What’s Hot in Japan Right Now? Los Angeles, Circa 1976

Julie Makinen highlights the social fascination with a 40 year-old Japanese magazine depicting West Coast life, and how reactions to it have changed or stayed the same among Japanese readers.

There Are More Adult Diapers Sold in Japan Than Baby Diapers

Japan is now arguably the oldest country in the world. It’s not like you couldn’t see it walking around Tokyo or the countryside. But one of the biggest indicators of this shift is that, with declining birthrates and over 25% of the population aged over 65, there are now more diapers produced for adults than for babies.

Dogfights in Japan Are a Family Outing

With a long cultural history and deep ties to the yakuza, dog fighting is a lucrative business in Japan. Laws surrounding the fights are vague and rarely enforced, with members of the Japanese Animal Welfare Society fearing retaliation if they protest the violent practice.

Toilet Power: Toyota Is Using Sewage Sludge to Power Its New Electric Car

Hydrogen fuel cell cars could help solve the global warming crisis, but nobody wants to buy them. But Toyota thinks it may have found a solution. For unlimited clean energy, it’s turning to one of the dirtiest places there is: the toilet.

Immersive Learning: A Haunted House in Japan Teaches Citizens Earthquake Preparedness

At the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, visitors go through an “experience learning facility” where they’re taught how to survive in the immediate aftermath of a major natural disaster. In a country like Japan, where major earthquakes threaten to kill thousands and decimate GDP, this kind of simulation training could be invaluable to the civilian population.

Microsoft’s Futuristic Headset Strategy: Pilots Over Zombie Hunters

Jay Greene discusses emerging augmented-reality technology from Microsoft and the way it is being incorporated into the pilot-training process at Japan Airlines.

A DIY Sake-Tasting Tour in Japan

US-Japan Journalism Fellow Jay Greene of the Wall Street Journal explores the delights of Japan’s sake industry.

Abe’s Window of Time for Amending Japan’s Pacifist Constitution Narrows

Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau examines Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to amend the country’s pacifist constitution and the political realities he’s facing.

Take Me Out to the Japanese Ball Game

Journalism Fellow Byron Tau dove into the world of Japanese baseball, exploring four stadiums around the country where visitors can take in the surreal rituals of Japanese baseball.

Challenges Ahead as Japan Seeks More Women Workers

Sally Herships writes on the conflict between an increased need for women workers in Japan and the multitude of obstacles facing working mothers that keep them from staying in the workforce.