My Future

(upbeat music)

Student, we talked about hair a lot.

But it’s about students because it’s about school rules and hair and stuff.

And it’s weird how much play these stories get

because it just keeps happening again and again and again.

That’s kind of the issue.

When there’s sort of one resolution,

like if you are not born with naturally black hair

in Japan and the school rules you have black hair,

should those students be made to dye their hair?

It’s sort of a spirit of the law versus the

intent of the law, the letter of the law.

I’ve forgotten my idioms now.

But always, it keeps coming up because there’s always a new way

to interpret rules that surprises me.

And it’s because again, one of the problems with a lot of Japanese rules,

this is not necessarily laws.

Japanese rules is that they are purposely vague.

So there was a graduation, high school graduation was very recently.

And a student was told he couldn’t sit with his friends because of his hair.

He was made to wait on the second floor by himself.

And when they called his name, they said,

don’t come downstairs and respond to your name being called.

It’s actually really disappointing.

So he left halfway through the event.

So he’s like, well, like if I can’t participate

in the graduation, if I can’t actually do the whole thing,

that I’m supposed to do while I’m here, why stay here?

So he left.

Now what was so egregious about his hair?

He actually went to a salon the previous

day to make sure his hair was sort of tidy.

Now the school rule was that no further than your ears,

hygienic and appropriate for high school.

So no further than your ears, that’s very specific.

So it has to be shaved sort of above your ears,

which I assume would include sort of the napier neck

has to be clean and all that stuff.

We actually saw that, I think it was just last week,

with the elite high school where your bangs had to be a certain length.

They couldn’t touch your eyebrows, but naturally.

So if I push my hair down, I don’t have

enough hair to actually demonstrate with.

If I push my hair down and it touches my eyebrows, that’s too long.

Where the teachers were abusing that by pulling hair forward.

And then at that school, if your hair

was inappropriate, you could be expelled.

Hygienic, so if he washes his hair, that’s taken care of.

So it’s the appropriate leaves it open because what does that mean?

What is appropriate hair?

And he went to a salon the day before to

get his everything sort of taken care of,

so it would be appropriate.

This kid, he’s half Japanese, and his father is African-American.

So he has not an Afro per se, but his hair grows out.

And so what he thought, ah, what I’ll do is I’ll go to a salon,

I’ll take the time, and I’ll get cornrows so that it’s all tight and neat,

and therefore follows the rules, hygienic, and appropriate for school.

The teachers, of course, being Japanese

teachers, they don’t see cornrows very often.

So they’re like, well, that’s not normal,

that’s not usual, therefore that’s not appropriate for high school.

So you have to go be excluded from your graduation ceremony.

You have to go stand up in a room by yourself

and just stay there for the entirety of this ceremony.

This, like many of the rules, is like,

the kid was literally trying to follow the rules.

Their opinion differed from his, ’cause

he’s like, well, I want my hair to be neat.

I don’t wanna shave it.

He went to his father, his father looked up some cornrows.

He’s like, this is what sort of black people

do to keep their hair tight to their head

without cutting their hair.

So he did that, which is incredibly appropriate thing to do.

He actually went to his dad, he’s like that.

I wanna do this.

Went to a salon, paid probably extra.

I know cornrows take forever.

So paid extra, took all that time, and

then someone’s like, no, I don’t like it,

’cause I haven’t seen it before, therefore it’s not appropriate.

This is Cosbyter of Bruhaha.

All these rules coming to the forefront

and being exposed in his way are causing

Bruhaha’s, which is a good thing, because really we have to examine

is the rule appropriate, and what does appropriate mean?

If you can’t keep vague rules and expect people to,

attempt to follow the rule, get in trouble

for it, and then there’d be no backlash.

If you want it to be appropriate, you

have to explain what appropriate it is.

Now, I’m betting they’re gonna say anything

that isn’t just a standard Japanese haircut

with standard Japanese hair is not appropriate,

but then you run into the problem of,

there’s just too many mixed kids now.

They don’t have naturally black hair,

and they don’t have naturally straight hair

that falls on their shoulders or whatever, like Japanese kids do.

Principal had to do a press conference after that.

And he said, it’s not like the student

couldn’t attend because he had to go elsewhere,

which is almost a nonsensical statement.

He couldn’t attend because the teachers made him sit in another room.

So the teachers enforced this rule, and

it is very frustrating because Japan is now

kicking and screaming, being forced into modernity.

It’s being pulled into a modern culture that is now mixed,

and it means the rules that were just accepted and given,

’cause if everyone has the same type of hair,

these hair rules were very easy to interpret,

appropriate, but my hair doesn’t do anything,

so basically if I just show up and it’s

been cut and washed, it’s appropriate.

Now you got kids who have different hair, those rules do they apply?

Because now appropriateness is called into question.

I think we’re gonna see a bunch of

this, and then it’s gonna become a case of,

because in the previous story,

it was civil rights, human rights is what they were talking about,

and you might be like, well, human rights and haircuts,

I mean, they seem kind of far away, but no, it’s like basic dignity,

if you’re being forced to go to an educational institution

because you have to go to school.

And I don’t look like everyone else is that appropriate and acceptable?

Well, I’m sorry, in a culture where we’re supposed

to be accepting of other people’s differences, which Japan does claim to be.

They really do struggle with that,

because the reality and the claims are often different.

This is gonna happen again, and it’s gonna keep coming up,

and the bit I’m enjoying most is it’s every single time

it comes up, it’s surprising me in a way.

The last week was teachers abusing the rules.

This week was just a kid with hair they’d not really dealt with before,

which goes all the way back to that

kid in Osaka who had naturally brown hair,

who was forced to dye her hair and then sued the school board.

There was one girl who had her hair Photoshopped black in the yearbook.

We’re gonna have to start maybe accepting.

Kids aren’t the same, especially as Japan’s,

honestly, as the population shrinks,

you’re gonna get more mixed kids,

’cause immigration’s going to make up the difference.

And this is the bit that the Japanese government isn’t willing to accept.

Immigrants are going to come to Japan

and fill the rules that aren’t being filled by Japanese people.

They’re going to marry Japanese people,

you’re gonna have more and more mixed kids,

which means these rules.

Now the rule itself becomes inappropriate.

(clock ticking)

I learned something.

So the Bar Association brought a case to change discrimination rules about,

prisoners being held detainees.

Up until now, so this hasn’t gone through yet,

so the rule is still technically in place,

but it’s being challenged by the Bar Association.

If you were being detained by police, so I’m being detained by police.

Before a trial, I couldn’t go buy anything.

I had basically, I could get, maybe close,

brought to me from my home, from my family,

and I could wear suit or something appropriate to a trial.

Women, on the other hand, could get skin lotion before a trial.

So basically, if you are a female being

detained, you could spend your own money

and have skin products brought to you before your trial,

so you could look best for your trial.

But that rule was not in place for men.

So this is an interesting, again, social

bias that men don’t need skincare products.

I have to moisturize every day or my skin falls off.

I am growing beard currently.

If you watch the video, you can see it’s

got some very distinguished gray in it now.

That’s a bigger patch than it was three years ago.

Last time I actually grew a beard.

So I’m interested to see how it ends up looking.

Men don’t need that, so they don’t get it.

Now, the Bar Association says this is discrimination.

Now, this came to light because a trans woman

was being detained and wanted skin toner

and moisturizer before the trial, which as

a woman, you’re supposed to be able to get.

But Japan is still really struggling with

the relationship of trans people to society.

So is it a man?

Is it a woman?

Legally, I would bet this trans woman,

and actually I don’t know, they don’t say.

But someone is like, well, that’s not a woman,

that’s a man, therefore they don’t get skin care products.

But legally a woman, therefore, should get skin care products.

But it actually brings up this other thing where, well, what if I,

to talk about beef chest of Ninja New Japan and being detained?

Why don’t I get skin care products?

So either the rule is going to be interesting

because I don’t know what the Bar Association is arguing for.

Are they arguing for everyone should be able

to get skin products before their trial?

Or nobody should get skin products before their trial?

It’s a very interesting conundrum.

It also comes into play like there is a weird financial bias.

So since I have to use my own money,

let’s say I am now allowed to buy skin

products as a man who’s being detained.

So I can buy better skin products and make myself look good.

Whereas a person who’s poor, can’t buy

skin products and they don’t look as good.

And as much as people would like to deny it,

appearance is very important in sort of the impression you give.

And it’s just, it has an impact on society.

The pretty privilege is a proven fact that the more attractive you are,

the easier your life is overall.

You get the sort of like more benefits.

You get treated better.

You get more promotions.

Being attractive has benefits.

I mean, this is why my life has just been so easy

on the whole time because people just look at me.

They see sunshine and they just want more sunshine in their life.

So I get everything I want.

But the argument could be made that if some people get skin products

and other people don’t, that’s an unfair bias when they go to trial.

So either they should argue that skincare

products are provided by the government,

which I don’t think that is a valuable use of taxpayer money.

Or you can buy skincare products,

but it has to be like a set range that everyone can afford,

which the rich people would complain about.

Donald Trump recently being indicted would be interesting

because if he couldn’t buy his clear like spray tan skin toner

stuff to make him like his oranges he is,

like when he comes out and he’s really pale like I am,

would that give him more negative or more

positive impression is actually the side.

But according to the rule, if he was being detained in Japan

because he’s been indicted, he’s not being detained.

You know what I mean?

He wouldn’t be able to get the skin thing

that he uses to make himself look orange.

So he would come out of that prison less orange than when he went in.

Which is a very interesting concept.

It’s a very interesting idea of what he would end up looking like

and would that have a positive or negative impact on his trial?

Because that’s kind of what they’re actually arguing for

is that you can’t have some people

get stuff and other people don’t get stuff.

Are they gonna make it available to everyone?

I’m actually interested to see how this plays out.

And it’s also very interesting that it’s a

trans woman that set this all in motion.

(upbeat music)

A US report on Japan’s human rights,

specifically talking about Japanese textbooks.

Now Japanese school boards choose textbooks.

This is something that happens in most countries with school curriculums.

They tend to choose textbooks that sort of ignore

or gloss over Japan’s militaristic history.

And this has been a complaint from surrounding countries.

Certainly the ones sort of, you would say,

victims to Japanese imperialism, Korea, China.

They always say like your history books are inaccurate.

They don’t represent what actually happened to people

who were under Japanese imperial rule, that kind of stuff.

And I think that’s pretty legitimate.

I think that history books should be sort of as accurate as possible.

It’s very hard to produce a book.

Video I saw the other day, I think it was on TikTok or something.

And it was basically young people didn’t recognize the swastika.

Because they’d never learned about it in school.

They didn’t know about World War II.

They didn’t know about the Nazi party.

They certainly didn’t know about Japan’s role in World War II.

And maybe this some of the things it did as a member of the exes powers.

That’s, this story comes up every year.

I suddenly this year found it very interesting

because if I remember correctly, America

maybe shouldn’t be calling out countries

for their book policies.

Because if I remember correctly,

there are certain elements within the American educational system

that are vying to band books.

And there have been several pictures posted online

of empty shelves in school libraries.

And there was another ironic story that because it can’t have sex in it.

It can’t have this in it, can’t have that in it.

So someone used those rules to get the Bible banned,

which of course this comes from the sort of Bible positive groups

people in power or legislating these rules.

Tom, a longtime listener, super fan sent in this story to me.

If you wanna send in this story, you can

send it to Chuck Me Beef Chest at

You can go to

You could just go on Twitter and send me a direct message on Twitter.

I may not get it right away.

I only check Twitter once or twice a week.

I don’t really engage with social media.

It’s one of the reasons why this is such a small community

is because I don’t spread it properly.

So maybe this is my call to action moment,

which is something I don’t normally do.

If you enjoyed Ninja News Japan, you know someone who enjoys the news,

you know someone who’s interested in Japan.

Please, I recommend Ninja News Japan.

You can get it on Spotify.

You can get it on your podcast catcher.

You can get it on YouTube.

It’s everywhere.

Search for Ninja News Japan.

It’ll probably come up pretty quick somewhere somehow.

I’d appreciate it.

I don’t wanna spend my time going like, like, and subscribe, actually.

That’s a joke with me and my friends.

But at the same time, I do want the podcast to grow.

So if you have someone you know who would be interested

and please give him a recommendation and I’m gonna stop that

’cause I already feel like I’ve talked too long about it.

But, Tom, appreciate the effort.

Sent me this.

It’s tax heaven 3000.

And it’s a visual novel of filling in your US taxes.

So if you live in Japan, you still have to fill in your taxes back home.

And taxes are difficult.

They’re complicated.

And you’re a nerd living in Japan.

So you’re obviously not engaging with legal documents properly

because it doesn’t hold your attention.

This, by creating it and putting it in visual novel form,

will absolutely hold your attention because

you have to get through all the steps

to create the best relationship with your wife.

The interesting thing, there’s multiple endings.

So is it like if you try to lie in your taxes, she doesn’t like you anymore

or if you don’t declare something properly, your relationship falls apart.

And if you do everything right and claim your taxes

and you have to pay money back, she’s disappointed.

But if you do everything right and you get a refund, she loves you more.

That’s the best ending.

I don’t know.

The actual issue with this is that tax

heaven 3000 has been removed from steam.

I did enjoy while I was looking into the game itself.

The quote was, “Let’s pay federal taxes

while having a romance with my wife.”

The interesting thing, I think this is a poor translation

because a romance with your wife might actually be more appropriate,

but I haven’t played the game.

So maybe I am having a romance with your wife as in someone else.

I’m the person using my taxation sexuality

to try to get your wife away from you

and into my bed, creating a new, exciting situation.

But maybe I fail, maybe that’s one of the endings.

The reason it was removed from steam

is because of course it has to ask to fill

in your taxes, very personal information.

The phrase is actually in the game, I want to know more about you,

such as your social security number.

And then of course you have to put your social security number

into the game, it’ll fill out the form for you,

which makes sense, but also can you trust this company

to keep your information private as a connection?

If you play through steam, it’s connected to the Internet.

Now because it was removed from steam,

the creator of the game said you can go to the website

and download it directly to your computer,

which would technically be safer, right?

Because you could actually let’s disconnect from the Internet

I’ll fill in, I’ll play this visual novel, it’ll fill in my taxes.

And then I can send in my taxes separately.

That seems fair, but so it seems like I

don’t want to make any statements of a fact.

It seems like the creator of this game

is not trying to gather your information

because he’s saying download the game to your PC and then play it.

Separate from the Internet is fine, it will still work.

But a lot of people who are like,

as soon as you ask for someone’s social security number,

we can’t really put a lot of faith in you

and trust you that this is all above work,

which I think is fair.

But I would say be safe.

Don’t use a visual novel to file your taxes.

I have seen my future.

So as you all know, I’ve stated many times, I’m a 50 year old man.

And we went through a sequence of weeks

where 50 year old men were doing just the absolute creepiest stuff.

There was one 50 year old dude in some reason,

this is one sticks to my head more than anything else.

And he snuck up on a girl who is just standing around looking

at books or something in a mall and just

started licking her shoes unbinoised to her.

That one, I think, just the level of

creepiness there is why it sticks out my mouth.

But I think I’ve seen my future because a man who is 54 years

old, so only like three, four years in my future,

he was arrested for repeatedly challenging

his neighbor to a one-on-one fight.

And that’s it.

I can totally see myself ending up in a situation where I

spend my free time challenging people to one-on-one fights.

So what happened is a neighbor had warned the man about the noise

his car makes back in December.

And the man– I’m assuming that the car was really loud.

And it was like one of these lights.

He’s tuned it up to make more noise.

The man did not take well to that.

He started harassing his neighbor.

The police actually went and warned him in March and said,

look, you’re doing too much.

You’re causing trouble and distress, and you’re going to get in trouble.

So they just warned him, said, like, you

got to ease off this thing, just give up.

That, of course, incensed the man and made it even worse.

Between March 12 and 13, he went to the

house 13 times, rang the bell multiple times.

So like, each time he arrived, he didn’t just ring it.

He rang it multiple multiple times.

And he left three notes in the mailbox.

Let’s fight one-on-one.

So at least he had a certain amount of

old-style, dueling respects for his neighbor.

He’s like, you got this problem?

Let’s solve it.

Mano, a mano.

The interesting thing is what would have been the resolution.

So like, we go out.

He challenges me to a fight.

I complain that his car is too noisy.

He challenges me to a fight.

I go out and I fight him, and I beat him.

Does he now have to take apart his car and make it quiet?

Or there had to be some sort of resolution.

I assume if he wins, he gets to make as much noises as he

want and gets to call me a woozy or something.

But I don’t think they ever think about the other flip side.

If I win, what do I get other than calling the police

and putting a restraining order on him for

challenging me to fights multiple times?

But I was like, if I win the fight,

this would have to be established before the fight.

If I win the fight, you have to make your car

as silent as possible, which would be actually

the most humiliating end of this situation for a man like that.

But I’m wondering, if yeah, at some point when you hit in your 50s,

there’s a flip switch in your head that flips that just sets you off.

So you either end up being super creepy or super aggressive.

And I’m really, really looking forward to see what happens to me.

If an Indian is Japan as a podcast, just suddenly goes dark one day.

You can assume the reason is because I am probably being detained

and demanding skincare products.


(upbeat music).