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Standing-only bars prove hit amid recession

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JAPANESE TREND / Japanese Society (59) / Japanese Society (61)

Taking up herewith Japanese Social Trend News by Media.
Social Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Aug 29 Standing-only bars prove hit amid recession (Yomiuri)
 Tachinomi (standing-only bars) are mushrooming in central Tokyo and attracting customers keen to enjoy reasonably priced food and drinks. Among the most popular is motsuyaki (roast giblets) bar Ishii, near Shinjuku Sanchome Station in Tokyo. When I visited the bar--whose slogan is "Nihon saisei sakaba," which literally means "a bar that will revitalize Japan"--the floor was packed with customers drinking at the counter or around metal barrels placed around the room and used as tables.
Aug 29 Food penetrates all aspects of life in Japan (Japan Times)
 Autumn enters like a coy mistress. The nights no longer require closed windows and an air-con timer; a gentle breeze tiptoes through the screen with the grace of a lullaby. Hydrangea no longer paint the landscape in vivid blues and pinks; anemones now gently accessorize the green of late summer. Food, however, ushers in the season like nothing else in Japan and the most telling sign of autumn's imminent arrival smiles down from the displays in my local supermarket.
Aug 29 Tokyo rock guitar prodigy, 9, wows U.S. crowds (Japan Times)
 It's not every day that you see the frontman of a rock group flanked by band mates who are twice his height and age. At a recent concert at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, lead singer Yuto Miyazawa is busy tuning his guitar. His drummer, Steve Grossman, taps his drumsticks for the next song, but Miyazawa turns and waves at him to stop, drawing a laugh from the audience and band mates who wait for him to get ready.
Aug 29 Japan: Cultural shifts in spa etiquette (csmonitor.com)
 Dipping in a hot spring is a Japanese obsession. In summer, many people head for a spa resort like this mountain town, 50 miles southwest of Tokyo, to relax in a communal bath. A spa bath may accommodate 30 or even 100. Japanese people say they get therapeutic benefits and indulge in chatting with strangers in a bath.
Aug 28 Actress Sakai indicted over drug possession (AP)
 Prosecutors indicted actress and singer Noriko Sakai on Friday for alleged amphetamine possession, brushing aside concerns that the case could go cold as only a small amount was found at her home. The prosecutors are expected to file an additional indictment on a stimulant use charge on Sakai, 38, as the police have sent the corresponding papers. The 0.008 gram of amphetamines that was seized from Sakai's apartment room fell short of the average 0.03 gram that habitual users do in one time, leading some experts to question the possibility of indictment.
Aug 28 Geisha turn barmaids to keep Japan's 'Floating World' afloat (Bloomberg)
 For 1,800 yen at the Kamishichiken Beer Garden in Kyoto's northwest, you can enter the geisha's "Floating World," a term coined by 17th century writer Ryoi Asai to describe the pursuit of pleasure and the transience of life. The fee buys you a beer, snacks and a chat with a maiko or a geiko, as geisha are known in Kyoto. Although you can't see the geisha dance and they wear light robes called yukata instead of kimono, the restaurant is packed with customers each night in summer.
Aug 28 U.S. troops in Japan rescue man from fiery crash (Stars & Stripes)
 U.S. troops from Misawa say they were simply acting on instinct when they rushed toward a fiery car crash on a dark country road Aug. 15 to save an unconscious Japanese man. "I was just doing what I would want someone to do for me if I was in that guy's spot," said Senior Airman Thomas Sullivan, who works with the 35th Medical Support Squadron.
Aug 28 Police file papers on event organizers over singer Hamasaki (AP)
 Police on Thursday sent prosecutors papers on three companies and 11 employees that organized an outdoor event featuring pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki without permission in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward in April. The companies, including Hamasaki's agent Avex Management Inc., are charged with violating the road traffic law in holding the 15-minute event designed to mark the publication of her book on the afternoon of April 7.
Aug 28 5th death in Japan linked to new flu recorded as Nagano man succumbs (AP)
 A man in his 30s died of respiratory problems at a hospital in Nagano city after contracting the new H1N1 strain of influenza A, the city government said Thursday, bringing the total number of such deaths in Japan to five. The man, who had an enlarged heart, chronic heart failure and diabetes as underlying diseases, is the youngest to die with the virus since its infection was first confirmed in Japan in May.
Aug 27 New design for Kabuki-za Theater unveiled (Mainichi)
 The new design for the Kabuki-za Theater in Tokyo's Ginza was unveiled by owner Shochiku on Wednesday. The current fourth incarnation of the theater -- designated a tangible cultural asset in 2002 -- is to be demolished after staging its final performance next April. The new complex will consist of the four-story theater building, and a high-rise office block. Construction is slated to finish in spring 2013.
Aug 27 Pink Lady loses appeal in publicity suit against magazine publisher (AP)
 Japanese pop music duo Pink Lady, known for a series of megahits, lost an appeal Thursday for compensation over a 2007 magazine article that they argue used their pictures without permission.
Aug 27 Second Japanese casino robbery in one week (examiner.com)
 In the early hours of August 27th, a Japanese pachinko parlor near Kyoto City was robbed, the second casino robbery less than one week. The incident happened at about 1:20 am at the OPA Pachinko Parlor in Yosano Town as the final employee was leaving for the night, according to Japanese reports.
Aug 27 Remote train stations drawing visitors (Yomiuri)
 Infrequently used train stations in isolated mountain and seaside regions are seeing an increasing number of visitors who enjoy their remoteness and natural surroundings. Takanobu Ushiyama, 42, a company employee in Miyoshi, Hiroshima Prefecture, and a devotee of these out-of-the-way stations, has introduced them on a Web site.
Aug 26 British man sentenced to 13 years in prison for killing woman (AP)
 The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday sentenced a British man to 13 years in prison for killing a woman who lived with him in Yokohama. Paul Jason Shimmin, 36, strangled Shoko Kawanobe, 25, at their apartment on Sept. 27, 2007, according to the ruling.
Aug 26 Runaway help sites 'a cover for child prostitution' (Asahi)
 They claim to provide "salvation" for runaway girls, and say they can help "solve their problems." But police say four websites purporting to provide information on shelter and other assistance to troubled youths are in fact disguised matchmaking services set up to facilitate child prostitution.
Aug 26 Cop held over hit-and-run was over legal alcohol level (Yomiuri)
 A police sergeant has been arrested on suspicion of fleeing the scene of a crime after driving on the wrong side of a road into an approaching vehicle, while under the influence of alcohol, Fukuoka prefectural police said Tuesday. Tatsuo Koga was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury in violation of the Road Traffic Law.
Aug 26 Girl dies in fall from Akita apartment building (Yomiuri)
 A 12-year-old girl died after falling from an apartment building in Akita on Monday evening, prefectural police said. A man who lives near the 13-story apartment building and heard a strange sound found the girl lying and bleeding inside the grounds of the apartment complex at 6:50 p.m.
Aug 26 Slight teen female pulls out all stops (Yomiuri)
 A slightly built teenage girl recently has been on the run in Tokyo's Asakusa district. However, Natsu Taguchi is no criminal. Rather, the 17-year-old native of Soka, Saitama Prefecture, has been pulling sightseers around the area in a jinrikisha, or rickshaw.
Aug 26 Sakai says she fled to wait for stimulant use traces to disappear (AP)
 Actress Noriko Sakai has said she went missing for six days prior to turning herself in to police on Aug. 8 in the hope that the traces of the drugs she had taken would disappear, investigators said Tuesday. The police, however, sent papers on Sakai, 38, to prosecutors Monday on a charge of amphetamine use after small traces of stimulants were detected in samples of hair, although her urine test was negative.
Aug 26 Prince Akishino, Princess Kiko attend ceremony for Japanese-Dutch ties (AP)
 Japan's Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, attended a ceremony Tuesday in The Hague to mark the 400th anniversary of the commencement of trade between Japan and the Netherlands. Japan's secluded Edo shogunate issued a trade permit for the Netherlands in 1609.
Aug 25 Two men arrested for running 'drug convenience store' in Osaka (Mainichi)
 Two men have been arrested for running a "drug convenience store" out of an apartment in Osaka's Naniwa Ward, the Kinki Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare announced on Monday. The operation became a wild success, offering stimulants, Ecstasy, cannabis and other drugs at around half the going market prices.
Aug 25 Have a yen to see Japan? Three tips on how to save cash while there (walletpop.com)
 If you can't afford to live in Tokyo or Osaka, which are the world's two most expensive cities to live in, then maybe you can make due with a short visit to these beautiful places. Well, that would be expensive, too. But Japan is such a culturally and environmentally rich and wondrous country that you can't afford to skip it.
Aug 25 2 held over abandoning woman's body in Hyogo Pref. (Yomiuri)
 Two male factory workers of Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture, were arrested Monday on suspicion of abandoning the body of a female middle school teacher in a fallow rice field in Kasai in the prefecture, police said. A judicial autopsy found that she had been strangled, leading the police to investigate the case as murder and the abandoning of a body.
Aug 25 Runaway police vehicle hits parked car, injures 4 (Yomiuri)
 Four people were slightly injured when a runaway police car struck the back of their parked vehicle at 7:55 p.m. Sunday in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. The police officer involved had stopped his car at the side of a national route near the coast to deal with a traffic accident. His car then rolled away, traveling driverless for about 25 meters before hitting the rear of the car parked nearby.
Aug 25 Pop 'idol' phenomenon fades into dispersion (Japan Times)
 The arrest of singer-actress Noriko Sakai, 38, this month in connection with illegal drugs shattered the image of a star who in the 1980s parlayed being cute and innocent into idol status. The drug bust that netted Sakai and her husband came just three months after SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, 35, known for his rather meek character, was arrested for drunken nudity in a Tokyo park late at night.
Aug 25 Purse-snatcher in Kyoto first asks directions (Japan Times)
 Kyoto police are warning people that a man pretending to ask for directions may approach them to grab their bags. Since July, cases have been on the rise in which a man riding on a scooter has approached people on the streets to ask for directions, the police said. When they let their guard down, he has snatched their bags and fled.
Aug 24 Japanese superstar joins Lost cast (WENN)
 Japanese movie icon Hiroyuki Sanada is about to get Lost after landing a leading role in the final season of the hit desert island drama. The Last Samurai star will join the castaways for the sixth and final season of the show next year.
Aug 24 Train driver ogles women at 120 kph (Asahi)
 A West Japan Railway Co. driver secretly took photos of two female passengers with a cellphone while his train was running at 120 kph. The 28-year-old driver turned his eyes away from the front for seven to eight seconds, during which the train ran about 200 meters.
Aug 24 More than 100 mil. yen worth of jewelry stolen in Gifu (AP)
 More than 100 million yen worth of jewelry and other items have been stolen from a jewelry shop in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, police said Monday. About 100 items were found stolen sometime from Sunday night to Monday morning with the shop manager reporting the theft to police around 6:15 a.m. after he discovered a bathroom window broken and the goods stolen.
Aug 24 Whiskey bars in Tokyo offer old-world class, kitsch (Bloomberg)
 Tokyo's whiskey bars, found in many of the city's best hotels, once catered mainly to businessmen seeking a private spot to spill secrets over Scotch and water. Not anymore. As made-in-Japan spirits win more awards abroad and the nation imports more premium whiskey, these plush bars are enjoying a renaissance, serving as shrines and classrooms in the distillation arts for experienced tasters and newbies.
Aug 24 Deer, birds, snakes giving rail firms grief (Yomiuri)
 Local train routes that run through mountainous areas often are brought to a standstill by animals colliding with trains or inadvertently damaging power-line equipment. Cases of trains colliding with deer and wild boar occur more often than power outages. Since 2007, 51 such cases have resulted in train service delays.
Aug 23 Police on alert as Japanese tourist leaves bag at Hamburg station (AP)
 A bomb disposal unit of the local police was sent to a railway station in Hamburg, northern Germany, after a Japanese tourist left his bag unattended and attached to a bench at the station, according to a local newspaper. The man attached his bag to the bench with a chain-like device and left the station for sightseeing, the paper said.
Aug 23 2 die as residential fire engulfs 8 houses in Tokyo (AP)
 Two bodies, apparently of a man and a woman, were found after a residential fire engulfed eight houses in Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward early Sunday, police said. The fire started at the home of Sadamu Katayama, 75, at around 2:40 a.m. Sunday and spread to seven neighboring houses and buildings, the police said.
Aug 23 On a high road of old (Japan Times)
 Located in the Kiso Valley in the southeastern corner of today's Gifu Prefecture, Magome was the 43rd post station for those traveling from Edo to the imperial capital, Kyoyo. Perched on a mountainside and with a steep, stone-flagged main street, Magome is certainly a picturesque spot, though for travelers of yore heading toward Edo, all that grandly rugged terrain stretching ahead of them amounted to the steepest, most arduous section of the whole road.
Aug 23 Japanese drug traffickers arrested in Istanbul (Xinhua)
 Istanbul police forces cracked down a Japanese organized crime syndicate, or yakuza, operating in Istanbul. Police launched five operations last month against criminal organizations attempting to establish drug trade among Iran, Turkey and Japan. Eight Iranian and four Japanese drug smugglers were arrested, according to a local report.
Aug 23 Chinese take-out: mainland visitors revel in Japan's deri heru delights (Tokyo Reporter)
 Whatever else one can say about moral issues, it's natural that males traveling to another country take an interest in sex, and Chinese are certainly no exception. Interestingly, it's extremely rare to see advertisements appealing to such visitors. It appears that those who want to play allow travel agents and their reps to function as the middlemen in such transactions.
By J.S. on Sep 4, 2009



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