Hideki Saijo passes away at 63 years old

Veteran singer and actor Hideki Saiko has passed away at 63 years old.

In a statement is office shared that Saiko has died due to acute heart failure on May 16th, 2018.

Saiko began has career in the early 70s, landing acting roles and releasing his debut album Koisurukisetsu. He quickly gained popularity, and was considered among the very top teen male idols along with Hiromi Go and Goro Noguchi.

He is perhaps best known for covering the 70s disco hit YMCA in 1979, not only was it a massive hit in his native Japan but it went on to find success in other Asian countries as well.

His popularity in Asia helped break many boundaries for Japanese music. In 1988 he performed at an event on the eve of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul South Korea, at the time public performances of Japanese songs had been banned. 10 years later in 1998 he became the very first Japanese artist to sing in front of The Great Wall of China.

In 1999 Saiko scored a big hit with Hashire Shojikimono , one of the theme songs for the popular anime series Chibi Maruko-chan.

Beginning in 2003 Saiko began to suffer from various health problems, while he continued to perform as the years went on his condition only worsened.

In 2016 he made his triumphant return to the stage for a special performance at the FNS Music Festival. His intense rehabilitation was well documented, and despite being barely able to walk he successfully performed his signature hit YMCA.

Click here to watch Saiko’s 2016 FNS performance.

The post Hideki Saijo passes away at 63 years old appeared first on ARAMA! JAPAN.


Japan sees huge growth in jobs in the “cleaning up the homes of old people who die alone” field

Demand grows more than 10 times in size in just five years as Japanese family dynamics change.

As time passes, technology advances, and economies evolve, certain industries will shrink. For example, electronics manufacturing used to be a huge part of the Japanese economy, but it’s been in contraction for many years, with Casio’s exit from the digital camera game the most recent example.

But on the other hand, some industries can see huge growth due to socioeconomic trends. So if you’re hunting for a job in Japan, and you want to be part of a rapidly expanding field, you might want to consider a position in tokushu soji, or “special cleaning” industry.

What makes the cleaning special? Well, tokushu soji companies come in and clean the homes of senior citizens who have died alone. Back in the old days, this is something that was almost always handled by surviving relatives, often the deceased’s children, and in fact it used to be far more common than it is today for elderly parents to live with their offspring in multi-generational homes.

Things have changed, though. As families become smaller and more people move farther away from home to seek out academic or professional opportunities, the number of seniors in Japan who live alone has been steadily increasing, from roughly 4.1 million in 2010 to 6.55 million in 2016 (according to statistics from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare). In response, there are now over 5,000 companies offering special cleaning services in Japan, which is 15 times as many as there were just five years ago.

Aside from recycling or otherwise disposing of the deceased’s possessions, special cleaning companies have to clean and disinfect the home. Sometimes a significant amount of time will have passed before someone discovered that the resident had passed away, and in addition to using professional-grade cleaners and pesticides, special cleaning staff often wear protective clothing to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

While cleaning and waste disposal are the primary services offered, some special cleaning companies have expanded their role to coordinating funeral services. Many also believe that respectful treatment of surviving relatives is part of their duties, and the Special Cleaning Center, and industry group formed in 2013, offers training and certification programs to ensure high-quality service in both the technical and human aspects of the job.

With Japan’s birth rate steadily falling, demand for special cleaning services is likely to continue to grow, as families get smaller and the population gets older. It’s no doubt a difficult job, but it serves a valuable purpose for society, especially when someone passes away and leaves behind six tons of porno mags.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso

Morbidly brilliant “Death Cafe” in Thailand makes customers ponder about their mortality

Discounts are available for the brave who dare lie in a coffin for three minutes.

There’s a ton of delightful cafes out there for the inquisitive, outfitted with stuff like virtual idol girlfriends or even bloodsucking vampires. But one recently-opened cafe in Thailand takes the cake with a macabre theme that has customers wanting more.

Kid-Mai Death Cafe is located on the busy streets of Bangkok, boldly featuring death in almost every aspect of its stylish establishment.

▼ Death works harder than everyone else it seems.

Instagram Photo

Parts of a replica funeral ceremony is on display, including a coffin, wreaths and skeletons. According to staff, the idea is to have patrons appreciate and contemplate their everyday lives, as they may not have the luxury of waking up the next day.

▼ Which is rather sage advice for the living.

Instagram Photo

▼ Thought-provoking messages can be found all over the store.

Instagram Photo

Customers can experience a fleeting death by lying down in the decorated coffin with its lid closed for three minutes, and get a 20 baht (US$0.64) discount off their total bill for their efforts.

▼ Because death also saves you money, I guess?

Instagram Photo

But what’s a cafe without coffee and drinks? Fortunately, the store has plenty of those available, and all come with exciting names like “Born”, “Elder”, “Painful” and “Death”.

▼ Kid-Mai Death Cafe, a stylish cafe where
painful death tastes better than it sounds.

Instagram Photo

Aside from the aforementioned drinks, there’s a series of beverages with gloomy names like “One year left”, “One week left” and perhaps the crowd favorite, “Last day”.

Despite all the grim reminders of death in messages found all over the store, Kid-Mai Death Cafe remains popular with customers looking for an experience of a lifetime. All the establishment needs is to take a page from Japan’s gruesome Tokyo Ghoul anime cafe and offer some grisly snacks with equally deathly names to truly complete the theme.

Restaurant information
Kid-Mai Death Cafe
Address: 1191 Phaholyothin rd. Phayathai Bangkok, Thailand 10400
Open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Closed Sundays and holidays

Source: Facebook/Kid-Mai Death Cafe via The Nation, NextShark
Top image: Instagram/puypuy_si

Indie idol Emi Arisaka to hold memorial concert for fan with no family

Idol Emi Arisaka just might be one of the biggest sweethearts in the entertainment industry.

Arisaka is an indie idol who has been doing her thing for a decade now. She’s known for her high energy pop-rock songs and lolita inspired outfits. Over the years she’s been able to create a tight-knit dedicated fan base, mostly thanks to her treatment of them.

For a decade now one of Arisaka’s fans, a 55 year old man who went by the nickname Okkyan, has religiously attended almost all of her concerts and live events. Last year he mysteriously stopped showing up to her lives which made her a little worried.

She did a little digging and eventually found all of his social media profiles, all of them had stopped updating at the same time. Not knowing his phone number, she was able to discover Okkyan’s address by looking up his undisclosed real name. Arisaka then tried to fulfill the dream of probably every idol fan, decide to give him a visit to see if everything was okay.

When Arisaka arrived she received some grim news from Okkyan’s neighbors. Last year he was hospitalized and received surgery in-order to treat aortic dissection, a condition that severely damages your arteries. Despite being released from the hospital, his condition continued to get worse and he eventually passed away in his home in August.

Unfortunately, no funeral service was held for him since he had no immediate family. The few relatives he did have, he wasn’t close with or presumably even in contact.

Arisaka wrote a blog entry sharing that it’s always heartbreaking when someone deceased is not able to have people gather and remember them. While it’s too late to hold a funeral, Arisaka decided that she will hold a memorial concert in Okkyan’s honor instead.

The text on the illustration reads “Okkyan, wait for us in heaven

Arisaka also went out of her way to bring in the idol Flowered Gem to perform, who Okkyan was a big fan of also. The memorial concert will take place on April 11th, 2018 at the Hatsudai Doors music club.

(via sora news24)

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Manga Artist Shinichi Koga has passed away

It has come to light that at 81 years old manga artist Shinichi Koga has passed away.

A legend in the Japanese horror manga genre, he is best known in Japan and worldwide for his series Eko Eko Azarak (The Wizard of Darkness). The series began it’s original run in September 1975, and concluded in March 1979 after 19 volumes.

The series has multiple live-action versions, with the first film version coming out in 1995. Six more films followed, with the last coming out in 2011. A drama series was released via TV TOKYO in 1997, and another in 2004. Finally, an animation for the series was created by Toei Animation. The OVA was released on January, 2007.

The plot of the story follows Misa, a star student and “idol” among her peers. As it turns out, she’s actually a young witch who goes from school to school using black magic to bring chaos and “brutal justice”. Her odd past is slowly revealed as the series goes on.

Koga died on March 1st due to an unmentioned illness, but it wasn’t updated on his official website until today, March 16th. His career began in 1958, and he has authored over 45 different series.


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Legendary seiyu Hiromi Tsuru has passed away

Unfortunately it has been confirmed that legendary seiyu Hiromi Tsuru has suddenly passed away.

On November 16th at roughly 7:30 PM a car was seen immobile with the hazard lights blinking. When authorities arrived to the scene they found Tsuru unconscious at the driving wheel, still with her seat belt on. She was quickly rushed to the hospital but shortly after it was confirmed that she had not made it.

There was no evidence of some sort of accident that took place in the car, the vehicle itself was also not damaged. Authorities have said the cause of death was linked to health issues, however autopsy results have not been completed yet.

Tsuru got her start at 18 years old voice acting in the anime series The Story of Perrine. Her most beloved and by far most famous role came in 1987 when she was selected to voice the Dragon Ball character Bulma. She went on to voice Bulma for every single other Dragon Ball anime series, film, and wherever else the character appeared in. Besides Bulma Tsuru also provided the voice for various other Dragon Ball characters including Baby Trunks, West Supreme Kai, and Bra.

Tsuru’s other iconic roles include Ukyo Kuonji and Kaori Daikoku from Ranma 1/2, Naomi Hunter from the Metal Gear series, Meryl Strife from Trigun, and Reiko Mikami from Ghost Sweeper Mikami.

Tsuru was only 57 years old.

(via mag2)

“Death room” cleanup employee makes “beautiful” replicas of terrifying rooms people died alone in

This woman has seen some sh*t… literally.

When someone without friend, family, or a job dies, their body might not be found for months. And quite often, someone in that position suffered from severe mental illness, meaning that when the corpse is eventually found, the room it’s in might be in just as bad shape.

These “death rooms” are unfortunately becoming less rare in Japan, where real estate companies often offer them at a huge discount. But before the room can be put back on the market, there’s an important job to take care of: cleaning it up.

Miwa Kojima, an employee of ToDo-Company, one such post-death cleanup company, has personally helped clean over 300 “death rooms.” At the recently-held End-of-Life Industry Exhibition in Tokyo, she showed off some miniature replicas of “death rooms” that she’d created, based on sites that she’d helped clean.

Here’s a glimpse of what she’s seen:

▼ Oh god… that bathtub, the stains on the futon, just imagining
the smell is enough make you gag. (Click pictures to enlarge.)

▼ Here’s some closer-up images of the garbage, so you can see the
incredible detail that went into crafting these horrific scenes.

When asked why they showed off these miniatures at the exhibition, ToDo-Company said that they wanted to show off what the rooms these people died in really looked like. Just using photos isn’t enough, it removes a dimension from the experience. They felt that being able to see the literal depth of the garbage, even if it was a miniature version, was much more impactful.

Again, all three of the miniatures seen here were based on real rooms that Kojima had helped clean. For example, in the bathtub room, the resident had died while in the tub, and by the time their body was discovered two months later (during which time the water had been kept warm), the skin had been boiled like meat in a pot. When the corpse was removed, the flesh came sliding right off the bones and stuck to the tub.

For the room piled with trash, she said that in addition to the food garbage and other trash, there was also human waste stored in empty water bottles and plastic convenience store bags. For the stained futon room, she said that the old man who’d died there hadn’t been discovered until the water company became suspicious that no water had been used in the apartment… five months after he’d died.

Taking so long to discover “death rooms” when people die alone is common, but she also said they’ve had cases of family members living together and not discovering a dead body for up to two months in especially dysfunctional households.

As horrific as these stories are, hearing them makes it clear that ToDo-Company and other “death room” cleanup companies are providing an important service. It would be horrible to ask family members to take care of situations like these, and in some cases, actually impossible if the deceased has no family.

Reading about these “death room” cleaners has put the process of dying in a new perspective. It may not be a pleasant thought, but it’s easy to take for granted having people who care about us and who will discover us shortly after we die, and not one month after we get crushed under six tons of our own erotic magazines. It’s sad that not everyone has someone like that in their lives, and those of us who do should all take a moment to realize how fortunate we are.

Source: IT Media, Yahoo! News Japan/with news via Itai News
Featured image: Twitter/@kamba_ryosuke