Building something from the ground up is a daunting task. Whether it’s a new business start-up or a book manuscript, the process is a labor of love. You put everything you have into it, often sacrificing things along the way to make your dream a reality. Ultimately, it’s an immense…Full Article FROM THE PUBLISHER’S OFFICE: A Story of Risk and Reward
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – From potato salad to Oscar nominated films, the popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter has been at the forefront of rethinking project funding. Surprisingly, some of the most successful campaigns have come from Japan’s risk-averse entertainment industry. The time for change has come and it’s in the hands…Full Article YOUNG JAPAN: Looking Westward – The Kickstarter Phenomenon
Join the Asia Society Southern California for an exciting evening to celebrate the U.S.-China Film Relationship. As in the past, the Gala Dinner will feature high-profile honorees and guests from China and the U.S. This year’s full-day conference will draw on the Film Summit’s roots in U.S.-China co-production.…Full Article LOS ANGELES: 2014 U.S.-China Summit & Gala Dinner
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Despite lengthy lines and oppressive heat, L.A.’s annual Anime Expo broke its previous attendance records, embodying the growth and impact of Japan’s pop-culture diplomacy. Each Independence Day weekend thousands of passionate fans descend upon Southern California for North America’s largest convention for all things related to…Full Article LOS ANGELES: A Stellar Showcasing of Soft Power
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – While some countries snort derisively at Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea, in Japan it’s been love at first sight with the Republic’s new attorney general. In the immediate aftermath of the Russian land grab, a press conference featuring 34-year-old Natalia Poklonskaya went viral — and it…Full Article JAPAN: Crimea Controversy Leads to Net Sensation
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – On paper, promoting a sense of international awareness sounds like a logical quality for an airline to convey in its commercials. Such ads can assure customers of a friendly, welcoming environment. Yet, as All Nippon Airways (ANA) has found, this is hardly achieved by poking fun at…Full Article JAPAN: ANA Commercial Sparks Social Media Wildfire
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – As China works to impose (and handle blow back from) a controversial air defense zone, Japan’s parliament is tied up in its own controversy in the form of a divisive state secrets bill. Already passed by the Lower House in November, the contentious law aims, via…Full Article JAPAN: New Bill a Bid for State Security or Gateway to Orwellian Dystopia?
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Amid the battering winds of Typhoon Wipha, the Japanese government has publicized a refreshing piece of legislature, hoping to broaden the media’s freedom of speech. The bill, referred to as the “Secrets Protection Bill,” aims at “protecting national security secrets to ensure freedom of the media…Full Article JAPAN: New Komeito Party Hopes to Safeguard Media Freedom
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – While much of the nation celebrates its 2020 Summer Olympics bid win, one celebrity has done something surprising: speak out against the government. Norika Fujiwara, a popular model and actress, recently revealed her distaste for a proposed bill on her website. Referred to as the state…Full Article JAPAN: Media Icon Defies Status Quo Amid Olympics Euphoria
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – After decades in the anime and film industries, Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, has announced his retirement. According to The Japan Times, the shocking news came out of the Venice film festival on September 1. Koji Hoshino, head of Studio Ghibli, told reporters that Miyazaki’s…Full Article JAPAN: Iconic Anime Director Retires, Again
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Sex often sells, but not when it’s mixed with the stark insensitivity of misogyny and racism. Los Angeles based band Day Above Ground provoked a torrent of controversy earlier this month following the release of a music video for their song “Asian Girlz.” The video featured…Full Article LOS ANGELES: Raunchy, Racist Music Video Goes Viral
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Can you call yourself popular when most of your fans are fake? As more businesses and politicians are seeking attention via social media, services selling Facebook “Likes” and Twitter followers are appearing. The Yomiuri Shimbun, one of Japan’s leading dailies, interviewed one purveyor of Internet fame,…Full Article JAPAN: Who Needs Real “Likes” When You Have Cash?
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – After two decades and a plethora of Prime Ministers, has political stability finally come to Japan with its united Diet? With the July 21 Upper House elections, Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) seized the second, upper half of the Diet in an acclaimed landslide victory.…Full Article JAPAN: Abe But No Lincoln
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES- Political tension in Japan is high with the upcoming Upper House elections, but has the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) already won over the Twittersphere? The LDP and Japanese Communist Party (JCP) currently have the most influence from a social media standpoint, according to researcher Ryosuke Nishida of…Full Article JAPAN: ‘Retweets’ Herald Surge in LDP Influence
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Government use of social media to engage with citizens has boomed. Japan is a great example, with many bureaucrats and politicians tweeting about their views or upcoming campaigns. Disappointingly, Yasuhisa Mizuno, a 45-year-old official, managed to tweet his way out of a job. According to the…Full Article JAPAN: The Dangers of Distasteful Tweeting
JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – When it comes to making friends abroad, sometimes a pink-haired manga fan beats officially-sanctioned cultural exchanges. That’s proving to be the case in Japan with this summer’s 11th annual World Cosplay Summit (WCS) in Nagoya’s Osu district. Since the 1950s, anime and manga have been core…Full Article JAPAN: Cosplay Summit Promotes Japan’s Soft Power