Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Tuesday

Blah, tired. Not so much of a ‘sleepy’ kind of tired, either. It’s more of the ‘Focus and concentration is completely shot, so I stare off into space’ variety. Working in a law firm seems to be like that: Long periods of time waiting for something to happen mixed with bursts filled with ridiculous amounts of work. You’ve got 3 hours worth of projects to do, and 1 hour to do them all because the court will be closing for business. Needless to say, your 1 hour deadline will be filled with phone calls and e-mails from people wanting updates. This definitely differs from teaching English in Japan in that there your job is mostly to listen and engage in conversation. The best way I can express to people the need for attention to detail in this job is by pointing out one random fact: Did you know that there are italicized commas and periods, and that they look different? I didn’t, and now I’m charged with finding them.

Fortunately, I rather like my job and working in general. It is, however, not for the faint of heart (or who don’t care for lots of stress). On the positive side, the coffee is delicious.

Now, I bet you thought that I forgot to document all my pointless junk mail. Of course not! Here we move into…

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail

Tuesday Edition

What did the advertisers leave for me today?

Continue reading Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Tuesday

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Monday

I may not be teaching English in Japan anymore and spend my days at a desk, but my life still ends up being rather eventful. As I said earlier, I get a lot of junk mail. I’m sure it’s all a part of city (and apartment) life, but I still find the sheer breadth and quantity of the advertisements fascinating, so I decided to do you all the favor (?) and document all the inane junk I get over the week so we can all share in the joy of the random stuff that ends up in my mail box. So, without further ado…

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail

Monday Edition

And trust me, we’re starting off strong.

Continue reading Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Monday

Out in the wilderness


I know I’ve mentioned in the past that I lived in Hokkaido for a brief period back in 2005 (when I was 19) for the summer, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that it was a “small town” and “in the middle of nowhere”. Anyone who’s known me long enough probably also knows that I usually describe that place in far more colorful terms, but let’s not dwell.

I finally got around to looking through Google Maps and I found the place where I lived and worked in the summer of 2005! This is Tsurui-mura in Akan . . . → Read More: Out in the wilderness

Christmas Party

I’m at the Imperial Hotel in downtown Tokyo now. I’ve still got about 45 minutes to kill until the office Christmas party starts, so I figured I’d take a minute to ramble on!

It may still be the honeymoon period, but I’d say that I’m still pretty content with my job change and my new life here in Tokyo. There are good and bad points, like any job, but the corporate atmosphere and work conditions are good. When days are hard, they really, truly are (I’ve had 3 projects all come down at one time, all of which . . . → Read More: Christmas Party

Things you never wanted to know about Japan

Between arguments with and bills from the Japanese social security office (I spent 6 weeks asking them to send my a bill so I could pay, and they kept giving me the run around and asking me to pay.. without a bill. Finally they sent it last week with a 1 week deadline) and various stuff in my personal life (let’s not go there), it’s been a pretty lackluster Thanksgiving and start to the Christmas season. But rather than reflect on the details of my life (which is kinda what blogs do), let’s talk about something else entirely!

That’s . . . → Read More: Things you never wanted to know about Japan

Putting it all together

In my previous entries, I told you about the suspicious e-mail I got from ‘Yuki’, and talked in depth about how her site worked to lure people in. Today we’re gonna finish up the series and describe what it is they hope to do once you’ve joined the site, and how it basically works. But first, a summary!

A few days ago, I got an e-mail from someone I didn’t recognize, a-c-a-@docomo.ne.jp. They were e-mailing to let me know that they changed their address. I wasn’t sure who it was, so I followed up. For the next few days, I got an e-mail at 5-6pm every day from ‘Yuki’ (kar-ry.kuq@docomo.ne.jp), who seemed remarkably friendly, even saying she wants to be friends with a total stranger, but never answered any questions. Figuring it was spam, I looked into it and wrote about it. Sure enough, she eventually sent me to her private blog that I need to register to join. That brings us up to now, to finally discuss how the actual money-making process works! You know, in case you want to be a scammer someday.

In case you’re curious as to why I post the address so many times, it’s to make a record in google. Whenever I get a suspicious e-mail, I always Google the address to see if anyone else has mentioned it’s spam, etc. It’s worked so far, and 20 people found the article yesterday searching for the address.

That last leaves us at trying to register to join the blogging website, so we can get access to Yuki’s photos. They had references to all sorts of intriguing pictures that were just out of reach. If only you sign up, they say, you can see all of these and more! Well, hey, sounds like a great deal to me! Let’s sign up, shall we? Continue reading Putting it all together

And Yuki replies!

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, please check out my previous post, Would you like some spam?, for more details.

Anyway, I got another e-mail from our favorite non-existent spam artist (see what I did there? Hilarious, I know).


I tried to e-mail my friend again today, but I still can’t get in touch. I don’t even know Nobu’s address. Also, even though I just bought this phone, it seems to be acting up. Just my luck..

However,  I’m really happy to get to know you like this, so I think we can be good friends!

If it’s all right with you, I have a little profile I put together and just updated the photo yesterday. I’d like you to take a look at it.

Also, it’s really embarrassing, but I really want you to see the text on the TOP page. I wonder if you’ll notice what I wrote…?

The address is free–beauty.info/gaga, so please put http:// in front of it and enter it directly into your phone. Ah! I think it’s a cell-phone-only site, so you can only check it out on your phone.

I’m a little nervous since I’m not so cute, but I’ll be waiting for your reply! ^_^

Hmm.. any of that sound familiar? Like, remarkably similar to my predictions? Before we continue with the (pointless) deconstruction, some info for ya:

Why is it cell phone only? Well, as I said earlier, they want to get your money. If I can access it via PC, they need my credit card number. Most people (hopefully) hesitate to give out their credit card. On a cell phone, all I have to do is enter my 4 digit number into a box to authorize them to direct-charge to my phone bill.

What’s with the weird address? Which part? The http being separate is because most cell phone carriers (mine included) caught on to these things, and give me (the user) the ability to block all e-mails with URLs in them (how often do your friends e-mail you a website?). So they need to separate it.

I can’t see the site! ..not a question. But I’ll let it slide. The notice tells you that you can only access that page from a cell phone (it’s probably limited to Japanese phones, at that).

What happens if you follow up? Now that’s a question. Well, if you’re curious what more our fictional Yuki has in store, read on!

Continue reading And Yuki replies!

Would you like some spam?

One thing that you don’t really consider or think about when you live abroad is that pretty much everything is different, including the simplest things that you’d never even think about. Culture reaches further into our daily lives than you’d typically think. For today’s example, we’ve got SPAM and other such junk (or scams).

Having grown up through the 90s, I’m no stranger to the Internet. I’ve had (and still use) an email address since 1997. I’ve been a member of many chat rooms (anyone remember WBS?), chat programs (AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo!, Trillian, Skype), and various message boards (I even ran my own board for 3~ years). What’s the point? Well, you grow up getting all the junk e-mails, scams, and various spam that we’ve all become accustomed to over the years. Basically, I ignore it without even remembering that I’ve seen it, because it’s just like a common background noise for us all now.

But when you move to another country, there are different scams, different ways of trying to get your attention. As a non-native speaker, relatively new to the country, you can’t always sort it out so easily. In the case of Japan, some of the most prevalent spam advertisements utilize the cell phone system. You see, every phone here has an e-mail address associated with it. Unlike texting, as is prevalent in America, in Japan you can give out your e-mail address for your phone to people without giving out your phone number. Pretty convenient, actually. Since cell phones are a daily necessity, there are many hundreds of businesses that thrive off of the cell phone Internet system (which has special types of websites, etc, as well as being able to charge fees directly to your phone bill when you join. I’m sure you can see the problem coming).

Where there are legitimate businesses, there are scams artists. It’s like rain and wetness, income and taxes; you get one, you have the other.

What’s my point? We’re gonna take a look in how a Japanese e-mail scam works!
Continue reading Would you like some spam?

Running errands

Wow.. Busy, busy, busy. At least during business hours. I’ve been spending the last few days preparing for my life in Tokyo, which goes down to the small details (adjusting my sleeping schedule to be up and active at 5am) to the larger ones, like buying beds. Yesterday, I had to update my address with five places, and another two today. The are still some other places I need to notify about my change in address (mostly video rental shops and the like), but I can do those all on an as-needed basis.

When you live in Japan and . . . → Read More: Running errands

An update comes!

It’s been almost exactly 2 weeks since I wrote last time, as the observant among you have probably noticed.and by ‘among’, I mean the 3 of you who actually read this. But hey, let’s not dwell, huh?

Anyway, moving on, the reason why I haven’t written recently is mostly due to being incredibly busy, and i just haven’t really had the time nor been able to find the right words to make sense of what I’ve been running around doing. We last left off with me going to a job interview in Tokyo and writing from Burger King as . . . → Read More: An update comes!