No.72 [FOCUS] Being Japanese in the 21st century

Omotesando district, Tokyo.   From the very beginning, Japan and its inhabitants have inspired questions and preconceived ideas. As soon as I saw Japan, I loved it. and yet!…” These are the words with which the journalist Ludovic Naudeau opens his book Le Japon Moderne (Modern Japan), publi[...]

No.72 [EXPERIENCE] Blending into the landscape

YAZAWA Yutaka’s book was published in U.K. (White Lion Publishing, £20).   After a long period abroad, YAZAWA Yutaka has had to reacquaint himself with Japan. He shares his experience with us. YAZAWA Yutaka is a British-educated Japanese lawyer who last year published his first book, How to [...]

No.72 [HOW TO] A matter of common sense

The Seibu Railway company published very nice posters to explain how to behave in the station.   How should you behave in Japan? A headache for some people, but all you have to do is look around you. T o many foreign visitors, Japan is akin to an alien planet whose inhabitants follow strange ru[...]

No.72 [IN SITU] Like a fish in water

It’s time to prepare dinner. Today’s menu is temaki-zushi. Yummy!   It’s possible to experience several hours of life in the heart of a Japanese family, thanks to Nagomi Visit. Have you ever wondered what a typical Japanese house looks like, and what kind of life the Japanese actually lea[...]

No.72 [PRACTICE] Choosing your nationality

some foreigners who have lived in the Archipelago for a long time have chosen to become Japanese nationals. In the previous articles we’ve seen what being Japanese means from a social and cultural point of view. But what if you want to get naturalised and become legally Japanese? Is it difficult? [...]

No.71 [FOCUS] Japan, open up with care

The government wants to attract more foreign workers, but appears not to have chosen the best way to go about it. Immigration has been one of the top three topics that have agitated the Japanese in recent months, along with the Carlos Ghosn affair and the start of the new Imperial era (see Zoom Japa[...]

No.71 [TREND] A minimum opening up

Many Japanese have discovered a growing number of foreigners working in their local convenience stores… The face of Japanese convenience stores is changing, literally. More and more often the cash registers are operated by foreign students who work part time in the ubiquitous konbini, as the s[...]

No.71 [DEBATE] A still badly-prepared country

A keen observer of immigration issues, MOcHIzuKI Hiroki challenges the authorities’ approach to the question. What is the future of immigration in Japan? And is this country ready to welcome foreign workers? We asked writer and columnist MOCHIzUKI Hiroki who edits Nippon Fukuzatsu Kiko (Japan: Com[...]
No.071 taxidriver-hinomaru-zoom-japon90

No.71 [EXPERIENCE] Hinomaru’s gamble

This Tokyo taxi company has begun to recruit foreign drivers with a certain degree of success. It’s 07.30, and people are milling around Hinomaru Kotsu Co.’s Setagaya depot. Drivers are bustling in and out of the office building, checking their cars, taking breathalyser tests and adding the last[...]

No.70 [CULTURE] Otaku are everywhere

It’s taken 30 years for the otaku subculture to become established, both in Japan and the rest of the world. Neon Genesis Evangelion by ANNO Hideaki was first broadcast in 1995.   The Heisei period witnessed the advent of an otaku Golden Age that has taken not only Japan but the whole world b[...]