2. When you’re disillusioned with the reality of your early adult life, dressing up like Doctor Who starts looking better and better. It’s not to say that all or even most cosplay aficionados are struggling to find work. It’s only to say that any rise in people fleeing reality for fantasy suggests problems with our reality.

    Why the rise of cosplay is a bad sign for the U.S. economy

    Dressing up like Wolverine or Cersei Lannister is probably more fun than scouring the classifieds for menial jobs



  4. The peculiar, old-school charm of pachinko

    Japan’s version of pinball has long been a mainstay. But it is struggling to lure new, technology-inundated fans.



  6. Japanese artist asks fans to 3D print her vagina, gets arrested

    "My work is against discriminative, ignorant treatment of the vagina," artist Megumi Igarashi said



  8. Brace yourself for this 33-hour sea otter live stream

    The internet needs to be fed in one of three ways: GIFs of Miley Cyrus twerking, clips of public figures “rapping,” and live animal cams. A Japanese aquarium decided it could help out with providing the latter, so it’s unveiling a 33-hour live cam pointed at its adorable otter exhibit starting tonight at 8 p.m. ET.


  9. “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


  10. 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.


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


  12. Hikikomori

    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


  13. 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?