The Tokyo Desu Awards 2014

As our first award shows, 2014 hasn’t been a great year for Japan in the grand scheme of things, but it was another great year for absurd news stories for us to poke fun at. Which is all that really matters, right?

 (read the Tokyo Desu Awards 2013 here)

The “Let’s Have Our Christmas Party in the Office This Year” for Most Depressing Choice goes to…

The Japanese public for their choice of Kanji of the Year

(pic: Shutterstock)

He probably has allergies too (pic: Shutterstock)

The Kanji of the year is usually a positive event, where the public celebrate the achievements of the past 12 months by voting on a single character that best symbolises that period. Last year it was ‘Ring’, because Tokyo won the 2020 Olympics bid, and the year before it was ‘Gold’ to represent a number of international triumphs in 2012. This year however, ‘Tax’ was the winner, with ‘Fever’ coming second and ‘Lies’ third.

The Kim Kardashian Award for Showing Your Arse to the Public goes to…

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), for announcing profits of ¥43.2 billion for 2013.

This announcement came at a time when almost half of the 300,000 people evacuated from the vicinity of their Fukushima No. 1 Power Plant still hadn’t received satisfactory compensation and many were, and still are, living in shared temporary accommodation. A classic tale of triumph over adversity!

The Better Than Eating Food and Squealing “Oishiiiiii” Repeatedly Award for Best TV Segment goes to…

NTV for for airing this glorious sokkuri segment

eat handle

Never mind the horror of the Red Wedding or Walter White’s gradual descent from Mr Chips to Scarface – having celebrities enter a room in which some items are made from food and asking them to bite things they thought looked suspicious was nothing short of evolution in television programming.

Another one of our favourites was this light-hearted look at whether people actually understood the English displayed on their clothes.

The Not Angry, Just Disappointed Award for Best Punishment goes to…

No Masuzoe for their political sex strike

We’re tempted to give this one to the J-League for their commendable and unexpectedly strong response to Urawa Reds fans posting a racist banner at one of their games, but the No Masuzoe campaign has to take the top spot for originality alone. After Yoichi Masuzoe reportedly commented that women shouldn’t be in politics because of their strange behaviour during the menstrual cycle, a group of women announced a sex strike against anyone who voted for him.

Masuzoe later won the gubernatorial election, but probably comforted the male voters in private by letting them know the women would realise how silly they were being as soon as they came off their period.

The Unsettling Feeling in Our Stomach Award for Most Disgusting Novelty Food Item goes to…

McDonald’s Tofu Nuggets

Bite-sized mush

Bite-sized mush

Although there was stiff competition from blue burgers, black burgers and meat encased in collagen jelly, McDonald’s spongy attempt at recovering from the Shanghai Husi meat scandal left us wishing we were eating tainted chicken instead.

The Computer Won’t Detect Your Pencil Mark Award for Answers Outside the Box goes to…

Tomonaga Osada for suggesting condoms should be punctured secretly in order to increase the birth rate

Osada later apologised for his “inappropriate proposal”, which we assume/hope was just a joke made at the wrong time.

The ‘No Sex in Japan‘ Award for Made Up News About Japan goes to…

The Wasington Post for it’s story on zentai


No, Japanese people aren’t dressing up in face-covering spandex body suits. Nobody here at Tokyo Desu has seen or even heard of anyone doing this. Unfortunately everybody in Tokyo is too busy levelling up their virtual girlfriends and boyfriends that the only time they can go outside is during the weekly visit to used panties vending machines.


That’s it for this year, thanks to you all for reading and sharing our stories and here’s to a great 2015!

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