Moving to a different country can be fun and exciting, but it can also be tough. Most expats go through a period of culture shock where they realize that some of the stereotypes they were led to believe about a certain country may not be true, and that the way things work in their new home may not always be an improvement on the way things were done back in their old one.
We’ve presented some things Japan doesn’t get right from a Westerner’s point of view in the past, but this time we’d like to show you a comic drawn by a Japanese illustrator living overseas, detailing some of the not-so-pleasant points of living in the UK and how some in particular made her quit shopping at Amazon.
I have never seen a police box in America. I don’t think that there are any there.
But, thanks to the internet, I’ve learned that the UK has them.
A police box in England. Quite different from Japan’s 交番 (police boxes)!
The police boxes in England, according to what I read, are very small and simple. Just a phone that people can use to contact a “real” police station, and a small desk and a first-aid kit.
They aren’t manned by a police officer…just a way for people to contact the police before cell-phones became an item carried by everyone.
These are very different from the 交番 (police boxes (called “Ko-ban” in Japanese)) in Japan!
That particular police box in eastern Tokyo has actually become semi-famous because of a popular manga / anime.
In Japan, 交番 (police boxes) are an important and helpful part of every neighborhood in Japan. They can be seen all around Japan…especially near train stations and many major intersections. But there are also 交番 (police boxes) at many seemingly random places too.
Unlike the ones in Europe, Japanese 交番 (police boxes) are always staffed by at least one police officer (busy areas have bigger police boxes with more officers) at all times of day and night.
The officers stationed at them make periodic patrols around the neighborhood…so small 交番 (police boxes) that only have one officer will be unmanned during those brief periods – but there will be a sign in the window that says 「パトロール中です。」 (“On patrol“).
交番 (police boxes) in Japan are probably most commonly used by the public for asking for directions. This is no problem. If you’re lost while in Japan, you can go into a 交番 (police box) and ask for directions. The officers stationed there are very knowledgeable about the neighborhood and it’s part of their duties to help people find their way.
Other helpful services provided by 交番 (police boxes) include: “Lost and Found” … if you find some misplaced property (train pass, keys, wallet, cell-phone, etc) or if you’ve lost something, go to a 交番 (police boxes) for help.
Also, of course, they are police officers, so crimes or other emergencies can be reported there.
Please, by all means, leave a comment in this post and tell about your impressions / experiences with police boxes in Japan and/or other countries!
With just under four months to go until we finally get Episode 7 of Star Wars, many people have a galaxy far, far away on their minds. Some people are clamoring for any and all kinds of movie tidbits, while other fans are desperately trying to avoid all spoilers. Which means it’s the perfect time to release some “alternate reality” Star Wars toys to the public.
Although, when your toy is this cool looking, any time is the perfect time.
A Japanese graphic designer and percussionist who currently resides in Seville, Spain, has devised an alternate design to the officially selected 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo in light of the recent plagiarism scandal.
Fan reaction to his creation has been incredibly positive, to the point where many people are asking, “Can we please make this a reality?”
Yesterday (2015 August 15th) was 終戦記念日 (VJ day) and there were ceremonies for that around Japan.
It was also the day that 灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) is done at the Sumida River in Tokyo.
Tokyo landmarks, Tokyo SkyTree and Asahi Beer HQ are near the Sumida River.
灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) is a ceremony that is usually held at the end of O-bon (“O-bon” is mid-August usually (some places have it in July) and is a ceremony tradition to honor relatives and ancestors who’ve passed away.)
灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) means “floating lanterns“. On this ceremony, people can purchase a lantern and write a message to relative(s) who have passed away and then the lanterns are lit and set afloat on the river.
It wasn’t easy to take photos that do it justice, but it looks beautiful.
This is the boat that some of the lanterns were set afloat from
A huge crowd to watch and set lanterns into the river.
The first of lanterns in the river.
Many people wore ゆかた (traditional Japanese summer kimono), such as this girl standing near the river’s edge.
More lanterns passing near the Tokyo Sky Tree.
Here’s the line of people waiting to set their lanterns into the river.
The first group set their lanterns afloat from the boat, but after that a ramp from the dock was used.