Jobs in Japan

Whether it’s due to a Japanese nod towards internationalism or a need for novelty, more and more foreigners are popping up on TV shows, in commercials and as part of product advertising campaigns. Not just the fabulously famous variety either, but your regular run-of-the-mill gaijin. A group normally named gaitare, a slightly comical combination of foreigner and talent.

Now whilst a large number of these semi-celebrities do posses more than a fair bit of the latter in both fluency and finesse, others it has to be said come up a bit short in the skills department. But even then, if they are endowed in other areas, there is still work to be had out there.

Japanese party suit

(click image for full-sized foreigner)

Tokyo tumble

How much truth there is in the much favoured phrase “60 is the new 40” is certainly open to question, but if it is considered credible, then where does it leave the Japanese? As undoubtedly the longest living people in the world, could 70 actually be the new 40 in Japan?

In fact for some so-called elderly Japanese, even such a claim could be classed as conservative, with more adventurous activities still being continued well into later life. Take skateboarding for example. Whereas many of their western counterparts may weary of their wheels before reaching 30, Japanese boarders never surrender – they simply support themselves with sticks instead.

Japanese old boarder

(image from Nero’s great uncle, via the FG forums)

Single-minded salary man

Having a pastime is always pleasant, although Hiroyasu Imura’s homage to Himeji Castle is certainly more than a mere hobby, as the 69-year-old has spent the last 19 years building a replica of the famous white-walled wonder.

himeji castle Japan

Similar perhaps to people who maintain Japan-related websites, Imura-san is undoubtedly guilty of having too much time on his hands; however as well as countless construction hours, the former insurance examiner has also spent a whopping 18 million yen (145,000 dollars) on the project.

Yet with the model matching the original in every single detail, the purposeful pensioner’s dedication to precision has been rewarded with the title of ‘Tourist Ambassador’ – an honour bestowed upon him by the Himeji Government. In fact the only person apparently not overly enamoured with the object is Imura’s wife, as she had hoped that upon its completion she’d be able to enjoy trips to hot spring resorts. But the huge number of visitors wanting to see her husband’s masterpiece has sadly put paid to that.

himeji castle Japan

Something that is slightly surprising considering that the real castle itself is only about 3 hours away by train.

himeji castle Japan

Girlfriend in a coma

The Japanese love affair with latex dolls is well documented, or at least it is on this site, with a veritable selection of opportunities for a spot of silicone-based satisfaction. For those not overly concerned about what the neighbours may think for example, a doll rental service is available in Tokyo. Plus for the connoisseur with a more cautious nature, visiting a latex lover equipped love hotel may be a safer and less stressful option. And even the lonely periods between trysts can be eased somewhat by a perusal of the periodical of choice for doll devotees, i-doloid.

japanese idoloid magazine

Yet with prices for such services not exactly cheap, and buying a doll itself costing a whopping 600,000 yen – currently a relative bargain at only 4,800 dollars due to the weak yen – these silicone substitutes must have something very special to offer. A question possibly answered by the disturbing but definitely safe for work video below, as whilst boasting dimensions a man can only dream of, they also do a credible job of appearing conscious.

Albeit only barely.

(big thanks to JJ for the link)

Real estate reflection?

With Japan seemingly obsessed with celebrity as much as the rest of the world, it’s not surprising that many companies use famous faces to sell products or push particular brands.

Cosmetics giant Shiseido for example has wisely secured the services of young model Yuri Ebihara. Her advertising campaign for Anessa proving very popular indeed, especially as it involves Ebihara-san bounding along the beach in a bikini.

yuri ebihara

Whilst thankfully more modestly dressed, baseball star Hideki Matsui is a similarly effective figure for Mizuno. Godzilla’s strength and success overseas further solidifying the sports equipment maker’s standing.

Yet whereas cosmetics and the like are easily matched to a comely or crowd-pleasing celebrity, it’s a little more difficult for some products/services. Like Japanese online property pioneer Mother’s Auction for example. The company’s gruelling quest eventually seeing it secure the services of singer and writer Akihiro Miwa.

Akihiro miwa

A man of many talents it has to be said, but a purveyor of property might be pushing things a little bit.

Japanese justification

Whether the arguments put forward for a lifting of restrictions are due to cultural or culinary concerns, Japan’s yearly culling of a limited number of protected whales for ‘scientific purposes’ is laughable to say the least. A stance that is even more suspect when one looks at the numbers involved. And then of course there is the huge amount of ‘by-products’. So much so in fact that children are being fed whale meat for lunch, burger bars are putting it between buns and supermarkets are flogging the stuff fresh or in cute little cans.

Yet whilst the unrepentant fisherman of Wada in eastern Japan may not win the hearts of many people due to their hunting of whales not on the protected list, they certainly can’t be accused of the same kind of hypocrisy. As like it or not they are legally allowed to do it – no spurious subterfuge needed.

Japanese whaling

Although that said, whether their recent butchering of a bottlenose whale is a suitable sightseeing spot for a school excursion is debatable to say the least.

Japanese whaling