News Sushi #54: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

News Sushi #54 And we keep serving News Sushi!

Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you Hamish, for your insights.


This week I’m probably making good on the promise of the column’s title, for today’s truly a collection of small bites of stories from Japan.

First, you may not have heard that the Major of Osaka-city and the Governor of Osaka-Prefecture have both quit, called snap elections and are going for each other’s jobs!

For more info:

Basically, the cross that they are laying their political careers on is that they’d like to change the status of Osaka city to that of a metropolis. It doesn’t really make sense in English, but it’s basically administrative and it would be a cost savings (according to the pro-campaigners). I really have no idea.


There is a shrine in Kyoto which is known for helping to make relationships stronger. It’s also known for helping those in bad relationships amicably part company. But, this next story is an interesting one:

The translation basically reads that “Yasui Konpira temple” (aka divorce shrine) has become a hot topic now [thanks to the press coverage]. This lady basically prayed that she could amicably leave her company. Her wish was granted, but in a odd roundabout way (and not really amicable). It involved nosebleeds.

Read more here:‘breakup-shrine’-goes-well-as-woman-gets-her-wish-in-shocking-way
Website of shrine:

For more people getting more than what they bargained for, take a look at the once Tokyo-based comic, Spring Day (her real name) in this short vignette:

For more info:

Here’s an insight into what it’s like to live in the technologically advanced backwater that is Japan (to quote Spring Day)… the need of the Hanko (Japanese Stamp):

Can you believe that in the age where we have digital signatures that we have to use physical stamps? Welcome to the not so cool Japan!

Speaking of which… have you heard about “Premium Friday” where employees are supposed to go home early (or leave work early so they can go to the bar and drink more and support the economy?)

The above is the reality.

Here’s some great news from Christopher McCombs, who is the brains behind the web series I’ve been featuring, “The Wheel”…

From this week, for the next six weeks, I’ll be featuring another web series from the brain of Christopher… “Till Death” – a musical!

Tokyo Cowboys presents “’Till Death,” a musical mystery featuring classic songs from different eras and different places around the world remade and re-imagined to appeal to a whole new audience.

Amy meets Death and learns that she must decide within an hour if she will live or die. The journey begins with the song “Death’s Cold Icy Hands” performed by Death herself.

You’ll recognise many of the same actors from “The Wheel”, with a few additions!


Did you know that Snow Bleaching was a thing? It’s done in Nigatta during the winter months, and it quite asight to see. Long sheets of fabric draped over snow covered mountains. It’s almost like the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (remember them – the artists who covered buildings with fabric). It’s done to make the colours more vivid.

Learn more here:

Speaking of a vivid glow… here’s a story that beggars belief.

A man surfs a wave at Toyoma Beach, near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture.

Take a look at the photo here:

Wait for the story next week where he develops superpowers…


View this post on Instagram

Chinese style👌🏻

A post shared by 言 武 (@immense_ray) on

And because I’m a sucker for the 80s… here’s some “Stuff Like That”

Have a great week!


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