1. “If you were to sit down with the “internet” — it would be a messy-haired, foul-mouthed, aggressive, and impatient radical. The unimpeachable androgyne would attack you on subjects ranging from feminism to modern-day fascism. It’d know everything there is to know and be useless at dispensing the information. And if it had to assume a cultural identity, it would have to be Japanese.” — Jack Flanagan, in How Japan won the internet

     


  2. Today’s mini-podcast: Japan’s population crisis.  

    Japan’s population, which was 128 million just 7 years ago, is predicted to plummet to 87 million by 2060—and half of those people will be of retirement age.  

    Subscribe and listen to all of The Week’s mini-podcasts here.

     

  3. Japan is only the 15th largest consumer of American whiskey and bourbon.  So why did they just buy most of the American whiskey industry?

     


  4. Hikikomori
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    Japanese teens and young men known as shut-ins, who eschew human contact and spend their days playing video games and reading comics in their parents’ homes.  There are an estimated 1 million hikikomori in Japan, contributing to a worrisome drop in the Japanese population.

    Everything you need to know about Japan’s population crisis

     


  5. What’s disturbing about her performance is that all those tired Orientalist tropes overcame dozens of corporate hurdles and onto live television. Neither her circle nor the show’s producers had the common sense to say, Hey, you know what? This might not be such a bright idea. Can’t you just dress like a cupcake again?
     

  6. Aww look!  A newborn baby island.  But it might not live for very long.

     

  7. Meet today’s two contestants: Ryou Sawai, a heterosexual Japanese porn star with a ’90s boy-band haircut, and Takuya, a gay man who owns a bar called Cholesterol. The challenge: Can Takuya bring Sawai to orgasm against his will within 40 minutes?

    Welcome to Japan’s Orgasm Wars.

     


  8. 45%
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    of Japanese women ages 16 to 24 who are “not interested or despise sexual contact.” For Japanese men in that same age bracket? That figure is a little over a quarter.

    What America could learn from Japan’s sex deficit

     

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  10. Duel your enemies! Commit ritual seppuku! Bind your feet!

    5 disturbing historical practices you should never, ever try

     

  11. Ghost World

    Snapshots of a deserted town near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

     


  12. In the wake of 2011’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan installed solar panels at such a furious rate that the small nation is quickly becoming the largest solar market in the world.

     

  13. A crowd of Japanese people observe a moment of silence while facing the sea at 2:46 p.m. — the exact time a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan’s coast two years ago. Across the country today, several events and rallies commemorated the devastating crisis that killed almost 19,000 people and stranded 315,000 evacuees. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Kyodo)