Monday Me stay here long time

So, you decided that you want to stay in Japan short term,huh?

3-5 years in Tokyo?  Looking to 'find yourself'?  Trying to get a hot Japanese girlfriend?

Well, those are all..uh... interesting reasons, I guess.

Anyway, here are some tips for you.

1: I stated this before, but learn the language.  Of course, 3-5 years is not enough time to become fluent or anything, (well, I guess that depends on you) but if you are planning to live and work and eat etc etc, you should definitely get past basic greetings and 'Where is the bathroom?'.

2: Where ever you live, be SURE to learn what the rules are.  For example, in Japan every city has different rules about garbage and stuff like that.  If you don't follow the rules exactly, they will hunt you down and ask you why you didn't.  (Happened to a friends of mine)

3. Get used to staring.  If you are Asian, then this might not be such a problem.  Most of the time, people will assume that you are Japanese and even if you can't speak Japanese, they will just assume that you are Japanese but grew up in a foreign country.  (The same friend I mentioned above is a Chinese guy from Toronto.  People always asked him how long he has been 'back in Japan' lol)
If you are White or Black or some kind of non-Asian looking person, then people will look at you like you have a third arm growing from your forehead.

4. PAY YOUR TAXES!!  A lot of foreigners who come here for only a few years think that they don't have to, for some reason.  I guess in practice, if you don't pay for like 3 years and then go back home, nothing will happen to you.  But, if you decide that you want to stay longer, they won't renew your Visa, citing how you refuse to pay your taxes so you have no reason to stay in Japan.  So, just to be on the safe side, please pay them. 

5. Know your priorities.  Japan is a great country with lots to offer, but everything is expensive.  So, you need to decide what it is you want.  If you want to eat high quality food, then you won't have money left for anything else.  If you want to travel or go shopping, then you'll have to eat Ramen for weeks on end.  You just need to decide what it is you want.

If you dare, you could try playing Pachinko (kind of a Japanese casino).  You'll probably end up wasting money, but if you are lucky (like I was) then you can get a lot of money and then just quit before you get hooked. 

6. Finally, STAY AWAY FROM ROPPONGI!!  Roppongi is a place that is crawling with foreigners.  Now, that by itself is not a bad thing, but they only foreigners who go there are the scumbag nasty, don't-fit-in-in-their-own-country-so-they-came-here type.  If you go there, there is a chance that you will catch the 'disease'.  (The douchebag-foreigner disease).  So, I HIGHLY recommend you stay away from there. (As a side note, if you DO happen to go there, maybe just once or something, stay away from the girls there.  TRUST ME!  They are succubus-viral-plagues.  To use a famous joke, they really are like the town bicycle, if you catch me drift)

.So, I hope this has been a little informative.

Stay Frosty!


Friday Free Day - The best/worst law ever?

So, as we all know, Japan can be a little...uh... strange, at times.

But, I came across a law that not just I, but most Japanese as well, don't know.

刑法176条 Section 176 of the Constitution, or specifically the Law of Punishments, states this.


Translated this states: Men and Women (Boys and Girls) age of consent is set at 13 years of age.



Yuppers everyone.  The age of consent in Japan is 13.

However, it's not that simple.  (Of course not...)

There is another set of laws, called the Ordinance for Youth (loosely translated) which states that one may not force or coerce any young person under age 18 into, shall we say, coitus for your own personal, uh, benefit.  Now, it seems to me that you should not force ANYONE into, uh, coitus.  But, that's what it says...

Now, every prefecture as their own set of laws that, for the most part, say that you can't, uh, make a baby with anyone under 18. 

BUT!!  In 2007, a 36 year old man, wife and 2 kids, was having an affair with a 16 or 17 (I forgot) year old High School girl.  Now, they had of course been having coitus, but besides that they had been actually dating!  Like, for real!! 

So, the girl's parents found out and they, as parents do, assumed that the man was just some evil nasty animal who humps everything that moves.  So, he was arrested.

In court, he and the girl both said, and proved through pictures and emails, that they were seriously dating, and not just for, uh, coitus.

Guess what the judge said? 

Ready for it...?


The decision was that if you are dating 'for the purpose of or leading to marriage', then it is legal!.  In other words, you can date a 13 year old if you, at the beginning or at least more often then not, go on actual REAL dates (seriously date) then it is OK!!

Now to westerners, the act of dating a 13 year sounds like pedo-bear right? 

But hey, when in Rome...

Stay Frosty!(1000 internets to anyone who can tell me where that quote is from!)


Thursday - Killer writes a book about being a killer...

About 4 years ago, this young Japanese guy, named Ishihashi, murdered a young British girl, Lindsay Ann Hawker.  He then led the police on a 4 year manhunt from Tokyo all the way down to a small 6-person island in Okinawa.

As most criminals seem to do nowadays, he decided to write a book about what he did and why he did it. 

Here's an excerpt:

The naked body of 22-year-old Lindsay Hawker was found stuffed in a sand-filled bathtub at Ichihashi's Chiba apartment after he fled the scene. She had been reported missing by her roommates and the Nova language school where she worked. Police had suspected Ichihashi after Hawker's roommates said he had been stalking the Briton, pressing for her to teach him English.
Ichihashi has told investigators that he taped Hawker's mouth and tied her up in his apartment.

What a great guy, eh?
Stay Frosty!

sauce: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110127a1.html


Tuesday - Kanji Day

So, I guess I have to apologize for yesterday's entry.

To make up for it, I will put something that I know EVERYONE can appreciate.


おっぱい oppai = boobs

乳首 chikubi = nipple

巨乳 kyonyu =big boobs

激乳 gekinyu = giant boobs

爆乳 bakunyu = HOLY FREAKEN CRAP boobs (Like that one girl from Youtube that pretends to know Japanese...)

So, I hope this makes up for my crappy entry yesterday.

Stay Frosty!


Monday, For the ones who want to stay

Happy Monday everyone!

So, now for today's blog.

If you are one of those who have decided to stay here for about 3-5 years, this is for you.

First, the first job you will have is Teaching English.  I can safely say that about 95% of all foreigners who come here will start with that.

There's nothing wrong with it, and depending on your experience (aka Luck) you can actually get paid quite well.  Some pay between 2500-4000 dollars a month.

This is will get you a visa.  Once you have that, then you can rest easy.

The basic requirements for a Visa is 1: a job and 2: a college degree.

I suppose I shouldn't say this, but you can just buy a degree on the internet.  I know a guy who did that and he has been in Japan for several years without ANY problems with visas and other things.  I DO NOT recommend it, but...

Now, for apartments, you have several options.

You can stay at one of the many guest houses.  These are usually friendly and easy to get into, but they cost a TON.  Will, not really a ton, but for what you are getting, (A bunk with like 6 other people and you share everything) it seems over priced.  Usually 5-700 a month.

The good part, I guess you could say, is that they are usually always located in the center of Tokyo.  So, if you desperately want to have that 'Downtown Tokyo' lifestyle, then this may be for you.

But, if you want to actually experience Tokyo, I would recommend going for some of the more countryside areas.  The jobs here are fewer, but they are almost ALWAYS open, because everyone want to have the aforementioned lifestyle.

Also, in the countryside everything is cheaper, so while you are making the same amount of money, you will technicaly be richer, you could say.  Also, rent in the country side is SO MUCH cheaper than in the city.

Another bit of advice is the find at least 3 different super markets in your area.  The reason why is because all Supermarkets have some things cheaper and more expensive than others,.  For me, for example, for all my bread and rice needs I go to one, for my meat needs I go to another, and for things like milk and extra things, I go to to last one.

Also, buy a rice cooker.  With it, your food bill per month with be cut by as much as 50%.  Buying precooked rice seems cheap, but it can add up to much more than you think.

So, there's a few lifestyle tips for living in Japan everyone.

Stay Frosty!


Friday Free Day - The Girl at the Super Market

Hey everybody.  It's the last day of the blogging week, and so I thought I'd go with a little something personal.

So, near where I live there is this small super marlet-esque place.  Working there is this adorable girl named 谷川(tanigawa).  I have been going to said store for almost 2 years now.  I have been seeing this girl, who seems to work there quite regularly, and have been trying to think of something to say to her, besides the obligatory "Yes I can use chopstick so please put them in the bag you dolt."

FYI, I'm not trollin'.

So, anyway, as always with these types of stories, she always seems to be eyeing me, or perhaps that's just my paranoia kicking in.  Whatever the case, I have been trying to think of some way to flirt and/or get closer than just 'That one white costumer'.

But, herein lies the real dilemma. 

There is a bit of a stigma about foreign guys here, which is that we just go around picking up girls like, as the phrase here goes, 'Yellow Cabs'. 

To be fair, I do know of several foreign guys who do that very thing.  I, however, am not one of them.  While I am certainly not shy by any means, I am the type who focuses on one at a time. 

But, thanks to good ol' Uncle Stereotype, this girl, and many others, tend to avoid foreign guys. 

Well, here's the rundown of the foreign guy-girl-getting ratio.

Black guys: Require no effort what so ever.  All you have to do is dress like the stereotypical ganster/hip-hop black guy and you're set.

Everyone else: You have to follow Dante through the 9 circles of Hell just to get a phone number.

The other thing is that, despite common reasoning stating otherwise (Good ol' Japanese style), the better you are at the Japanese language, the less likely you are to get a girl.  Why?  Because when the common sense fairy was distributing common sense all over the world, right when it got to Japan the phone rang... or something like that.

So, what do you all think I should do?  I don't want to lie and ask her something like 'Hey, what does this say?' (Because I can most likely read more Japanese than she can haha)  But, I also don't want to be creepy.  (probably too late though eh? haha)

Stay frosty everyone!  Have a good weekend.


One of the coolest stories I've heard in a long time

So, recently in Japan there's been 'Tiger Mask' donations. 

Well, not donations of Tiger masks, but some people going by the alias Naoto Date, which is the name of the character from a famous old Japanese cartoon called 'Tiger Mask'.  They have been donating school bags, food, clothes, and a bunch of other stuff all anonymously. 

It's kind of nice to see. 
Usually, politicians and other pseudo-philanthropists are always announcing their donations.  But, here in Japan, people usually hate attention.  Well, at least direct attention anyway.

So, there are a bunch of little do-gooders going around giving stuff to orphans and what not, all using the names of all Anime characters. 

You gotta admit, that's pretty cool.

Stay frosty!

sauce: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110119f1.html




So, it's Tuesday, and so that means time for Kanji.

If you are studying Japanese, you have probably seen 雷, which means lightning.

But, there are several different ways to say lightning.



The last one will blow Japanese people's minds away if you have write it for them.  It was mainly used in like old shrines and temples, but you will never see it now. 

The most famous usage of it I know about is in 水滸伝 (Suikoden... yeah, like the RPG) one of the chapters is titled 霹靂。

Stay Frosty!


Monday For the Tourists

Well readers, it's Monday.

So, in continuation of last weeks blog, I will discuss some things for those of you who want to come to Japan for just a few weeks or months.

There are tons of websites and blogs about places to go and things to see, so I won't talk about that.

First of all, money.

Obviously, the longer you are planning to stay, the more you need.  Unless you really know your way around and the ins and outs of super markets and such, you can expect to spend about 1000 yen (about 12 dollars I think) per meal.  If you can/want to cook it yourself, then the cost will be much lower.

Here are some dos and don'ts.


Try to learn some of the language.  Being a tourist, of course no one expects you to be fluent.  But, being the 'English Tourist' really turns a lot of people off.  (Japan is famous in Asia for its horrendous English. See below)

Respect the places and people.  This may seem obvious, but TONS of foreigners come here and act like this country is their playground.  The people are not here to make your life better of serve you in any way.  Because you are American/White/Black/Western whatever, you are NOT above them in any way.  Please, for all our sakes, act like a guest and not like you are doing a B&E.

Dress nicely.  Depending on your country of origin, your sense of fashion may be casual (like USA) or stylish (like Italy).  There are special words they have here for foreigner tourists who dress like they don't know how to use a mirror.  So PLEASE, dress nicely.  No socks in the sandals, don't pull your socks up to your knees, etc.  To be honest, wearing a dress shirt all the time (tie is optional of course) will make you fit in better.  Trust me, it may be a casual vacation for you, but in Japan dressing nicely all the time is part of the culture.  Leave the t-shirts and Walmart Jeans at home.

BE QUIET!!  Foreigners speaking loudly on trains and stuff is one of the biggest pet peeves of Japanese people.  Talking on trains and buses is fine, but do it like you're telling a secret about everyone on the train.  Or, pretend they can understand you.  In Tokyo, everyone hates everyone, so they just want to stay quiet.  Do the same, please.  (Well, you don't have to hate everyone, but you get what I mean)


Cause trouble at Tsukiji Fish Market.  Every year they have to close it to foreigners (which means white and black people only, of course. Pfft...) because some douche bags are riding the transportation vehicles, touching the fish, causing general trouble.  I would recommend staying away from there anyway, but if you have some kind of fish fetish or something, stay completely silent, DON'T TAKE PICTURES!! and be respectful.

Look like a douche.  Your long unwashed unkept hair is NASTY!!  Cut it or take care of it.  (Nothing wrong with long hair, but if you just wash it with shampoo and them let it hang on your head like a dead animal, then stay home.  We don't what your kind here).

Expect everyone (or anyone for that matter) to speak English.  They won't.  If you stay at a high grade hotel, then they might.  If you go to tourist places, they may speak a word or two.  But, asking people on the street for directions in English is like sucking on a urinal cake.  It's not fun and gets you no where.  That is why at the beginning I told you to learn Japanese.  Just a few phrases is fine, but I HIGHLY recommend it.

So, here is a small list of some do's and don'ts.  I will expand on it in the coming weeks as I talk about living in Japan and staying here for a long time.

Until then, stay frosty!


Friday Free Day

So, I have finally come to the final day of my blogging week.  Since it is my 'free' day, I was thinking I would talk about something that is rarely talked about when discussing Japan.


Japanese people will tell you that Japan is a homogeneous society.  This is false.  There are approximately 5 million foreigners.  Well, to be frank, what exactly counts as a foreigner in Japan is still up for debate.  There are many Japanese people who don't look anything like what you would expect an 'Asian' to look like.  (I'm using their stereotypes, not mine by the way)

People who are, for example, half white half Japanese are either worshiped or hated.

Anyway, the racism is Japan is, on the bright side, different than that of western countries.  In places like, for example, America, people genuinely hate other races.  In Japan, however, it isn't based on hate so much as pure blatant fear.

There have been foreigners in Japan since like the 1600s.  (Although, if you want to be specific about count China and Korea as foreign nations as well, which they are, then the majority of Japan is foreign, haha) However, people still act as if White and Black people just started coming to Japan a week ago.

The truth is, as far as immigration is concerned, Japan as been very open to foreigners for quite a while.  3 times in their history, appx. 250 AD 500 AD and about 750 AD, there were huge waves in immigrants from the Korean peninsula after their cites and countries were taken over by the current ruling Chinese dynasty.

So, that leads to the big question of what makes someone a 'foreigner' in Japan.  The key answer is the face.  If you are Chinese or Korean, or from any Asian country that is not like India, Indonesia,  or the Philippines, then you will have an amazingly easy time fitting in.  Until you speak of course.  If they find out you are not Japanese, they will act like you are some kind of spy or something.

Japan... the land the common sense fairy forgot...

Stay Frosty!


Thursday News

So, Japan has been having some trouble lately with people.  Not any specific person, mind you, but with Japanese people in general.  Wait, Japan is having trouble with Japanese people, you ask?  Exactly, well, truthfully, the problem is not the people, but the number of them.

Japan's population is slowly decreasing and the ones who are alive are slowly aging, as humans tend to do.  Most of the Japanese population is retired, and with more and more people moving to the cities and having fewer and fewer kids, you can see what 20-30 years might do to this country.

The ironic part is, even though Japan knows that they need more foreign workers, (or some kind of anti-condom movement) they have decided not to, at least for now, open their doors a bit more to foreigners.  So my theory is as follows: Japan is either going to develop cyborg-bodies and transplant all the old people's brains into them, or develop cloning to clone workers.

Stay Frosty!


Wednesday Time for Engrish

There's just something about Engrish that brings a smile to my face.

The funny thing is that you see shirts like this almost every day.  I don't have a picture, but I remember one day I saw a little boy, maybe 7-9 years old, and his shirt said something almost exactly like this picture.

Makes you wonder what those Kanji shirts that nerds always wear say...


Three ways to say "Say"

Happy Tuesday everyone.

As I outlined before, every Tuesday will be Kanji day.

Now, there are tons of websites and Youtube vids that deal with real basic stuff, so I decided not to touch on those. 

This blog will be for those who already have a basic knowledge, or even an advanced one, of Japanese. 

A little background on me.  I passed the 漢字検定一級 which is the highest level of the Kanji test for Japanese people.  It contains about 6000 kanji (for reference, the average Japanese person knows about 1800-2200).

So, here are today's Kanji.

3 Kanji for the word Say 


All of these are pronounced いう and they all mean the same thing.  In older books (older meaning from about 150 years ago) 云う is more common.  Also, just a little trivia, the word いう used to be written いふ or 言ふ.

Well, that's all for today.  More Kanji next week.

Stay frosty!


Monday January 10 Before you even think of moving to Japan

So, you have decided, for whatever reason, that you want to come to this country.  Well, I would strongly advise you to stop and think about exactly why, or rather, for what purpose.

There are roughly 4 main groups that you can divide yourself into.
1 Tourist You are just planning on staying in Japan for a few weeks to a few months
2 Work You are planning on coming to Japan, and staying here for roughly 1-5 years
3 Live You are planning on staying here for as long as you can
4 Expat Your company is going to pay you a bazzillion bucks and give you a free apartment

So, which ever group you are in, I will explain that to do next week. 

Until then, stay frosty.

The First of Many

Good day all.  This is Ootri, and for whatever reason, I have decided to start a blog.  Seeing as how its all rather popular and all, I decided "Hey, why not."

A wise man once said "Write what you know." So, that is exactly what I'll do.

This blog will be about Japan, or rather things about Japan. 

My schedule will be as follows:

Monday Living in Japan
Tuesday Japanese Language (with particular focus on Kanji)
Wednesday Engrish
Thursday Japanese News
Friday Free Topic (basically, I'll write whatever I feel like writing)