Osaka Stories (part 1 of ???)

NOTE FROM SITE OWNER: It has come to my attention that the link to this page has recently been included in several blog spams. I am in no way related to the spammer and have no idea why he is including my link in his spam. I do apologize for any inconvenience it has caused you. For background info on this situation, please see the comments to this post, below.
Before I took my current job, my girlfriend and I were living in the slums of Osaka (Nishinari-ku), one of the few places in Japan where it’s genuinely dangerous to walk alone at night, and often remembered for the riots that occurred there in semi-recent times (spurred by the police beating a day laborer to death, no less).
We lived in an apartment smaller than I can even try describing in western terms, and the view from our single window consisted of the Hanshin expressway, and truck horns blared long into the night. Living with another person in such a cramped space is actually quite bonding if you get along well (and let’s be honest, if it’s all you can afford, you tend to make do somehow). The biggest joke was the name of the apartment complex: “Beverly Hills.” It was written in this ultra-tacky katakana lettering across the top of the building, a testament to that immediately recognizable design trend around the world that, in half-heartedly emulating gild and glitz, positively screams, “GHETTO!”
We liked the vibe of that area because there was never a dull moment; on any given day you might see people brawling in the middle of the street with cars whizzing by both ways, or police on foot pursuit of a shoplifter in a Keystone Cop-like sequence complete with whistle-blowing action and the command to “Stop! We are POLICE!” (arguably the best reason not to stop, but…). My all-time favorite memory from our hood, however, was the time when a group of local toughs were hanging out on the curb, passing around a monster bottle of cheap sake while randomly shooting roman candles off at passing cars – and then beating the shit out of anyone who stopped to complain. They actually made one guy hand over money and apologize for the grave transgression of – I swear, this was the exact phrase – “hitting and ruining their precious fireworks with his shitty car.” (hmm? That last part might be better expressed in a movie than in writing – I think Takeshi, for one, could pull it off. Tarantino would go overboard on props like a +2 damage wakizashi with sharkskin scabbard and Iridium Edo inlay, and other directors of the “pearl licker persuasion” would have Chow Yun or, heaven forbid, Jet Li acting the part of “Japanese Salaryman Pulled Suddenly from Car, Slapped.” Y’all might get away with taking absolutely heinous liberties with the memoirs of a certain (AHEM!) Chinese (AHEM!) geisha, but not so with mine.)
Yeah, good old Nishinari-ku (the “-ku” suffix is literally translated as “ward”). So many memories – we actually lived in an area called Tamade. Tamade is famous for pachinko because the kanji for tama means “balls” and de means “to come out,” so this is an auspiciously named area (Whether this area was named specifically for pachinko in the modern era, or if the “balls coming out” is a reference to some strange Meiji era sexual practice involving love beads, I do not know*. I am guessing it’s the former since much of the area burnt down during the war) for it. There were a lot of elderly pachipro in those parlors, and sometimes they would give up really surprising tricks of the trade if they took a liking to you. Nam was once able to buy a ticket back to Thailand with a night’s winnings after an old guy tipped her off to a “sleeper.” Another guy showed me how to jackpot a certain type of machine with a keitai, but I never worked up the nerve to try it – for some reason I always equated getting caught at cheating with that ball-peen hammer scene in Casino.
*although this might help explain “Pearl Jam”

48 thoughts on “Osaka Stories (part 1 of ???)

  1. Nam’s wee, skinny apartment in Osaka was also pretty awful. I admired how much stuff you were able to cram into that space…

  2. Hey…after a year or so I get a message from a friend of mine who was just looking up everyone’s names…and here I see a blog site with a guy named Justin Yoshida writing about…me? Talk about strange! So sure enough I go back to check my old xanga crap and i find the comment in the guest book. haha…I just had to stop by and say wassup…as that has to be the strangest thing ive seen in a while…especially after over a year’s time.

  3. Re:Chinese Geisha syndrome…I wonder if Quentin T would approve? Maybe so because it’s a book written by a white guy imagining being a geisha and it’s a typical Hollywood movie, the formula for which involves casting the best asian female (hey, most ferengis can’t tell the difference, right? And they do not care. Really.) for each role in hopes that their big money investment makes payola. It’s not about being politically, culturally or historically correct or sensitive to the Japaneseness of the whole story. Hey, it’s the Wal-Martization of open-casting what once was a monocacial, monocultural story!

  4. Excuse me, but would you mind explaining why this page of your web site was involved in a MASSIVE spam attack on my site this morning? Each of the dozens of spam comments had a different IP Address, and several different email addresses and names were employed, making it very difficult to de-spam, even using Movable Type and MT-Blacklist. Since you are a blogger yourself (one that I read, no less), I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you were not involved. Nevertheless, I want an explanation, and if you don’t have one, I presume you will want to demand one yourself.
    I also presume that this attack was not aimed specifically at my site–I may be
    The email address I have listed is not monitored, so do not respond there; please respond here instead, I’ll be checking back.
    Sample of spam included, with URLs aside from this one partially masked and disabled so as to not reward the spammer:
    IP Address:
    Name: Nicolas Trumen
    Email Address:
    I enjoyed your site so much so i have to say it to you. [a href=””]port a buayar[/a] , [a href=”****://anthony.ianniciello.n*e*t*/blog/archives/000079.html”]Fantast author[/a]

  5. B y the way, I note that the other two URLs in the spam happened to trigger your own spam filter, which tells me you may have received the same spam yourself.

  6. I confirm… I have also been receiving this spam (all got stopped automatically by my spam filter, but I noticed your domain appearing in my Blacklist, hence went to check if there was a mistake)…
    It may be an attempt to pollute auto-blacklists (such as the ones built my spam filter), but the fact it only uses two very specific URLs seem to point at something else… Maybe a personal attack against you and that other site…
    At any rate, I suspect it’s not completely random (it seems like both of us have been reading your site and probably leaving our URL with a comment somewhere on here, where a bot may have found it).
    Just in case, you may want to add a small word of explanation at the top of this page for other people who do not realize this is not you…

  7. Luis, first of all thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt. As you guessed, I really had nothing to do with it. Also as you guessed, I got the same spam a couple days ago and was pretty peeved to see my own domain in it – but I figured it was just some ploy to make me blacklist my own domain or some such crap (I ended up blacklisting the ianniciello.n*e*t* domain). I’m truly horrified to see that it’s been sent to other people as well, my own readers/commenters to boot.
    Dave’s theories make a lot of sense and I suppose I’ll have to visit the other linked site to see if there’s a common thread there.
    I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and will gladly castrate the guilty parties with a rusty scythe if they are ever found.

  8. The other site doesn’t seem to be a spam blog persay, but the comments are being totally overrun by spam. The specific page that is linked is similar to this one in content, which is… curious. No idea what that means, though.
    I will keep digging.

  9. Hmn… that sounds extremely elaborate (much too much for the 2-bit strategies these monkeys usually deploy), but one possibility would be: the spammer is using your site’s URL hoping it might already be whitelisted and trying to give PR to that other blog, while on the other hand spamming the latter senseless, knowing that the PR trickles down to them…
    Then again, I have rarely see spammers do anything somewhat sensible or thought-out, so my best bet is that they’re just trying random crap, hoping to get something out of it (images of hundreds of monkeys flinging shit on typewriters comes tom mind)… You may want to look into the IP of the spammer doing that, and try to see if he’s in any way related to you…

  10. First off, I would like to apologize for even putting any onus of responsibility on you, Justin–that was wrong of me. I was just peeved at the time about the massive spam attack and I guess I was looking to having at someone about it. You owe no one any apologies, or for that matter, even an explanation, though it’s good that people are talking about this and trying to figure it out.
    The situation is interesting, though. Do you think perhaps the spammers are collecting URLs of blogs from the comments in this and the other two blogs, and sending them spam? That would be one way to discover which blogs to spam, wouldn’t it?
    I could imagine that they could write a bot for that, similar to how bots harvest email addresses on sites where they are in plaint text. I would imagine that for the purposes of the test spamming, they choose specific entries of blogs that were scanned for URLs and include them in the spamming wave. I would presume they do these tests to see what kind of penetration each technique gets. No doubt the cockroaches are reading these comments to see what they stir up.
    I doubt we’ll find the dickless wonders that are doing this, gutless parasitic lowlifes that they are. The only constructive thing we can do is spread the word about these things into the blogosphere so that bloggers can (a) know not to blame other bloggers, though I doubt future spam waves will have blogs in them, replacing them with spammer’s URLs; and (b) know what techniques the spammers are using so that we can set up defenses that will take them out with ease.
    An interesting point on the German blogger’s page, by the way. You’ll note that the post in question has several comment spams that have not been cleared. But if you go to the monthly page and look at the post “from the outside,” it says there are zero comments for the post. This guy has been posting recently, but (a) hasn’t rebuilt his site and (b) hasn’t cleared his spam from the individual entries for a while.
    You ask me, anyone who runs a blog but doesn’t clean up the spam is like someone who doesn’t put the lid on their garbage cans. It starts to stink up the neighborhood and attracts flies for everyone. You run a blog, you clean up the spam. It’s because of the people who don’t clean up that the spammers continue their aggressive practices on all of us. Not that the spammers themselves aren’t fundamentally responsible, but because they hide and have utter disregard for the destruction they sow, they have to be viewed by spammers as a force of nature, like a deluge of sewage.

  11. Dave, thanks for the input. It’s nice to have a genius on the team at times like this!
    Luis, don’t worry about it, man. Spam really pushes my buttons, too, and there’s not a thing you said with which I disagree. Except that I have an idea involving a mile-high pyre of burning spammers that might qualify as a “constructive thing.”

  12. Sounds like a combination spoofing and spamming. They’re spoofing or plagiarizing your site and then spamming your readership with links… that’s what it sounds like here in the cheap seats:)

  13. Sorry to hear you got caught up in this. For what it’s worth, I think that this is a vanguard attack on auto-blacklisting and free comment entry.
    Dickheads, one and all.
    People need delete the spam comments NOW, before the spiders hit your blogs.

  14. Hi. I am currently in JP. The ara so many stupid thing there, like for ex. toilet left Women, right – Men, and UNISEX in the middle… I acn send you a pic if you give me mail…

  15. I’ve been getting spam linked to this site, too — and I’ve never been here before! One more piece of evidence of how widespread this is. Have just deleted all the spam comments from my web site.

  16. Once again, for those who are still coming here for an explanation: I’m very sorry someone spammed you, but I had nothing to do with it. Thank you for coming here and providing feedback.

  17. I got hit too, which is unusual. I made a small modification to my blog software so that any spam on it must have been done by hand (or something that knows my site specificily). Obviously this person is going to conciderable lengths to spam sites.

  18. The thought of someone having to input spam by hand, one at a time, makes me immensely happy – WHAT A FUCKING LOSER! Get a job flipping burgers already, you fucking parasite!
    Thanks for that info, Steve!

  19. I got it, too, despite never having posted here before. It got caught by MT-Blacklist and, obviously, I wont blacklist your URL.
    Hope someone can find the person responsible for the spam and do the, er, appropriate things.

  20. How do you do, thank you for commenting on my blog.
    Although I did not find English, I used Translation soft and read blog.
    Foreign one looked at writing the thing of Osaka in which I live, and had a sense of closeness.
    I am also looking forward to the continuation.

  21. Hi
    I’m from Austria and my Blog is in Germany. I know that you haven’t send this “blospamcomments”.
    Since three weeks only one my articles are full with spam comments:[this is an article with a trackback to an english language blog ]
    four links
    three of them from blogs like yours-webmaster they don’t know how and why their blogs are using for this spam.
    but one link is to an “casino” or similar.
    I don’t know why and what we can do..because :maybe tomorrow is “my” blog the sender of spam comments and I don’t know why … šŸ™
    kindly regards

  22. Hi Justin. Just started figuring out how extensive this was. Let me just say I feel your pain. What A-holes. I still do not clearly understand the purpose, and now I am ashamed to see I am blacklisted… šŸ™‚

  23. > and now I am ashamed to see I am blacklisted
    Oops! Sorry about that, you are now unblacklisted! Played right into the bastards’ hands by having you on the blacklist…

  24. I got one too, but Spam Karma 2 for WordPress picked it up. ^_^

    Report on comment number 1 (id=3364)

    Comment Author: Kevin Smith

    Comment Type: Comment

    Comment Content:

    Excellent! I enjoyed reading your material. amazing 3D effect: , Coin World magazine

    Spam Karma 2 Report:

    Javascript Payload: bad_karma -2: Browser doesn’t support Javascript

    Encrypted Payload: bad_karma -20: Fake Payload.

    Post Age and Activity: bad_karma -37.21: Entry posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago. 0 comments in the past 15 days. Current Karma: -22.

    Overall Karma: -59.21

    On the other hand, your post was an interesting read. ^_^

  25. Hi Justin. Just started figuring out how extensive this was. Let me just say I feel your pain. What A-holes. I still do not clearly understand the purpose, and now I am ashamed to see I am blacklisted… šŸ™‚

  26. How do you do, thank you for commenting on my blog. Although I did not find English, I used Translation soft and read blog. Foreign one looked at writing the thing of Osaka in which I live, and had a sense of closeness. I am also looking forward to the continuation.
    -Jenn (free dating services)

  27. I got it, too, despite never having posted here before. It got caught by MT-Blacklist and, obviously, I wont blacklist your URL.
    Hope someone can find the person responsible for the spam and do the, er, appropriate things.
    Genry (free dating services)

  28. Everyone!
    It appears we have a winner!
    This idiot:
    posted the last three comments (take a bow, Bob, Jennifer, and Genry) and left links to a free dating services site in two of them! Hi asshole! I think I’ll break the link and leave the comments up as evidence along with my logs!
    Hurry up and die, asshole!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.