Bradcat’s Japanese Culture Focus… Julien Blanc is coming to Japan, let’s stop that happening

My blog has always been light hearted, so I apologise in advance that this may upset some of you. This week something was brought to my attention (via YouTube J-Vloggers, Victor: Gimmeaflakeman, Ben: Dochi Hoko, and Rachel: Rachel & Jun) which made me so sick to my stomach. An infamous “pick-up artist” named Julien Blanc is heading to Japan. I’m going to throw you all into the deep end with a quote from a, quite frankly, vile and pathetic excuse of a boy (I refuse to call him a man) before I go into depth on this topic…

Julien Blanc, misogynist extraordinaire

“When you go to Tokyo….if you’re a white male, you can do what you want. Just grab her, pull her in. She’ll giggle. Just say PIKACHU or POKEMON or something to take the pressure off. I’m romping through the streets (of Tokyo) just grabbing girls and it’s like (motions) head on dick (pfft) head on dick, yelling ‘PIKACHU’ with a Pikachu shirt on….Every foreigner who is white does this. When you see that one foreigner in the crowd in Tokyo and your eyes will lock and you know that he knows and he knows that and it’s this guilty look like you both fucked a hooker or something.” – Julien Blanc, Real Social Dynamics.

As you can see from the video for yourself, his methods include grabbing women and forcing their heads into his crotch. Towards the end of the video, he’s clearly seen harassing a retail clerk by wrapping his arm around her neck and pulling her over the counter. He’s taking advantage of his white privilege, playing ignorant to Japanese customs and furthermore, dehumanising Japanese women. (The video above was uploaded by “msdoom99” as to avoid giving this scumbag any “click$” on his YouTube videos.)

Firstly, the fact he’s labeled as a “pick-up artist” is disgusting. Straight away it signifies that we’re dealing with someone who doesn’t view women as people, but as objects for his own gratification and sexual amusement. In September he released a video titled “White male f-cks Asian women in Tokyo (and the beautiful methods to it),” which went viral. While Blanc (25) isn’t short of fans, however the backlash from the people disapproving of this video, far outweighed the supporters of these quite frankly, criminal acts.

We can see in the video clear examples of patriarchy, white imperialism, and sexual assault all rolled into one vile human being. Whats worse, is that there is an entire room of pathetic excuses for men hanging on his every word. I, for one, won’t stand for this. How dare he group us together with the statement Every foreigner who is white does this“?! So what can we do to stop this pathetic sociopath from entering Japan, and furthermore stop him from giving these sick lectures?

If you want more insight into the kind of person we’re talking about, check out this Tumblr link which shows his exploits on dating website/app “Tinder”

Thanks to Twitter activist Jennifer Li we now have a hashtag #TakeDownJulienBlanc which we can use to target venues, and cities in which he plans to host events.If you don’t think this will work, allow me to show you just THREE tweets I sent out this week to make the venues aware of what they were supporting. Firstly the Como hotel, who were then closely followed by the Marriott hotel, in shutting down the planned events. Also ticket distribution website Eventbrite were soon quick to remove the event from their website once discovering the true nature of the event…

 

 

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What can you do? Below is a list of simple things (taken from Anonymous) you can do to stop this company from poisoning the minds of broken men who believe the answer to happiness is their sexual gratification.

1.) Sign This Petition: Cancel Julien Blanc and RSD’s Seminars.: https://www.change.org/p/the-como-melbourne-hotel-cancel-julien-blanc-and-rsd-s-seminars-takedownjulienblanc

2.) Information on venues and action is due to change so keep up with the hashtag #TakeDownJulienBlanc on Twitter

3.) Twitter Report

Help ban Julien Blanc from twitter by posting the information below here: https://support.twitter.com/forms/abusiveuser

Account: @RSDJulien

Tweet: https://twitter.com/RSDJulien/status/529273058465296385 (if he deletes this tweet, select any of his others)

Report Script: This user is posting information on how to harass and abuse women sexually, in the tweet attached he is encouraging his followers to attend his seminars to gain knowledge on how to ‘harass’, ‘molest’, and ‘abuse’ women. This targeted abuse is not only sexist and violent, but also racist. I implore you to please shut down the @RSDJulien account to prevent further harm to any other individuals by this man’s twitter followers and actions.

4.) If you see any signs of him planning an event in your country, or city, please do your best to make your countries embassy and local venues aware.

We need to stop this guy from being able to hold these lectures and spread his vile messages. We need to stop him from not only entering Japan, but ANY country he tries to gain access to, as to stop the promotion of rape culture.

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Bradcat’s Anime Focus… Studio Ghibli Shutting Down? No!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know all about Studio Ghibli. In Japan, the studio is often compared to Disney for it’s cute characters and fantastic storytelling. They’ve been creating beloved cartoons for over two decades, and smashed Japanese box office records for years.

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Despite this success, it’s been no secret that the studio has been struggling financially for a couple of years now, with their recent movies failing to make a decent profit for the studio. One particular movie released in 2013 grossed over 2.3 billion yen (roughly £13.3 Million) however it was still considered a failure due to the high production costs (close to 5 billion yen! Owch!)

Last year, Hayao Miyazaki, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, retired and handed responsibilities over to Toshio Suzuki. Suzuki became Studio Ghibli’s general manager, however gave up producing films at the same time.

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However this is where things become complicated. Toshio Suzuki recently took to Japanese television to announce the studio’s closure. While he said that one option would be to shut down the production department, the key focus was that Studio Ghibli is looking into streamlining the company.

This means that the studio will make cuts, but will it close? Absolutely not. They will focus on managing trademarks and copyrights to secure a steady income. This also means that options are there for the company to branch out into freelance and work on any viable projects.

However, this is bad news for the production team. As the studio has no plans to produce it’s own films, they will undoubtedly be let go.

A lot of the articles you will see on the Internet are casting a very dark gloomy shadow over the future of the company, but let’s keep an eye on the fact that no major Japanese outlet has run a “Studio Ghibli Shuts Down!” story. So until that time, things seem a little cloudy, but just sit tight!

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Bradcat’s Japanese Culture Focus… Japan Earthquake & Tsunami of 2011

On March 11th 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake struck the north east coast of Japan. As if the damaged caused by the Pacific tectonic plate moving under the North American plate wasn’t bad enough, the country was hit by something even more devastating; a tsunami.



Due to a gross underestimation of the tsunami, no one was fully prepared. The only previous experience the Japanese people had of tsunamis were of ones no more than a few feet high. Even though Japan had invested a lot of money into coastal protection and evacuation centres, they were not designed to withstand a tsunami of this size. Many people who took refuge in the evacuation centres were lead to a false sense of security and lost their lives to the tsunami.


I’ve already covered the effects of the tsunami at Fukushima on a previous blog. But I wanted to dedicate this post to how the people of Japan feel almost 3 years on. Even now, there are roughly 300,000 Japanese citizens living in temporary housing with a large amount of the £92bn relief money being misspent, the Japanese government have said. 

With much hype surrounding the 2020 olympic games being hosted in Japan, we have to ask, is this the right time? Should the government be putting money into the olympics while so many families require assistance getting their lives back? Will the olympics generate more money for Japan, which they can then use to help support the victims? Or will that be a case of too little, too late?


I have had the chance to get the opinions and accounts from some of my friends who live in Japan which I can share with you here.

“It was 2011, almost 3 years have passed since then. It was the biggest earthquake I’ve ever felt. I had just graduated from high school and I was 18 at the time. That day, I had a graduation party with my friends, and I was heading there on foot, when the earthquake hit. It was so scary and lasted a long time, but once the shaking had stopped, I thought nothing more of it and had fun at the party.

Then when I got back home, I saw the news bout the tsunami. I had no idea how much damage had been caused. My friends also thought that earthquake was just an earthquake. I could not believe what I saw on TV I was so surprised, and upset, that I began to cry. I thought to myself “What can I do for them? What can I do to help the relief effort?” I prayed for them everyday. I never thought I’d forget about the disaster. 

Talking about it now has made me realise that the events of the disaster had receded in my memory. I can’t relate to the families affected by the tsunami as I wasn’t there at the time, and I didn’t lose any of my loved ones. I can only imagine the experience they went through.” 
Riho Adachi, Yokohama

“Unfortunately I do not know a lot about politics and news. The government may plan to use the profit made from the Olympics to help the revival, but 2020’s a long time to wait. I think that they should help the victims as soon as possible!” 
Natsumi Maekawa, Hirosaki

“That’s really nice of you that you’ll work on a blog about this subject. I was a bit excited to hear about the Tokyo Olympics but myself and many people didn’t know that Japan was even nominated as one of the Olympic nominees! The government and media say that the Olympics will help rebuild the areas affected by the tsunami disaster. Perhaps the sponsor money from huge companies will help generate money for the people of the north east.

I didn’t know 300,000 people are still homeless, I feel bad for not knowing that. It’s been 3 years since the tsunami and some areas are back to normal, which often makes me forget about the disaster. However I must never forget, and I will have to visit the north east again soon.”
Nami Inoue, Osaka

That’s an awful fact. The misspent money could’ve helped the victims of the tsunami for years to come. As for the Olympics, we can expect economic effects and the government should have more money to help the victims. However, that’s a long way off, and it’s a fact that many people are suffering right now from the aftermath. So I want the government to use the money effectively for helping those people.”
– Naoko Okamoto, Osaka

“Sean! First of all, thank you very much for sending your love to Japan. We really appreciate you and your encouragement from all over the world! I also would like to research how the situation has been changing in Fukushima after the tsunami.”
– Yasuko Ohashi, Tokyo

You can watch the breathtaking documentary called “Japan’s Tsunami: Caught on Camera” which inspired this blog post, right here:
Japan’s Tsunami: Caught on Camera captures the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011, using amateur footage filmed by those caught up in the disaster.

What are your thoughts on the disaster? What actions would you like the Japanese government to take? Do you think the 2020 Olympics will help Japan? Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear all of your opinions.

A huge thank you to my Japanese friends for sharing their experiences of the tsunami with me, and allowing me to share them with you all.

Bradcat’s Japanese Culture Focus… Fast Food

In the UK we’re no strangers to the world of fast food with “Drive-thru” restaurants popping up on practically every corner, and the government constantly trying to push healthy school meals. Not to mention we were statistically the 5th “fattest” county in Europe in 2013. While our meal sizes are smaller in comparison to countries like America (Their small McDonalds meals are equal to our large ones) that doesn’t stop us from indulging ourselves once in a while. 

“Would you like a side of fries with that?”
“Would you like to upgrade to a larger side order?”
“Did you know you can go large for just 30p?”


These are standard questions at any fast food restaurant these days. But what would you say, if your server asked if you’d “like a stone of fries with that?” You’d probably look at them as if they were insane.


Not in Japan…

In Japan, McDonald’s ran a special promotion for a short period of time where you could buy a large portion of fries for just  ¥150 yen (that’s roughly 90p) and kids went crazy for it. Some groups of kids hosted their own “potato parties” spending ¥5500 (£35) on mountains of fries like in the photo above. According to the Twitter commentary which went with the photos, all the fries were consumed. 


More recently Burger King have announced their BiKing promotion. Their play on words is meant to be synonymous with “Viking” with Japanese people obviously pronouncing their V’s as B’s. In this promotion the company are offering all you can eat Whopper burgers. All you have to do is consume your burger, go back to the counter with your empty wrapper, and they’ll give you a new one! Obviously there are rules to stop cheaters. You’re not allowed to palm the Whoppers into your bag, or have your friend help you eat, anyone caught doing this will be refused service. Oh, there is also a 30 minute time limit, so think again if you planned on eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the BK lounge.


On a slightly more serious note, Japan is the world’s second biggest economy but it struggles to produce enough food. The government says only 39% of the food the Japanese need is grown in Japan. In contrast Britain produces 70% of the food its population needs and France more than 120%. With over 128 million people in Japan, it ranks 124th in the world in terms of food security, and as the global population continues to grow there is more competition for resources. Which begs the question, are these over the top promotions wise?

What’s the craziest fast food you’ve experienced? Let me know in the comments below!

Bradcat’s Japanese Culture Focus… Sex in Japan

An article was recently published in The Guardian titled “Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex?” by Abigail Haworth. The article has caused a bit of a stir on the internet, with rival newspapers writing counter articles, people making videos on YouTube in response, and bloggers like myself, ranting on their pages.



The article explores multiple reasons for the decline in newborns, and why young people are shying away from the bedroom. I’ll try my best to outline some of the key points for you:

Technology

With the rise of modern technology, teenage boys are finding themselves drawn in by simulation games. Why bother to go out and do the real thing, when you can simulate that activity via a video game in the comfort of your own home? That’s fine for sports simulations, or activities that might be beyond your normal parameters, but what about dating sims? 

That’s right, you can now have your very own virtual girlfriend (or boyfriend) without having to deal with the “baggage” of a relationship. You can turn your companion on or off, as and when you see fit. Many of these young Japanese males take these simulations on journeys with them to work! 

But do these virtual spouses match the real thing? Many of these people would say yes, with some males keeping hold of their simulation games for several years, longer than most real world marriages.



Career

It’s not just the lonely Otaku males, hiding away in their bedrooms that are avoiding relationships. Women are too. Many middle aged women are avoiding relationships, and marriage in fear of becoming pregnant and having that interfere with their careers. One woman who was interviewed for the article in The Guardian said;

“The bosses assume you will get pregnant.” Once a woman does have a child, she adds, the long, inflexible hours become unmanageable. “You have to resign. You end up being a housewife with no independent income. It’s not an option for women like me.”


Tradition

Japan is a country with deep roots in tradition. It has only recently started to break away from the archaic family roles. In the 80’s the “Salaryman” was born. The husband was labeled as the breadwinner of the household, while the wife would stay at home to cook and clean. Many Western countries dropped these gender roles as early as the 60’s, while in Japan these structures can still be found.

This is why a lot of middle aged males avoid relationships, as they feel pressured into providing for their entire family during Japan’s financial crisis.

What does this all mean for Japan? 

Well for starters with fewer younger people, this will mean more old people to support a few years down the line. The elderly will look down to the younger generations and say “I’ve paid my dues, I’ve worked hard to create this world for you, now it’s your turn to look after me.” If you imagine a triangle representing the population of Japan. At the moment, there is a large population (at the base), supporting a small number of elderly people (at the top). However if this trend continues, we will see an inverted triangle with a smaller population supporting a large number of elderly people. This will no doubt cause even more worries for Japan.

What are your views on this issue? You can read the article for yourself by clicking here

Bradcat’s Japanese Culture Focus… Olympics 2020

It was announced over the weekend that Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympics. But what does this mean for Japan exactly? 



Firstly, it’s the perfect way for Japan to show the world that it’s bouncing back from the 2011 tsunami and it’s on going economic crisis. The games will no doubt have the same effect as London 2012 and give the nation a great sense of confidence and an “all eyes are on us” attitude.


Secondly, this announcement will see the Japanese government spending over ¥1 trillion (roughly £6.4bn) on new buildings and facilities to aid the 2020 Olympics, including transport and obviously the stadium. Not to mention the huge influx of tourists to the country which will only further it’s economy.




On a slightly different note, those anime fans amongst my followers may be aware of an anime called AKIRA which was made in 1988. The cyberpunk film is set in “Neo-Tokyo” in 2019 as Japan prepares for… The 2020 Olympics!

That’s right, this manga (originally penned in 1982) and anime correctly predicted that Japan would be the host of the 2020 Olympics. Scary stuff eh? The movie also outlines the events which lead to World War 3, so let’s hope that part of the prediction also doesn’t follow.

You can check out the trailer for AKIRA below. It’s regarded as one of the greatest animes of all time in terms of animation and cult following.


What are your thoughts on Japan hosting the 2020 Olympics? How about AKIRA’s prediction? Coincidence or something more? Leave me a comment below!




Bradcat’s Japanese Culture Focus… Fukushima Disaster

Fukushima, which lies 130 miles north east of Tokyo, is home to The Fukushima I (Daiichi) Nuclear Power Plant which consists of six light water, boiling water reactors. The power plant is one of the 25 largest nuclear power plants in the world. 


 A natural gas storage facility in Chiba (south of Tokyo), 
which was affected by the Tōhoku earthquake

Fukushima Daiichi Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami damage

Following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, Fukushima Daiichi was the second closest power station to the epicentre of the earthquake, after Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant. During this time, the Fukushima incident was labeled with a “Level 7” on the International Nuclear Event Scale (The highest level which can be obtained) with the Chernobyl disaster being the only other “Level 7” in history.

A diagram showing the level of flooding during the tsunami

There were no deaths caused by radiation exposure, while approximately 18,500 people died due to the earthquake and tsunami. The local fishermen became suspicious of the possible leaking of radioactive water which was taking place after the incident, which was later confirmed in July 2013, over two years later.

On 20th August 2013, in a further incident, it was announced that 300 tonnes of heavily contaminated water had leaked from a storage tank. The water was radioactive enough to be hazardous to nearby staff, and the leak was assessed as Level 3 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Masayuki Ono, general manager of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) which runs the plant, said: “We found a radiation level strong enough to give someone a five-year dose of radiation within one hour.”


What do you think the Japanese government should do to prevent the situation getting any worse? 

Will this lead to a total abandonment of Fukushima like Chernobyl?