The Week’s Links: March 9 – 15, 2015

The Ninja Council members in their ninja outfits
Japan’s new “ninja council,” set up to boost tourism. Those are some pretty sweet ninja costumes, but I’m pretty sure homeboy in the middle there is wearing a Dracula cape, lol.

Japan seeks to boost tourism by forming a “ninja council.” The council, made up of mayors and governors from all over the country, wants to use the image of one of Japan’s most famous, and sneaky, icons to encourage tourism to the country.

The famous Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station, Tokyo.
The famous Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station, Tokyo.

Tokyo University unveils a new statue commemorating the 80th anniversary of the passing of the world’s most famously loyal canine, Hachiko, and the 90th anniversary of the death of his owner, Dr. Hidesaburo Ueno. Hachiko was memorialized in 1934 with a bronze statue placed in front of Shibuya station, where the loyal pup would go every night to wait for his owner, Dr. Ueno, for almost ten years after Ueno’s death. The statue is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. The new statue at Tokyo University depicts a fictionalized reunion of the two after all these years.

If you’re studying Japanese and looking for some apps to supplement your study then check this out. GaijinPot reviews 8 Japanese language study apps for iPhone and Android, including quiz/game apps, grammar tools, and dictionaries. I can tell you right now that I DO NOT LIKE ANKI, but that’s just me. I use the dictionary app called “Japanese” religiously. Can’t live without it.

Finally, this week marked the four-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan on March 11, 2011. The damage to the effected communities was so severe that many areas have not fully recovered, and efforts are still being made to support the people and to rebuild. One campaign was run by Yahoo! Japan. On 3/11, the day of the anniversary, if you went to Yahoo! Japan and searched “3.11” the company would donate ¥10 to recovery efforts. That’s  ¥10 per search! In total the campaign raised ¥25M (about US$206,000).


Search “3.11” and help Japan!!

Hello everyone,

Today is March 11, the four-year anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan in 2011. Yahoo! Japan is running a campaign to help the survivors of that terrible disaster. All you have to do is go to and search “3.11” and Yahoo! Japan will make a donation of 10 yen per search. The search has to be done during March 11 in the Japan timezone. I was a little late hearing about this campaign, and late getting this post up, but it is still only about 2pm in Japan, so there’s still time to contribute.