Japanese Satire News Site Similar to The Onion

May 30, 2011

I was recently asked if Japan has anything similar to “The Onion” which is a humorous website that publishes satirical stories or parodies of current events. Although The Onion is already quite well known, one of its charms is that it publishes stories that are well-written and close enough to reality to give a person pause… or for some people to have a knee jerk irrational reaction to.

Back to Japanese news, though. Here is how my conversation about the Japanese version of The Onion went.

Somebody: Hey Jay, does Japan have anything like “The Onion”, I mean in Japanese?
Me: Yeah, well actually…
Somebody: I guess they wouldn’t though, right, I mean the Japanese are so respectful of authority and all…
Me: Well, you’d be surpr…
Somebody: It’s too bad they can’t do that ’cause that would be funny, you know, like making fun of the earthquakes and all…
Me: I think it’s a little too soo…
Somebody: Yeah, you’re right. They would probably have to be all Buddhist about it anyway.

I have no idea what he meant by “all Buddhist about it” but it was the closest the conversation got to being at all insightful.

Anyway, people that read the news in Japanese, especially the alternative news and more independent or forum driven work probably already knows about Kyoko Shimbun News but for those that don’t… and who read Japanese, I can highly recommend it as a more than adequate Japanese equivalent to The Onion.

Some recent stories included McDonald’s Japan releasing a new product called the Makudonaru-don. Something similar to the donburi or beef-bowl type fast food found in Japan. The Makudonaru-don, or McDonal-don is basically like a quarter pounder on rice. The news story is great because it lists prices and options, and even a photo found to the right (with link to the original story). They cover political and business news as well (which would surprise my friend above if he ever let go of his stereotypes and actually look and listen to what’s going on around him).


Other stories cover such a wide variety of topics as Japan’s pension troubles and controversies, stories poking fun at the government, Japan’s summer high school baseball tournament at Koshien stadium, and yes, even earthquakes.

My favorite story was one I saw a week or so ago that was a fake announcement suggesting that people cook Yukke (derived from the Korean Yukhoe) well before serving it to avoid chances of food poisoning. The article was well written and would definitely have fooled me if I hadn’t seen the URL… that’s not to say I’m gullible, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Japanese government started asking us to cook “yukke” before eating it… missing the whole point of Yukke.

Anyway, for some Onion-style entertainment in Japanese, please check out Kyoko Shimbun News.

{ 1 comment }

1 Ross June 1, 2011 at 10:09 pm

yeah, cooking yukke is a more than adequate onion equivalent