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Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

Gaijin Smash

By now, most regular readers of Japan blogs will have wandered across Gaijin Smash.  With fairly frequent entries going back to 2004, Az has been blogging long and well enough to have attracted an audience that extends beyond the gaijin blog ghetto.  It took me a while to warm up to Gaijin Smash.  For one thing, the gaijin vein is played out.  You’re not Japanese.  Neither am I.  Let’s move along.  Add to that a persistent, trilling whining in the background of many of the posts and some readers may begin looking elsewhere.  And yet…

The thing about Az is he’s smart, he has an excellent eye for what’s going on around him, and he’s often very, very funny.  And he’s been here long enough now to have had a broad range of experiences in Japan.  Starting at the first of his archived posts, it’s easy to spend an absorbing afternoon reading his story.  Real characters come and go, and Az himself quickly emerges as a very likeable, self-deprecating man, and because he’s been at it for several years you get a real sense of his developing relationship with the country.  I hope he’ll keep at it.  Visit here or from the sidebar.

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Apparently this blog’s title came about in the aftermath of a failed college romance.  These days, though, the author (calling himself Claytonian) seems to have put those worries behind him and is keeping a very engaging personal blog of his time in Japan.  He’s recently finished the first chapter of his life here, in Kyushu, and has moved to Saitama.  In his writing, he comes through as a personable, intelligent, funny guy with something of substance to say about his daily life here.  That alone would be enough for many readers, but he’s also a dedicated student of Japanese, and fairly frequently offers posts that will be of interest to others studying the language.

Another welcome addition here is an ample Youtube presence, still surprisingly rare on Japan blogs, that gives you another point of access into Claytonian’s experiences.  An all around winner of a blog, and you’ll find it here or from the sidebar.

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What Japan Thinks

This is such a great idea, and it’s turned into an enormously popular blog.  After several years of trying to puzzle out what the Japanese actually thought about religion, Ken began to find and translate a variety of surveys and polls.   Things quickly got out of hand, and in just the last week, the blog has offered poll results on internet cafe use, where people get their hair cut, hay fever statistics, credit card use and which figure from history people would most like to meet in a seance.  Almost unbelievably, Oda Nobunaga comes takes first prize in that last one, in case you’re interested.

Ken is quick to point out that he does none of the research himself.  These are professionally conducted polls, drawn from a wide range of sources.  Ken is just making them available in English, with the occasional wry comment thrown in to keep readers coming back. 

Here or from the sidebar.

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Not NHK news, but clips from some of the more exuberant moments on Japanese television.  Naturally, nearly all the clips are in Japanese, but they’re good fun to watch even if you have no idea what’s being said.  Includes commercials, variety show segments, music videos and more.  Recent entries include a cross-dressing Maid Cafe, a terrifying fusion of Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald, and Barack Obama acknowledging that he has, in fact, heard of the little town of Obama, Japan.

Here or from the sidebar.

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“He’s English, he’s a man, and he’s in Osaka.”  This blog has been going steady for three years now, and judging from the comments the author has built up a solid readership.  Most of the posts are silly, and if you enjoy the kind of humor on offer here then you’re in luck, because the Englishman keeps things fresh with frequent entries.  Recent posts include the mysterious deserted city of Otsu, an invitation to “spot the differences” between Japanese and American school buses, and pages from a uniform rental catalog. 

Here or on the sidebar.

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