Dark Horizon

January 18, 2015

I recently read a copy of Brian Reyes’ outrageous book, Dark Horizon, which he describes as “a vulgar yet playful book of insults”. It’s a spoof of the popular English textbook series, New Horizon, which has been read in Japanese public school since 1965. Here’s how Brian describes it:

I thought about the characters from New Horizon, and what they would be like 10 years later if they fell on hard times. In my version of the book, the character Mike is homeless, Emi is a prostitute and good ol’ Ann Green sensei is a suicidal hostess. They have rude conversations and Japanese can learn some very rude English insults. I included Romaji in the book, so it works well for English speakers to learn naughty Japanese phrases too!

A3_Chapter 7 En and JaA2_Chapter 3 Color

It’s a hilarious, irreverent read. You can get it in Amazon and lots of Japanese shops.


Japanese Bikini Trombonists

December 18, 2008

Just my luck- I wait all my life for a band of bikini-clad trombone players, and when I finally discover one I find out they broke up last month. Tsk!

“Futomomo Satisfaction” featured three female trombonists in bikinis,
performing covers of The Ramones, The Rolling Stones and Buggles, alongside original tunes. The three fetching girls, Jackie, Suzuyakko, and Lumiere, certainly put the “bone” in “trombone,” if you catch my drift.

The girls described themselves on their Myspace Page thus:

Futomomo Satisfaction is a Japanese bikini Trombone gal band.
This revolutional icon in Japanese indies, will inevitably fascinate you!

Indeed. This is the exact kind of inspired, uncynical silliness and lack of regard for convention that keeps me living in Japan. Here are some videos of their shows.


Here’s a link to the Futomomo Satisfaction website.


Japanese Monkey Waiters

October 29, 2008

Amazingly, there’s a pub in Tochigi prefecture with two monkey waiters.

I fully intend to check this place out some time. I wonder if they go ape-shit if you don’t leave a tip.


Random Ramblings

August 30, 2008

Here are a couple of stories that I wrote but forgot to post in the winter. At the time I was perusing the tabloids and news-sites to find funny tales of drunken scandals in the Land of the Rising Sun. But there weren’t that many!

Youths Throw Mayonnaise at Coming of Age Day
The annual coming-of-age-ceremony takes place in January each year. It’s a traditional event where those who are 20 years old that year celebrate their adulthood by dressing up and attending a special ceremony in their local town hall. The streets are brightened up by beautiful girls in fur stoles and luxurious silk kimonos that cost their parents a small fortune.
Historically, the students spend the day posing for photographs and sitting quietly, listening to numerous speeches by local dignitaries. (These speeches are, by all accounts, extremely boring.)
Now, in the West, if you filled a hall with thousands of adolescents and told them that they are now allowed to drink, smoke, and pretty much do whatever the hell they like from now on, all hell would break loose. If the newspapers are anything to go by, things seem to be headed in that direction in Japan too these days. Each year, there are more and more headlines about the drunkenness and debauchery of the new adults.
Indeed, each year I look aghast at the 20-year-old girls sat in bars, dropping cigarette ash and slopping red wine onto their priceless kimonos.

The most ridiculous incident I read about took place during the speeches this January. Two boys had obviously taken to the newly-permitted booze-guzzling, like ducks to water, and had been knocking back the beverages before the event. Bored to tears by the monotonous speeches, the pair of delinquents crashed the stage and started throwing mayonnaise at each other. To a room of 20 year olds, the sauce-splattered tearaways’ slapstick routine was probably far more entertaining than the actual speeches, but the older generation didn’t see it that way.

I’m just pleased to live in a country where mayonnaise slinging still makes the headlines!

Drunken Molesting Demon.
One of Japan’s most bizarre events is the annual Namahage festival in Akita. Every New Year’s Eve, a group of men wearing terrifying monster costumes visit all the local children at their homes and scare the shit out of them, threatening to take the little rascals away if they are naughty or disrespectful. With their grotesque masks, straw raincoats, wooden knives and haunting cries, the Namahage bogeymen are sure to subdue even the most rambunctious toddler. Good work, guys!
(Personally, I think this would be a good solution to the escalating juvenile delinquency in the West. Send guys in Freddy, Jason or Pinhead costumes around to scare some sense into young Timmy. “If you don’t eat your vegetables…I’LL TEAR YOUR SOUL APART!”)

This year, however, proceedings didn’t go according to plan. Thanks to imbibing way too much booze during the festivities, one of the Namahage fellas caused quite a scene. He got so utterly smashed that he somehow stumbled into a women’s public bath, still in his creepy costume, and started groping and chasing the naked ladies around. The poor women must have horrified. He was trying to “give them the willies,” so to speak. It sounds like a Benny Hill spoof of “The Ring”.
The lascivious loon got a severe telling off, but got off with a slap on the wrist after saying sorry. The lesson is- if someone wants to get away with groping ladies, they must be wearing a ridiculous costume. It worked for Benny Hill!

More at Japan Probe.


Penis Party 2008

March 19, 2008

The first Sunday in April is almost here, which means it’s almost time for Kawasaki’s notorious Kanamara fertility festival, at which an enormous pink penis is paraded around town by transvestites, vegetables are carved into phallic shapes, and crowds nibble on pink schlong-shaped lollipops. Before you sigh “those crazy Japanese people,” I should point out that these days the voyeuristic, giggling Western tourists outnumber the locals.
Festivities take place on Sunday April 6th, at Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki from around 10AM to 4PM. To get there, take the Daishi Line to Kawasaki Daishi station. Go out of the exit and you’ll see Wakamiya Hachimangu shrine across the street, to the right.
Tel: (044) 222-3206
You can read a story I wrote about it last year, with accompanying photos, here– which is by far the most popular blog entry I’ve ever written (it’s been seen by about 100,000 people). Below are some new pictures that I didn’t post last year.