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Breaking fairy-tale conventions of beauty

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JAPANESE TREND / Japanese Society (61) / Japanese Society (63)

Taking up herewith Japanese Social Trend News by Media.
Social Trend in Japan will be read via these News.

Sep 12 Tattoos land yakuza boss in hot water after visit to public bath (Mainichi)
 A yakuza boss who bathed at a public bathhouse, displaying his tattoos, has been arrested, police said on Friday. Yoshiyuki Fujiura, 54, head of a criminal gang from Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, stands accused of trespassing. Fujiura allegedly bathed at a public bath in Asakura in February, neglecting a signboard that read, "No entry for tattooed customers," and ignoring the bath operator's warning.
Sep 11 Memorial for Japan skyscraper man (BBC)
 An Edinburgh engineer worshipped as a hero in Japan is finally being honoured in his home city of Edinburgh. William K Burton is feted in Japan for his work designing the country's first skyscraper and clean water systems for its cities in the 1800s. His work helped Japan beat disease and become an industrialised nation.
Sep 11 Japan nominates 'Nobody' for Oscar (AP)
 Japan, the country which enjoyed two Academy Award wins last year, has selected the Ryoichi Kimizuka-directed "Nobody to Watch Over Me" ("Dare Mo Mamotte Kurenei") as its contender for the 2009 foreign-language Oscar race. A suspense drama starring Koichi Sato as a cop protecting a teen from the media as a murder trial cranks up, "Nobody" was produced by Fuji TV and released by Toho in January.
Sep 11 Cambodia charges Japanese man for sex with minor (AP)
 Atsushi Kato, 40, from Aichi Prefecture was arrested Monday in Phnom Penh and was charged Wednesday after allegedly confessing to having sex with an underage Cambodian girl. According to prosecutors, Kato bought sexual favors from a 13-year-old girl for $15 on Aug. 7.
Sep 11 Breaking fairy-tale conventions of beauty (Japan Times)
 Against the tradition of bijinga (beautiful women pictures) that runs through Japanese art, there is an antithetical stream that draws attention to a grotesque and timeworn femininity. In noh plays, the celebrated early 9th-century beauty of the Heian Era, Ono no Komachi, is sometimes portrayed after her looks have faded and she has become an elderly beggar.
Sep 11 Three arrested in alleged dental college fraud (Japan Times)
 Two former directors of Kanagawa Dental College and a former investment adviser were arrested Thursday on suspicion of fraud after the school suffered huge investment losses. Former directors Kimio Miyake, 61, and Toshiro Shimizu, 71, and adviser Kenshi Oshima, 45, allegedly swindled the college out of ¥250 million last November.
Sep 10 Japan death row 'breeds insanity' (BBC)
 Prisoners on death row in Japan are being driven towards insanity by harsh conditions, according to human rights group Amnesty International. The group is calling for an immediate moratorium on all further executions and for police interrogation reform. A total of 102 prisoners face execution in Japan. Many of them are elderly and have spent decades in near isolation.
Sep 10 Man convicted of murdering woman, mutilating body escapes death penalty (Mainichi)
 The Tokyo High Court on Thursday dismissed public prosecutors' demands for the death penalty for a man convicted of murdering a 23-year-old woman and chopping up her body, upholding an earlier court ruling that sentenced him to life imprisonment. Prosecutors had demanded that the defendant, 34-year-old Takanori Hoshijima, be sentenced to death over the murder of Rurika Tojo, a 23-year-old woman who had lived two apartments away from him in Tokyo's Koto Ward.
Sep 10 Japan town continues dolphin hunt (BBC)
 A Japanese coastal town has gone ahead with its annual dolphin hunt, despite protests from animal rights activists. Fishermen in Taiji caught about 100 bottlenose dolphins and 50 pilot whales - their first catch since the fishing season began on 1 September.
Sep 10 Zen and the art of gardening (Brisbane Times)
 Toby Musgrave visits six of the finest classical gardens in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The gardens of Japan have fascinated Westerners since the 1854 Treaty of Kamagawa opened the country and they first came to the attention of the garden-making cognoscenti. Imitations are now commonplace but they cannot be anything more than that - this is an exquisite art form that needs to be experienced in context.
Sep 10 Japan continues to execute mentally ill prisoners (amnesty.org)
 The government of Japan continues to execute prisoners who are mentally ill, according to a new Amnesty International report. The exact number of death row prisoners with mental illness is unknown. The secrecy around the death penalty and prisoners' health, combined with a lack of scrutiny by independent mental health experts, has led to reliance on secondary testimony and documentation to assess the mental state of those on death row.
Sep 10 Farmers wage turf battle with Japan air force (Los Angeles Times)
 Crouched in his lush green rice fields on this agricultural plain northeast of Tokyo, Masaru Umezawa works the land as his father and grandfather did before him. On a humid late-summer afternoon, the only sound is the buzzing of the cicadas from a nearby thicket of trees. Then it starts -- slowly at first, and building in intensity until it reaches a deafening pitch: the roar of a shiny supersonic jet lifting off the runway at the Japanese military's Hyakuri Airfield.
Sep 10 Time for openings, a night out and second-hand style (Japan Times)
 Already successful in New York and Los Angeles, Opening Ceremony has now brought its mini-megamall concept to Tokyo, taking over eight floors of the Seibu Movida building in Shibuya. The shop's strategy is to choose one country a year, and then pit that country's known and unknown brands, books, CDs and magazines against each other - much like althetes at the Olympics.
Sep 10 Destitute, polite robber, 24, easily gives up when he's asked to by store clerk (Japan Times)
 A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery Wednesday in Osaka after being persuaded by a convenience store clerk to give up and quietly wait in the back for police. The police said Ryo Miyata, who is unemployed and has no fixed address, entered a FamilyMart in Kita Ward at 3:30 a.m., brandished a utility knife and politely said, "Could you give me some money, please?"
Sep 10 Japanese pop artist to exhibit in Versailles (AFP)
 Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, best known for work inspired by sexually explicit cartoons, will star in the next in a series of major exhibitions at the Palace of Versailles, the museum said Wednesday. Murakami's work draws on the look of "manga" comic books, perhaps most famously in the 1997 statue Hiropon, which depicts a large chested girl skipping over a "rope" of spurting breast milk.
Sep 09 Kim Hyun-joong contracts H1N1 flu in Japan (chosun.com)
 Kim Hyun-joong, a member of the boy band SS501, has been diagnosed with H1N1 flu and admitted to a hospital in Tokyo, his agency DSP Media said Tuesday. According to a company spokesman, the 23-year-old Kim traveled to Japan on Saturday to promote the popular drama "Boys Over Flowers" he appeared in and suffered from a high fever during his stay in Yokohama.
Sep 09 Man held for killing 'noisy' sister (Japan Times)
 A 22-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of fatally stabbing his 20-year-old sister in their apartment in Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, police said. Daisuke Sato allegedly told investigators he stabbed his sister, Airi, a college student, "because her room was noisy."
Sep 09 Negishi bags director award in Montreal (Japan Times)
 Kichitaro Negishi has won the best director award at the 33rd Montreal World Film Festival for "Viyon no Tsuma," whose English title is "Villon's Wife," distributor Toho Co. said Tuesday. The film depicts the positive way of life of the wife of a novelist who leads a catastrophic life, and stars Takako Matsu and Tadanobu Asano.
Sep 09 Early-morning subway accident disrupts Tokyo commute (AP)
 A railway maintenance train bumped into an unoccupied passenger train at a Tokyo subway station early Wednesday morning, disrupting the rush-hour commute in and around the downtown area. No one was injured in the collision, which occurred at 4:08 a.m. at Toyocho Station of the Tozai Line, where the 10-car train was parked ahead of its service, said officials of subway system operator Tokyo Metro Co.
Sep 08 Canadian singer gives Japanese anime a voice (Reuters)
 Anime is quintessentially Japanese, but these days, a Canadian singer is giving it a voice. Catherine St-Onge of Quebec, says her agent, Sony Music Japan International, is the only Western singer of songs that feature in the animated TV series widely watched in Japan and abroad. St-Onge, who goes by her stage name HIMEKA, made her debut in the Japanese-dominated industry of animated song, or "anison", earlier this year with her first single "Asueno-kizuna" or "Bonds for Tomorrow" which became the theme tune of an anime series.
Sep 08 Filipino man faces 1st lay judge trial with interpreters (AP)
 The first lay judge trial involving interpreters started Tuesday at the Saitama District Court, with a 20-year-old Filipino man accused of two robberies. Prior to the launch of the first hearing, six lay judges and two standbys were selected from among nominees to reach a verdict with professional judges on the defendant, who was a minor at the time of the robberies.
Sep 08 Sakai got stoned on southern island (Asahi)
 Actress Noriko Sakai, who is facing a criminal charge of possessing an illegal stimulant, told police she got high on July 30 during a visit to Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture, sources said. Sakai, 38, went to the island with her husband Yuichi Takaso, 41, and her 10-year-old son to watch the total solar eclipse, the sources said.
Sep 08 'Ikumen' fathers find home is where the heart is (Yomiuri)
 When Shigeki Shiba, a 32-year-old company employee in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, was in high school, he considered himself a man's man. Girls in his class presumed he would become a domineering husband. "My former classmates will certainly be surprised to see me now with my baby strapped to my back," Shiba said with a smile. Shiba is a prime example of a growing group of men dubbed "ikumen"--a play on the Japanese word "ikemen," which means a good-looking guy, and the word "ikuji," or child-raising--for whom rolling up their sleeves to help raise their children is just as much a priority--if not more so--than their job.
Sep 08 Half a room, without a view (Japan Times)
 If you live or travel on a budget and are looking for the cheapest digs in Tokyo, why not try staying in the closet? Cheaper than a regular gaijin house and more comfortable than the couch at an Internet cafe, oshiire (closet) houses provide 1 1/2-tatami-mat-size (2.5-sq. meter), often windowless "rooms" - picture a capsule hotel pod as your home.
Sep 07 American man arrested on suspicion of putting baby son in freezer (AP)
 A 40-year-old American man in Fukuoka City was arrested Monday on suspicion of putting his 1-year-old son in a freezer and giving him cold injuries, Fukuoka police said. Bruce Meyer, who is unemployed, has denied the allegation, the Fukuoka prefectural police said. According to the investigators, Meyer is suspected of putting the boy, who is 82 centimeters tall, in an 85-cm-long, 63-cm-wide and 56-cm- deep freezer in the dining room of his house on Aug. 4, causing frostbite to his head and legs that required two weeks to heal.
Sep 07 2 Marines arrested over separate incidents in Okinawa (Mainichi)
 Local police arrested two U.S. Marines on Saturday in separate incidents in the cities of Okinawa and Naha. Lance Corporal Jerry Robbins Jr., 22, stationed at Futenma Air Base, has been charged with forcing his way onto the premises of two buildings in Naha at around 2:50 a.m.
Sep 07 3 arrested over 180 million yen cannabis grow-op in Fukuoka Prefecture (Mainichi)
 Police here broke up a suspected commercial marijuana growing operation in a mountain forest here late last week, arresting three people and seizing 180 million yen's worth of cannabis.
Sep 07 Sanya skid row turning into service area for foreign tourists (AP)
 Tokyo's Sanya district is now undergoing redevelopment which some observers say is turning one of Japan's biggest skid rows into an inexpensive version of Roppongi, a fancier area in central Tokyo where many foreigners hang out. Low-cost guesthouses catering to foreign visitors and chic bars are now springing up in Sanya, an area straddling Arakawa and Taito wards known for decrepit accommodation patronized mainly by poor day laborers.
Sep 07 3 mil. yen robbed from JR station in Sapporo (AP)
 A man broke into the JR Hoshioki station in Sapporo and stole around 3 million yen in cash after threatening a station employee with a kitchen knife, police said Monday. The robber, who appeared to be around 50 years old and 170 centimeters tall and wore a black cap and a mask, ran away after tying up the male employee, 21, with adhesive tape, according to the police.
Sep 07 Woman fleeced of 2 mil. yen by 'flu-stricken son' (Yomiuri)
 A 60-year-old woman has been swindled out of 1.98 million yen by a man who pretended to be her flu-stricken son and asked her to pay off his debts because he was too unwell to move, the police said. According to the police, the woman in Shiki, Saitama Prefecture, was first called by a man claiming to be her 30-year-old second son at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, when he told her he had the flu.
Sep 07 1-year-old boy falls to his death (Japan Times)
 A 1-year-old boy fell to his death Sunday from the ninth floor of an 11-story apartment building, police said. A passerby found Masashi Sato at around 8:15 a.m. lying bleeding on the ground outside the building in Yodogawa Ward, Osaka, police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Sep 06 Third birthday for Prince Hisahito of Japan (examiner.com)
 Prince Hisahito, currently the third in line for the Japanese throne, turned three years old on September 6th. By all Japanese media accounts, the Prince seems to be a happy, healthy, polite young boy. Reports say that the prince is currently about 3' 1" tall, and weighs around 30 lbs. He likes to do outdoor activities, such as riding his tricycle, playing with toy balls, and helping with gardening.
Sep 06 Karaoke die? Never! (independent.co.uk)
 Karaoke, which means "empty orchestra" in Japanese, became a global phenomenon in the 1990s, and nearly 11,000 British pubs and bars ran karaoke nights at its peak. But as pub landlords fight for every pound in the recession, karaoke is losing out to more traditional entertainments such as darts, pool and jukeboxes, which are all on the increase, according to the survey.
By J.S. on Sep 14, 2009




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