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HANZAI: True Crime Stories from Japan

Mike Cash

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I have moved the podcast's hosting from SoundCloud to Blubrry.

If you have been listening through your web browser, please go to

Hanzai: True Crime Stories from Japan | Historical Cases and Current Crime News

to hear past and future episodes.

If you listen via podcatching apps then everything should happen automatically and you should notice no change.

News round-up for last week has been uploaded.
 

Kamasama

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Cool. I will tune in. I've been looking for an alternative to TR. They offer a mix of topics but much of it is stuff I am not interested in. A podcast sounds like fun.
 

Mike Cash

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Hanzai News Roundup for April 12, 2018


  • Jeweler Kidnapped
  • Corrupt Cops
  • Hidden Cameras Everywhere
  • Abandoned Baby
  • Another Baseball Bat Beatdown
  • Samurai Road Rage
  • Rape, Murder, Arson Trifecta
  • Jr. High Teacher Hand in Cookie Jar
  • Son Kept in Cage for Decades
  • More!
It was quite a week. You don’t want to miss this one.

Hanzai News for April 12, 2018 - Hanzai Podcast
 

nice gaijin

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These are great, I'm amazed at some of the crime trends that are popping up.

I was going to suggest being careful about the quick fade-out at the end of your sentences, as it started to cut off some of your words in some of the earlier casts, but it sounds like you've got it sorted out now; the audio quality is much improved.
 

nice gaijin

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The red underoos! great I'll listen on my way to work tomorrow
 

Mike Cash

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Short news episode uploaded to adjust posting schedule.
 

mdchachi

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I rarely listen to podcasts but started this one. So far so good.
My comments in no particular order.
  • Might want to change the title. It doesn't seem related to Hanzi at all. Nothing about kanji or its etymology or anything.
  • I was happy to see the initial lengths of < 20 minutes -- very consumable. But I see that they are creeping up. I suggest avoiding length creep. I've started podcasts in the past but when they hit 30 minutes I start questioning whether I have the time or interest to start listening and I often don't.
  • I suggest targeting 20 minutes for an episode and 10 minutes for current news wrap-up.
  • The recent news wrap-up is missing the riveting detail posted at every koban -- how many traffic deaths there were nationwide. Just kidding you can keep that detail out.
  • It would be nice if you could assign one of your interns to dig up more details. For example, you mentioned that the woman who was involved in killing the payroll handler would have gotten out in 15 years. It would be interesting to learn what happened to her.
  • The volume on the trolley episode was lower than others but perfectly audible even when listening while driving over my car's radio.
  • You need some sponsors. How about Jref? Maybe you can get them to compensate you with a case of tissues and onsen towels for a mention.
  • If you need story ideas, I'd be interested in some of the aum shinrikyo stories, especially the ones not well told. Like the people who were on the lam for so many years. That's interesting to me because I was on a Tokyo train when sh*t happened and because the faces of the people on the run were staring at me for years and years in wanted posters at every train station.
  • Anyway good stuff. If you keep at it, I think this could become quite popular.
 

Mike Cash

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Thanks very much for your detailed feedback. I really appreciate it.

I’ll assume you were making a joke about “Hanzi”. (It’s “Hanzai”...the Japanese word for “Crime”)

I agree that 20 minutes is probably about right. The bulk of the podcasts dealing with crime are 30 minutes (no added audio from news clips, interviews, etc) or one hour (with clips).

With the current news editions, when I first started this I really thought I would have trouble finding enough stories each week even to make a 5 minute mini-show. Turns out you can fill up 30 minutes and still leave lots of stories completely untouched. I’m surprised to find that people download the back editions of the news stories. 10 minutes of news would barely be enough to cover all the shoplifting and upskirt video shooting police officers and school teachers, let alone anybody else. I thought those would suffer from short shelf life. I think I may be trying to get more and more stories included because for years I have been mildly dismayed by the complete lack of interest that so many foreigners have in local/domestic news from Japan that doesn’t directly touch upon or affect their lives as foreigners in Japan. I think much of it probably has stemmed from so little news of that sort being offered in anything except Japanese. I also think the news stories can serve a very valuable function in that they show people the unvarnished Japan...Japan doing things they’d probably rather nobody else took a look at. The purpose of including the news stories isn’t to titillate or to show Japan being whacky or quirky...although that sometimes unavoidably happens...I’m trying to include news that gives a more complete context for knowing or understanding the place and the people, and showing people at their worst behavior certainly throws the polished and carefully curated PR image into sharp contrast. I let Japan show itself as it is when it thinks nobody else is looking.

I wish I had an intern. You wouldn’t believe the number of hours this eats up every week. I think it takes me at least 10 hours of work to create 20 minutes of a podcast, whether that be a historical case or a news roundup.

I include what details I can dig up. Not all the information I would like to have is available. Japan is still a bit behind on having all the old stuff you would like to have access to actually available. I’ve had several stories I started to do but had to drop because there was no information available on what happened in the end, regarding even such basic stuff as the outcome of a trial. I went to the public library on Sunday and looked for supplemental information on the main case I covered in Episode 9. I dug through the newspapers around the date of the murder and found not a single mention of it. If I were in Tokyo or a major city I would have better access to more papers on microfilm, but that’s not the case. Another factor is the nature of privacy in Japan and the nature of the police force and the lack of a mechanism to dig into what they do or did beyond what they choose to make public. Podcasters in the U.S. with the time and tenacity can sometimes do Freedom Of Information requests and actually get access to records of investigations. I can’t do that here.

I probably won’t do Aum, for the simple reason that it has been covered in English. My primary criterion for deciding which historical cases and which current news items to handle is that they not be available in English elsewhere (to my knowledge, anyway).

I would dearly love to have sponsors. I will be 100% frank and tell you that at some point it is going to have to generate some degree of revenue or it will be dropped like a hot rock. I am able to access the information that goes into the podcast for myself without going to all the effort and bother that goes into putting it into a digestible format for others and I am not so large-hearted or possessed of such a volunteer spirit that I will continue to spend 20 or more hours a week doing this forever if it doesn’t eventually bring in a few bucks. I have other things that I have put aside in order to try to get this going as a side source of income and if at some point that isn’t happening, I will put this aside and go back to those things instead.

Thank you for listening and especially for letting me know your thoughts and giving me a chance to reply to them. Engagement, feedback, and encouragement are the only things that keep podcasting from being just a guy sitting in a room talking to himself.
 

mdchachi

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I’ll assume you were making a joke about “Hanzi”. (It’s “Hanzai”...the Japanese word for “Crime”)
Indeed. I figured you knew me well enough. Hence no additional clues that I was joking.

With the current news editions, when I first started this I really thought I would have trouble finding enough stories each week even to make a 5 minute mini-show. Turns out you can fill up 30 minutes and still leave lots of stories completely untouched... I also think the news stories can serve a very valuable function in that they show people the unvarnished Japan...Japan doing things they’d probably rather nobody else took a look at. The purpose of including the news stories isn’t to titillate or to show Japan being whacky or quirky...although that sometimes unavoidably happens...I’m trying to include news that gives a more complete context for knowing or understanding the place and the people, and showing people at their worst behavior certainly throws the polished and carefully curated PR image into sharp contrast. I let Japan show itself as it is when it thinks nobody else is looking.
Intellectually it makes sense. In a country of 127 million people there should be a big enough crime blotter to fill 10-20 minutes a week. It's still a tiny amount on a per capital basis.

I wish I had an intern. You wouldn’t believe the number of hours this eats up every week. I think it takes me at least 10 hours of work to create 20 minutes of a podcast, whether that be a historical case or a news roundup.
I don't doubt it.

I include what details I can dig up. Not all the information I would like to have is available. Japan is still a bit behind on having all the old stuff you would like to have access to actually available. I’ve had several stories I started to do but had to drop because there was no information available on what happened in the end, regarding even such basic stuff as the outcome of a trial.
That's what I figured. If you could get more details you'd let us know.

I probably won’t do Aum, for the simple reason that it has been covered in English. My primary criterion for deciding which historical cases and which current news items to handle is that they not be available in English elsewhere (to my knowledge, anyway).
Yes, I meant anything related to Aum that may not have shown up in the Japan Times. There must be various Japanese-only stories out there about those events. Just a thought.

I would dearly love to have sponsors. I will be 100% frank and tell you that at some point it is going to have to generate some degree of revenue or it will be dropped like a hot rock. I am able to access the information that goes into the podcast for myself without going to all the effort and bother that goes into putting it into a digestible format for others and I am not so large-hearted or possessed of such a volunteer spirit that I will continue to spend 20 or more hours a week doing this forever if it doesn’t eventually bring in a few bucks. I have other things that I have put aside in order to try to get this going as a side source of income and if at some point that isn’t happening, I will put this aside and go back to those things instead.
Hopefully you can turn this labor of love into something that yields pocket money. Win for you and win for the public. By the way in order to give added appeal to language learners you could throw in the occasional vocabulary word. For example you had a prime opportunity to introduce the term 援助交際 which every beginning student of Japanese should know. But you only mentioned the English translation.

By the way, how can I rate your podcast? I use the podcast app that comes built into the iPhone but I don't see a rating mechanism.
 

Mike Cash

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You mentioned that abortion was illegal in 1930. If there was such a glut of unwanted babies, why was it illegal? And, when did it change and why?
There was such a glut of unwanted babies in part because it was illegal.

It was illegal because when a country is expanding its military children are a national asset.

I don't recall the exact year it changed right off the top of my head, but I think it was around 1947 or so. Japan was suddenly out odd the militaristic territorial expansion and overseas colonization racket, had no particular overriding religious or moral objections to it, and had an over-population problem.
 

Mike Cash

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Latest news uploaded:

Hanzai News for May 20, 2018 - Hanzai Podcast

  • Child Murder
  • Child Molestation
  • Child Pornography
  • Child Prostitution
  • Child Abandonment
  • Child Neglect
....and a random "what the hell were you thinking?" attack on a baby in a supermarket

There are a total of 44 news stories in this week's report and they're not all horrible crimes against children, but it sure as hell felt like it when I got through and went to write a summary of the crimes it contains. As a matter of principle I don't give "trigger" warnings but if you listen to this one, don't say I didn't tell you what is in it.
 

mdchachi

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Not much trigger unless you use your imagination. The way these things are referred to in the podcast i.e. "lewd acts" doesn't bring to mind the actual horrors that are probably happening. As compared to how these things are referred to in the U.S. i.e. "criminal sexual conduct" or "criminal sexual assault" which sound much more serious.

I've been inspired to support you but paypal is still not set up. I'm not ready to take the step to subscribe to yet another service (Patreon) I've never heard of. Just FYI in case I'm not the only one and there is a massive queue of people waiting for your paypal to be set up. ;-)
I don't know much about global paypal but I suspect it may be better to set up a USD account rather than a Japan account.

I finally figured out how to rate the podcast using this tutorial. It turns out you need to use a special technique called "scroll down."
 

Mike Cash

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Not much trigger unless you use your imagination. The way these things are referred to in the podcast i.e. "lewd acts" doesn't bring to mind the actual horrors that are probably happening. As compared to how these things are referred to in the U.S. i.e. "criminal sexual conduct" or "criminal sexual assault" which sound much more serious.
The biggest challenge putting together the news reports is the often very vague nature of the original articles. Especially in the case of anything having to do with a crime of a sexual nature. Not that I think the Japanese consumer of news or the foreign consumer of news has any particular right to know all the details of what a victim was put through, but as a general thing they are so lacking in specifics that it is impossible to do anything except resort to the lame "engaged in lewd acts" in order to avoid the danger of just making it up. Often it is impossible to tell whether it was a solo lewd act, physical contact with the victim, both, or just what the hell took place.

Japanese journalists get way too much mileage out of ら and など

I've been inspired to support you but paypal is still not set up
Thank you very much. I will try to get that process started this week.

I finally figured out how to rate the podcast using this tutorial. It turns out you need to use a special technique called "scroll down."
Thanks very much indeed for the very kind review of the podcast. I don't understand it myself, but I am given to understand that reviews increase search engine visibility and other things that help one particular show stand out above others and increase its chance of growing its listener base.
 

Mike Cash

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May 27, 2018 news posted. Also first "bonus" audio content posted to Patreon.

Hanzai News for May 27, 2018 - Hanzai Podcast

I think the audio issues should be resolved in this one, but then I've thought that before so my opinion doesn't count for much.
 

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