A Rough History of Japanese Advertising (and its relationship with pop culture)

I recently took a course on Soft Power/Pop Culture in Japan, and had to do a research project for my final. I'm really proud of myself for not only the research I did, but also for writing my research paper in Japanese. It's the most complex piece of Japanese writing I've done so far, and... Continue Reading →

Pui Pui モルカー: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a….guinea pig car?

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed last week and was treated to the utterly delightful image of needle felted guinea pigs. But they weren't quite guinea pigs. They were also....cars? Naturally I started digging around to figure out what was going on and was thrilled to discover the fuzzy piggies were from a new... Continue Reading →

The Yokai of the Pandemic: Amabie

The first time I heard of the amabie trend was when one of my favorite origami artists posted a how-to-fold video on making an amabie (Go check out kamikey origami they're amazing!). My response was, of course, what they hell is this mermaid frog looking thing? And then I promptly yeetus deletus-ed the info from... Continue Reading →

One Man and a History of Jingles

This article was published in the April 2020 issue of AJET's CONNECT magazine. You can read it, and many other issues, at CONNECT Issuu Mukaiya Minoru is a name you’ve probably never heard, but you’ve absolutely listened to his works. Multiple times. Possibly even every day. Maybe you even know some of his tunes so well,... Continue Reading →

Japanese version of Clean Bandit’s song “Solo” is set in Kyoto, impresses Japanese fans — SoraNews24

https://www.youtube.com/embed/i-8FlNOfEfw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent The video is an homage to the beautiful old Japanese city and a reflection of their love for Japanese culture and aesthetics. Clean Bandit is a British electronica pop group known for their unique style that combines classical instruments with dance pop. Perhaps they’re most famous for their 2016 hit “Rockabye”, performed in collaboration with…... Continue Reading →

Japan’s Obsession with Portland

So there's sister cities. There's also cultural sharing, like Japanese gardens in America or international culture associations. Then there's just geeking out over something. And Japan has the first two things with Portland, OR....but they also have a very unexpected love for the Rose City that results in things like Portland themed cafes. Which as... Continue Reading →

Japanese Mascot Characters (ゆるキャラ)

It's pretty well known that Japanese people love cute things. So it makes sense that Japanese cities and businesses have figured out a way to represent themselves cutely. Have you ever seen an American baseball game where the team has some weird goofy mascot that usually manages to trip over themselves? Yeah that's the approach... Continue Reading →

What’s up with blood types?

I was filling out a job application the other day for a Japanese company and in the health history section, the application asked for my blood type. Now that really doesn't come up in a lot of US applications, but it's a lot more likely to come up in a Japanese application. Do you have... Continue Reading →

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