News Sushi #86: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

News Sushi #86 And we (Hamish) keep serving the best 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 (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

Hope you had a great Halloween… I’ve got some tales for you this week!

DJ please… cue the music… Sneaky Sound System!

Postcard Perfect! Live the Cliche!

Grindelwald, Switzerland— And this cheese.. from r/BeAmazed

Poolside Merengue with Tammie Brown!

The LOVE Secretary is BACK in this mini surrealist film about Living The Fantasy. … After finding out her hotel was not four stars, the Love Secretary decides to gather her friends for a poolside Merengue and live the Fantasy despite the lack of luxury.

Stars LOVE Secretary – TaMMie Brown @planettammie
LOVE Connie – LOVE Connie @realloveconnie (the ‘Bend and Snap’ Hairdresser from “Legally Blonde”

A “Happening Bar” Story…

This took me on quite a journey… So, nearly ten years ago, I used to live in the Western part of Kanto region (Tokyo) in Tama. A new-ish residential centre, what they call in Japan a “bed-town” (keep your mind out of the gutter for the time being, it just means a sleepy town where business people go back from work to sleep). In Tama, after seven thirty in the evening, the only places open was the school where I worked, the gym, the Jonathan’s Family Restaurant, and a Chicken Skewer’s place. Basically, there was nothing to do. So, you can imagine my surprise when I came across this story about a happening bar in Tama.

OER Tama-Center station.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised considering these glass Madonna-esque bra structures are outside the train station.

But, thanks to comedian and actor Bob Werley, who’s been featured in this column on occasion, pointing out that they weren’t referring to the English definition… that in fact, in Japan, a “Happening Bar” actually means something closer to a swingers club (as you can see in the description in the linked article).

Which reminded me of the time Alex and I were looking for a bar after work around Sagami-Ono, and the one place we found that was open was a pub. Now, I thought that this meant the British definition, that is, a bar… but, it was so much more than that. We sat down, and ordered our drinks, and there was a large Japanese older women running the place. As we were waiting for our drinks, another Japanese woman came and sat down beside us, and attempted to talk with us. But, we tried to politely shake her off, as we were just wanting to talk to each other. Well, it started to dawn on me that in fact, we were in what’s known as a Snack Bar! A suburban version of a hostess club where men go and pay for women to talk to them via buying more and more drinks. So, I quickly tried to explain to the Mama-san (the lady who runs the pub) that we’d made a mistake, and luckily, the Mama-san just laughed and let us go without needing to pay for our drinks. There was a patron at the bar who had a good laugh, and then we all laughed at my silly mistake. A good memory.

Something similar had happened to Bob too –

Story time isn’t over… here’s a classic Japanese folk tale…

Hope you enjoyed this week’s tales!


Until next time… BYE!


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