By shinden114

Battle of the Apes: How Did Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Beat King Kong?

With the upcoming release of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo seems to be on the upswing after a very troubling period. It is hard to remember that in the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s, Nintendo was on top of the world. It was seemingly indomitable. They could crush any competitors, and they often did. Yet,…

Is the Mysterious Yonaguni Monument Japan’s Own Atlantis?

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with aliens and the unexplained. I remember getting a book from the library about unexplained phenomena: the Bermuda Triangle, the Mary Celeste, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and much, much more. In the book, there was a short chapter on a topic that combined two things I…

Is Capcom’s ‘Resident Evil’ the Forerunner of the Zombie Apocalypse?

Zombies are everywhere!!! No, really, I mean it. You can’t throw a dead voodoo cat without hitting some kind of zombie media – The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, The Last of Us, Warm Bodies, and many more. One of South Korea’s biggest hits this 2016 was a zombie movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger even made…

What Is Hikikomori? Could It Be One of Japan’s Most Serious Problems?

Nearly 700,000 young Japanese people are missing. They have seemed to drop from the face of the earth. They do not work, they do not engage socially, and they are gone for years at a time. These tend to be largely young men between the age of 15 to 34. These young people will suddenly…

Is ‘Ninja Gaiden’ One of the Most Important Games Ever?

When I was little and just learning games from my older brother, I would watch him and his friends play our NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) for hours at a time. I remember watching him beat all of Super Mario Bros. 3 in one sitting (no warps). I remember watching him play The Legend of Zelda,…

Is Mass Immigration the Only Way to Save Japan?

Many years ago before I came to Japan, I was taking part in a short-term intensive Japanese study facility to prepare for my coming trip. One of the students ahead of me in the class went a few weeks before my cohort and I. We sent him a letter asking, “What’s Japan like?” In his…

Did You Know That Japan Had Its Own Nuclear Weapons Program?

Many years ago, I attended an anti-nuclear assembly in Wakayama, Japan. This was in about 2007 or 2008, well before the March 11, 2011 earthquake that would shut down the country’s entire nuclear power program. The speaker was very much against nuclear power and nuclear development of any kind. Her speech was rather self-congratulatory as…

Has Everyone Forgotten About the JRPG Classic ‘Parasite Eve’?

In the past few years, the world of gaming has one under heavy fire from progressives and women’s rights groups claiming that female game characters are incredibly sexist. They especially point to games made in Japan where it is common for female game characters to be clad in less fabric than you might find or…

Is the New Godzilla Film Worth Watching? A Pre and Post Viewing Review

As a child, I loved Saturday mornings and afternoon tv. One of my favorite channels in the mid to late ’90s was the Sci-Fi Channel. Almost every weekend, they would play a lot of the old classic sci-fi movies or B-movies from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Some of my favorite were the Godzilla (ゴジラ)…

Saigo Takamori, the Real Last Samurai With a Fascinating Story

One of the aspects of Japan that attracts many people is samurai. Noble Japanese warriors wielding deadly weapons with codes of honor is a cool concept for many people. Although the blockbuster movie starring Ken Watanabe and Tom Cruise, The Last Samurai, was based on the true Japanese figure, Saigo Takamori, the truth does not…
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