News Sushi #55: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

News Sushi #55 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.



I usually try to be positive in this column, but reading an article from the Grey, Grizzled, Gaijin (a disparaging word for ‘foreigner’ in Japan) has me boiling (not at him, but at all the people like the one in the article). Here is what we all want to say to some of the expats in Japan that give us all a bad name (here and abroad):

It’s people like this that give us expats in Japan such a toxic reputation that when I was back in Melbourne, Australia for what I thought would be for good, I was asked if I was really back to “work”. I tried to explain to the recruiter that some of us in Japan do actually work. But, then I was hit with the revelation that I was “speaking too well of Japan” and “would likely go back”. I was actually forced to go back because I couldn’t find any work back in Australia (save for a couple of temporary call centre jobs, which I needed to save up the money to get back to Japan). It’s all worked out for the best, as I’ve been back for over ten years since then. Still, I want to say to all those guys (and they are usually are men) who get drunk and pass out in the park in front of the school where they work – and get away with it for a time – your behaviour has long ranging consequences for not just you.

Now, the person in the article asking how he can get another job in Japan seems to be at least a little contrite. So, he’s better than 99% of the people out there of his ilk. So, I can only hope that in the years since this was published that he’s matured.


On a happier note… here’s a happy story of a Japanese Husband who plants thousands of flowers to lure his blind wife out of melancholy…

I should have published this for valentines, but here it is now:

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Loving Husband Spends 2 Years Planting Thousands Of Flowers 🌸 For His Blind Wife To Smell. #AllYouNeedIsLove #芝桜 #shibasakura #MiAmor #Repost #BoredPanda

A post shared by Michelle Lisbeth (Chichi) (@chichi_monocle) on

On the subject of flowers, here’s a “Flower train”:

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canola train 🚃🌼🌸 おはようございます♪ 少し菜の花少なめも ちょっと田舎感あって いいかもですね😊💓 #福岡 #fukuoka #電車 #train #撮り鉄 #鉄道 #菜の花 #梅

A post shared by puraten10 (@puraten10) on

And here’s some Venezuelan sumo wrestlers sharing moves with elderly in sports-based international exchange project:

I actually went to the Sumo for the first time (yes, I know I’ve lived her for over 13 years, but I’ve been avoiding it until now…) but, I’ll save that story for next week!


Hot on the heels of the blockbuster performance of Captain Marvel at the Box Office, here’s news of an open casting call for a openly gay actor to play the first openly gay superhero… and I think Adam J Yeend should do it…

If you’ve followed my work, you’ll know that he’s appeared in my short film “An American Piano” and my upcoming indie feature. Good luck Adam! Anyone who wants to support him, can you please retweet his tweet?


Here’s a great article on Ukioye woodblock art that I found recently…


Dreams go up in smoke

Did you know that in Japan we use these Daruma? You make a wish and fill in one eye, then, if your wish comes true, you fill in the second eye. Paul got be one a few years back, but I’ve keep it up there with one eye filled, even though I’ve mostly, but not completely achieved my wish… but here’s what normally happens to all those Daruma…

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Daruma burning festival. Everyone's dreams go up in smoke.

A post shared by Steve Edwards (@steveedwards3710) on

And from my bed, here’s a little “in bed with Dobbit”…

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YouTube loop day #Dobbit #thedailydobbit #dinosaur #doodles #Dobbitnation

A post shared by Dobbit (@the_daily_dobbit) on


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Hello Hokkaido ☃️❄️ #hokkaido #hokkaidotrip #japan 2019

A post shared by ! Art_Phuwasit💋 (@art_phuwasit) on

I hope you have a wonder weekend!

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