News Sushi #104: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

Hamish keeps serving the best News Sushi!
Hooray! More News Sushi for you to enjoy!
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”!

There’s not really a theme to this week’s News Sushi, unless it’s the weird and wonderful from twitter and beyond…

In an effort to go for the “that sounds gross, but so weird that I have to try it once and show my friends on twitter” market (I’ve been sucked into to buying such goods before)… may I present this year’s Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles) with an Apple Pie Taste! Let the buyer and eater beware!

Street Art with Kimberly Tierney

My friend and fellow creative in Tokyo, Kimberly Tierney has taken some beautiful shots of street art lately. My favourite of which is this Hachiko made from Washi tape:

The Hachiko Dog is a famous statue of a dog who patiently waited by Shibuya Station for his master to come home every day until his death. His master had died in the war, so his master never did come, but Hachi still waited. He has since become a symbol of loyalty and the story was turned into a Hollywood movie starring Richard Gere:

Kimberly Tierney has also taken some lovely photos of the street art done on the soon to be torn down building in Shibuya:

Expats and Visitors need to get out more…

Recently, YOLO Japan, a recruitment website for part-time and casual jobs in Japan for expats with zero to low Japanese skills, posted a survey of the top ten favourite Japanese restaurants of it’s candidates. You can imagine that this website is mostly populated by students and people hard up for cash who are willing to do surveys for the chance to win a 300 yen Amazon gift card or other odd jobs for a few extra yen… so, mostly the cheap and cheerful with picture menus are the ones that get chosen. Not the Narisawa or Den which regularly make the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List (and cost more than a day’s salary for lunch).

Now, when I first arrived in Japan, it was difficult enough to go to KFC and point at the picture menu and order food for the first month, so it took me a LONG time before I could go beyond the safety of the picture menu chain restaurants unaided by a Japanese friend or romantic partner. Still, it’s an uninspiring list:

Doing Japanese Calisthenics before work

Speaking of work, Hamish (not me) recently shared this lovely video of construction workers exercising. One of the few things that is perhaps not typical to see anywhere outside Japan, perhaps?

Some good news for Expats trapped outside Japan. Japan is set to ease restrictions… but, we’ll see what actually happens in reality. So far it’s only for those with visas for more than three months, so not for tourists yet.

If you can’t travel here, why not watch this “The Guest House Experience” with WhereNextJapan? It’s the next best thing to experiencing the real thing.

RIP Nobiko (Cat)

Some sad news today, as the cat behind the famous meme has passed on.

Onto slightly happier things, here is a wonderful Lecture on Japanese Literature… free for anyone to watch!

I hope you’ll check out a podcast I made recently that accidentally became all about train movies:

I’ve redesigned the poster for “Silence” ahead of its re-release and made magnets for sale! I hope you’ll check them out and consider buying one (and supporting this column)!


“My Extraordinary”, the widely anticipated BL series premieres on GagaOOLala every Tuesday (first and last episode released synchronously on Sunday) Ken is a popular and good-natured university sophomore who meets Shake, a shy freshman and university scholar, through a basketball game brawl. After settling their misunderstandings, the two young men are immediately drawn to each other. Although Shake and Ken’s close friends support their blossoming intimate relationship, Sandee, Ken’s childhood friend becomes envious and tells his conservative widowed mother — preempting their romantic love affair. Relationships are strained and tension mounts at home, Shake and Ken eventually find themselves parting ways. In an unfamiliar twist, the remorseful Sandee becomes a bridge and helps reunite Shake and Ken.


Turn on CC for English Subtitles.

And that’s all for this week!


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