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News from Japan - June 9, 2022

Japanese manga One Piece enters its final chapter

Final chapter of One Piece with luffy on the cover

The One Piece manga is about to enter its final chapter, according to its creator Eiichirō Oda.

After 25 years of publication, 490 million copies sold, making One Piece the best-selling manga in the world, the adventure is soon coming to an end.

The manga, which has followed the adventures of pirate Monkey D. Luffy since 1997 (an anime series was released two years later), is a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Its publisher, Oda, even holds the Guinness World Record for “most copies published of a single comic book series by a single author.”

The end of this manga will have a particular resonance, especially in France and the United States, the largest manga/anime markets behind Japan.


Grandfathers go viral with their TikTok videos

Ojikyun, the new TikTok celebrities in Japan

Four “grandfathers” become the stars of TikTok.

The “ojikyun”, people in their fifties and sixties, make more than 16M views while dancing in costume.

The four new stars call themselves ojikyun, a slang word used by young people that mixes ojisan, which means "old man" in Japanese, and kyun, which refers to being choked up with emotion / having your heart beating fast.

Their goal is to promote the city of Wake, very affected by the demographic decline. Indeed, the city has about 14,000 inhabitants, but its primary school had to close due to lack of demand. Also, the mall is gone, as are some parties that used to be held in Wake.


Earn points by visiting temples in Japan

A shinto shrine in Japan

Earn “mairi” points (pun on “omairi”, meaning to visit and pray in a temple) by visiting temples.

This is the idea comes from the Buddhist sect Jodo to celebrate its birthday and encourage visitors to visit the temples.

Indeed, the Buddhist sect celebrates its 850th anniversary in 2024 and hopes to launch this project in the fall of 2022. By visiting the temple and scanning the QR codes, you will get points. It will then be possible to exchange the “mairi” for goods (10 mairi = senbei rice crackers, 50 mairi = ginger ale, etc.).

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