Amidst all the hubbub surrounding a trapped soccer team, Supreme Court nominations and idiot-Canadian music stars getting engaged to models, there’s not been much talk about what’s going on in Japan right now—and that’s a shame because it’s some very serious shit.
Torrential rains battered the Pacific island nation last week, causing landslides and flash floods which, at last count, had killed at least 127 people and have forced the evacuation of millions. Many of the displaced have been able to return to their homes, but things are still really fucked up. According to Reuters, just about all of homes that lost power as a result of the storms have been reconnected to the grid. But the people in storm-affected areas are still pretty fucked. Temperatures in city of Kurashiki, for example, which was hit particularly hard, are set to reach 91°F, with high humidity. They might have air-conditioning, in some cases, but very likely don’t have easy access to potable water. Some areas are able to have bottled water, medical supplies and food trucked in, but a lot of the roads in areas strike by mudslides are just gone.
The Japanese government has budgeted billions of bucks for cleaning up after disasters like this one, but it takes time to bring infrastructure back from the brink. What’s more, the worst may still be yet to come.
A new evacuation order was issued on Tuesday in one part of the western prefecture of Hiroshima, after a river blocked by debris overflowed its banks. There was no word on the numbers affected, but the area has already been inundated once.
Image via Wikipedia
Japanese historian Nick Kapur unearthed "Osanaetoki Bankokubanashi" (童絵解万国噺), a wonderfully bizarre illustrated Japanese history of the USA from 1861, filled with fanciful depictions of allegedly great moments in US history, like "George Washington defending his wife 'Carol' from a British official named 'Asura' (same characters as the Buddhist deity)."
Chinese fish farms have successfully bred seven generations of Takifugu rubripes and ten generations of Takifugu obscurus that lack the gene that causes normal specimens of these pufferfish species to produce a deadly toxin that means near-instant death for anyone who eats a fish whose poison has not been completely removed during preparation.
Here’s a guy who went to a monkey park in Takasaki-yama in Japan and donned a monkey park worker uniform for a day to see what it was like. One reason Japan has monkey parks is to get them used to eating food there so they don’t invade nearby farms. The monkeys didn’t really like […]
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