Kuchikomi

Tokyo Olympic ticket scalpers raking in big profits

21 Comments

"I've already resold all 80 of the tickets to 2020 Olympic events obtained through the first offering. I made over 10 million yen. For example, in the men's soccer final -- which is in especially high demand -- I paid 67,500 yen for a seat in the "A" section, and… Read

Kuchikomi

Shun nuisance 'obligations' and do what you want to do

17 Comments

Katsuhiko Eguchi, 78, doesn’t go to his friends’ funerals. Isn’t his affection for them enough? Before retiring, he was a high-powered business executive. His life belonged to others. He met his obligations to society and now considers himself free of them. How many years does he have left? The life… Read

Kuchikomi

Chiba's recent woes offer a valuable lesson for the next natural disaster

6 Comments

It's not news to say that Japan is frequently struck by earthquakes, tsunami, typhoons, landslides, flooding from torrential rains and other types of natural catastrophes. And with them come power and water outages, which sometimes require people to evacuate their homes for days or even weeks.  The most recent example… Read

Kuchikomi

How to 'take out' meals, and so pay 8% tax instead of 10%

14 Comments

Eight percent? Or 10%? Weekly Playboy (Oct 7) offers a report that might have been titled, “The lighter side of tax increases.” The bureaucrats hardly knew the confusion they sowed when they devised a well-intentioned formula to lighten the burden on the poor. The consumption tax rise from 8 to… Read

Kuchikomi

Will marijuana become the next tapioca?

20 Comments

Last year when sales of marijuana became legal in Canada and California, these made big headlines in Japan, where it is treated the same as dangerous narcotics. One of the most outspoken proponents of pot in Japan is actress Saya Takagi. Two years ago, Takagi, now 56, was found guilty… Read

Kuchikomi

People living on ¥1 mil a year: How do they manage?

17 Comments

“Kenta Ochiai” – all the names in this story are pseudonyms – lives in a storage locker. Floor space is 1 ½ tatami mats. There’s no window. The ceiling light bulb is on 24 hours a day. It can’t be turned off. “Without my cell phone, I wouldn’t know if… Read

Kuchikomi

Manners of inconsiderate auto campers called into question

13 Comments

A wag once quipped, "Camping: where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person." Japan's first boom in auto camping began in earnest after the widespread adoption of the 5-day work week, from the early 1990s. Now the country is in the process of a second boom, which… Read

Kuchikomi

Confusion sure to rise as consumption tax hike looms

6 Comments

The Japanese verb kakekomi is typically used to describe passengers who make a frantic dash to catch a departing train.  Recently, however, kakekomi has been applied figuratively to consumers who engage in 11th hour outlays on various items to avoid paying an additional 2% in consumption taxes, which will be… Read

Kuchikomi

What motivates Japanese to move overseas?

36 Comments

“Why am I living this way?” Ayumi Tomita kept asking herself. It wasn’t only her. Work in Japan seems to leave a person no energy or time for anything else but sleep. She vacationed in Guam. The sun shone, the sea beckoned, time seemed to stretch wide enough for all… Read

Kuchikomi

Depending on locale, single moms in Japan can depend on social support

16 Comments

Whether due to divorce, loss of spouse due to accident or disease or out of lifestyle choice, being a single mother can be difficult, and much has been reported about the economic, social and emotional burdens on women who raise children on their own.  But when some males offer words… Read

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