It sounds like the plot of a modern-day Edogawa Rampo story. Police have arrested a 39-year-old elementary school teacher for trespassing. Masashi Mizuno teaches at a school in Edogawa, Tokyo, and snuck into the home of a high school student who used to be in his class at another school. According to police, Mizuno secretly made a copy of her home key five years prior in anticipation of sneaking into her home in the future. Mizuno apparently had a fetish for female school uniforms. "I wanted a school uniform and I remembered the student, and that she would be in high school by now," he ...

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This story has been bubbling away for a few days and it's finally time to write it up here. The former figure skater Miki Ando has been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with her 16-year-old male protégé after a tabloid snapped them out together on a date. The 36-year-old Ando, a two-time former world champion, famously left the figure skating world in the early 2010s to raise her child as a single mom and, despite intense media speculation, never named the father. (It is rumored to be a foreign skater or coach.) Bunshun published allegations on June 26 that Ando was ...

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Election broadcasts are a bit of a circus in Japan. Legally, the public broadcaster NHK is obliged to show them and this is why so many fringe and wacky candidates ultimately pay to stand for election, because it means they're guaranteed several minutes of fame. This year is particularly strange with the July election for Tokyo governor, since there are so many candidates (but only two or three serious ones). Already, the "poster hijacks" by the NHK Party, which has sold its candidates' slots to anyone willing to pay, have generated lots of attention, as have the nude images of a woman on ...

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A Japanese pianist has been arrested for stealing the aprons of flight attendants to satisfy a fetish for their smell. Thirty-four-year-old Kazuya Saito lives in Tokyo but travels widely for his work as a professional concert pianist. In May, airline ANA reported the theft of several flight attendant aprons. Saito is accused of stealing an apron (worth around ¥5,000) from an April 25 ANA flight from Ishigaki to Haneda while the plane was preparing for takeoff. His arrest was first reported on June 14 and further details have emerged in the last few days. The pianist has apparently ...

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A candidate for the upcoming Tokyo governor election is using a naked female model on his campaign posters. Yusuke Kawai's schtick is cosplaying as the Joker and doing provocative stuff, though this might be the most extreme of all his stunts to date. The model is Miu Sakurai, a gyaru model, music idol (with the group Devilsis), and race queen who has appeared in beauty contests and who appears to have Filipino roots. She describes herself as the "world's top will-do-anything gyaru" and has also been helping Kawai put up the posters of her naked body on boards around Tokyo. Various ...

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In today's social media–driven world, it can feel like a new meme and "enjo" scandal appear every day to rage-bait us into clicks and views. One of the more recent examples in Japan was a video in January of a hostess and a client at an expensive sushi restaurant, arguing with the owner about their order. It ended with the hostess and client (who was the one filming the video) leaving the restaurant and staff having to hold back the owner from attempting a physical assault. So much for omotenashi. The trouble between the owner and the couple apparently arose because the client was ...

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More bad news about compensated dating now as the moral panic over papakatsu continues. Papakatsu is a kind of newish buzzword to describe compensated dating that involves an older man and younger woman (though in practice, compensated dating often meant such sugar daddy relationships regardless of terminology). Following media stories about female fraudsters and even at least one murder, it helps to remember that the men are not always the victim here -- and since they're the ones with the money, quite the opposite in many cases. The young women involved in papakatsu may be barely over ...

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Shinjuku police have arrested a 22-year-old in Kabukicho host for tricking a 17-year-old girl out of around ¥400,000 in cash. Rai Akama is a former actor and was in contact with the girl after she came to see one of his stage productions last summer. He invited her to his host club and, so that she wouldn't get caught as underage, even lent her the ID of a female friend. This only solidified the girl's dependency on Akama, who was apparently prepared to deceive his own club and risk his livelihood for her benefit. She took a part-time job to give him money but he wanted more. He ...

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Tech is going to solve all our problems, right? Tech -- and especially AI -- is the Band-Aid, the panacea. Or so we are led to believe, and so the government certainly seems to believe. We wrote before that the Japanese government is turning to artificial intelligence to fix the chronically declining birth rate, and that many prefectures are now involved with matchmaking services in a desperate bid to reverse the drop in marriages and, more importantly, babies. While we personally think the issue is much more about the work culture in Japan and (like in other countries) the dilemma women ...

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Japan's public broadcaster has to appeal to a wide section of the nation with its programming. The show Makaizo no yoru (Crazy Modification Night) is primarily aimed at engineer-type guys who love making and customizing stuff. But did the family-friendly broadcaster sneak a porn subtext into the latest edition? This one featured three teams of male engineers competing to make fast vehicles made partly out of vibrators. It's either a bold approach to modifying and making a vehicle in a wildly original way -- or a very cynical attempt to win views and clicks with a crazy concept. Some ...

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