction

NinjaaaSay it ain’t so! Everyone’s favorite assassin, the Japanese Ninja, is dying out per BBC News:

Japan’s era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but the country does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas. Experts in the dark arts of espionage and silent assassination, ninjas passed skills from father to son – but today’s say they will be the last.

Japan’s ninjas were all about mystery. Hired by noble samurai warriors to spy, sabotage and kill, their dark outfits usually covered everything but their eyes, leaving them virtually invisible in shadow – until they struck.

Using weapons such as shuriken, a sharpened star-shaped projectile, and the fukiya blowpipe, they were silent but deadly.

Ninjas were also famed swordsmen. They used their weapons not just to kill but to help them climb stone walls, to sneak into a castle or observe their enemies.

Most of their missions were secret so there are very few official documents detailing their activities.

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