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Erik Lebs

Erik Lebs lives in Osaka, where he keeps busy with music endeavors, writing, and translation projects. Lover of food, media, and good conversation, topics of discussion include alternative ways of living, changing cultural trends, and the intersection of national/personal identity.



Travel Tales from Hokkaido Part 2: Discovering a New World

Erik's adventures with the Japan Explorer Pass continue as he heads further west. Part Two: An Apple desktop, marching penguins and snowshoeing in the moonlight.

By 8 min read


Hardworking Sensationalism: How International Media Misrepresents Japan

Don't believe the hype — Japan deserves better.

By 5 min read 9


Travel Tales from Hokkaido: Exploring the “Wild West” of Japan

Follow one writer's adventures to unknown corners of this wild island with the Japan Explorer Pass. Part One: Dog sledding, pork bowls, horse-racing and outdoor drinking.

By 8 min read


Conceptions of Black and White in Japan

I can hope to shed some light on media portrayals of blackness and whiteness in Japan.

By 6 min read 14


What to do When Stopped by the Police in Japan

Police can stop you for questioning and seize you if you try to escape but you have no obligation to answer their questions.

By 4 min read 15


No Guide Book Osaka: Stroll Through The Tanimachi Neighborhood

A relaxed stroll through Osaka's Tanimachi Neighborhood.

By 3 min read


The Ritualization of Everyday Life in Japan

It is bizarre to imagine a workplace full of such a degree of order and dedication, in which ritual practices like recitation are common experiences

By 6 min read 5


No Guide Book: A Culinary Adventure in Osaka’s Tennoji Neighborhood

A couple of hidden food gems in the gritty tennoji neighborhood.

By 5 min read 2


Does Japan Make the Person or Does the Person Make Japan?

How does a personal identity fit with the national identity of Japan?

By 4 min read 3


Is Japanese Television a Tool for Establishing Social Order?

What role does the TV play in a country like Japan?

By 6 min read 7


Japan’s Faltering Employment System

How will the growing fallibility of Japan's institutions affect the country's social values?

By 4 min read 18