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At Rome film festival, Gere plays second fiddle to dog

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JAPANESE TREND / Japanese Society (66) / Japanese Society (68)

Taking up herewith Japanese Social Trend News by Media in last week.
Social Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Interested in "At Rome film festival, Gere plays second fiddle to dog", "Japanese hidden-camera TV show Panic Face King fakes sniper attack for laughs" and etc.
Oct 17 Spotted: Beyonce takes herself and Sasha Fierce to Japan (MTV)
 A mere 24 hours after Mariah Carey touched down in the Land of the Rising Sun, another top-tier diva visited Japan. Beyonc� attended a meet-and-greet for handbag designer Samantha Thavasa at Studio Mouris Roppongi in Tokyo. The singer is currently on tour in Asia supporting her latest album.
Oct 17 Four arrested for 2002 gang rape in Tokyo (Mainichi)
 Four men have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department for kidnapping and gang-raping a woman in Tokyo in 2002, investigators said. Tomotaka Murakami, 45, Satoshi Kojima, 42, Koji Kase, 48, and Koji Nakao, 41, who met through a membership-based social networking site, were arrested for gang rape resulting in injury and confinement, and are suspected to have been involved in around 10 cases of group assault in Tokyo between October 2001 and September 2008.
Oct 17 At Rome film festival, Gere plays second fiddle to dog (AFP)
 "Hachiko," starring a Japanese Akita dog with Richard Gere in a prominent supporting role, is a "love story in the deepest sense," the veteran US actor said Friday at the Rome film festival. Based on a decades-old true story from Japan, the film shown out of competition here tugs at the heartstrings as Hachi insinuates himself into the life of Gere's college professor character Parker.
Oct 16 Japanese hidden-camera TV show Panic Face King fakes sniper attack for laughs (telegraph.co.uk)
 If you ever thought Beadle's About was a bit too near the knuckle, Panic Face King will not be for you. In a recent episode, the Japanese television game show had one contestant sitting in an office with three other men. Suddenly the windows smash, the sound of gunfire echoes through the room, and blood spurts from the chests of the men around him.
Oct 16 Japan takes hand washing to new level (Los Angeles Times)
 Thursday was proclaimed the second annual Global Hand Washing Day. Making that point in Japan, in the words of one expert, is like shipping coal to Newcastle. The government even launched a "cough etiquette" campaign telling people to cover their mouths with a tissue and turn away from people. Used tissues must be thrown away as soon as possible. The problem is, Japan is so tidy that public trash cans can be hard to find.
Oct 16 Spotted: Mariah Carey is big in Japan (MTV)
 "Big in Japan" is usually a dismissive thing that people say in the music industry about artists who don't sell any records, the suggestion being that nobody knows them in their home country. Obviously, there are exceptions, and Mariah Carey is one of them. Her popularity in Japan is merely an extension of her worldwide ubiquity, and yesterday she touched town at the airport in Narita for the latest stop on her promotional tour of Asia.
Oct 16 Himeji Castle undergoing repairs (Yomiuri)
 A massive renovation project dubbed Heisei no Daishuri (Heisei great repairs) has begun at Himeji Castle in Himeji, which has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The project is expected to take 5-1/2 years and to include such work as mending roof tiles and the walls of the main castle tower. About 7,000 square meters of plaster wall will be recoated and about 80,000 roof tiles replaced.
Oct 16 Japan's porcelain paradise (stuff.co.nz)
 Nagoya has been the cornerstone of Japanese pottery and porcelain manufacturing for centuries and at the heart of this burgeoning industry is the celebrated name of Noritake. Japan's leading purveyor of fine bone china, it is famous for its delicate use of colours and hand-painted designs. If you are a lover of this exquisite tableware, a visit to the Noritake Garden complex in the centre of Nagoya is a must.
Oct 16 'Ponyo' scenery injunction appealed (Japan Times)
 Hiroshima Gov. Yuzan Fujita on Thursday appealed a court order to protect Seto Inland Sea scenery by stopping a public works project in the area that served as an inspiration for the animated film "Gake no Ue no Ponyo" ("Ponyo on the Cliff)." It was the first court ruling to block a public works plan for the benefit of local residents seeking to preserve scenery.
Oct 15 Japan frees U.S. father in custody case (CBS)
 Japanese police say they have released an American man nearly 20 days after his arrest for allegedly snatching his children from his ex-wife. Police said Thursday that while prosecutors have not pressed charges, they haven't yet dropped the case either. They decided to release him on grounds that he was not a flight risk.
Oct 15 Ralph Lauren drop model in retouched photo for being 'too fat' (myfashionlife.com)
 Filippa Hamilton, the model who's image was digitally retouched in a Polo Ralph Lauren campaign, has been dropped by the label for being too fat, she says. The UK size 8 model said yesterday that her contract with the luxury label had been cut after six years because she was too heavy. The news follows a controversial week for the fashion house, after they digitally retouched an image of Filippa in their Japanese campaign to make her seem slimmer.
Oct 15 Cheap lodgings fleecing poor of welfare benefits (Asahi)
 When a homeless acquaintance tipped him off about a place to stay in May last year, the 53-year-old former day laborer was surprised at how good the deal seemed. Not only would he have a roof over his head, he would get an allowance, too, the acquaintance told him.
Oct 15 Man gets life in prison for Tokyo's Hachioji Station stabbing spree (AP)
 The Tokyo District Court's Tachikawa branch sentenced a man Thursday to life in prison for a stabbing spree in July last year at the Keio Line's Hachioji Station building in western Tokyo, killing a woman and seriously injuring another. Shoichi Kanno, a 34-year-old company employee, has pleaded guilty to the murder and attempted murder charges.
Oct 15 Students nabbed over naked romp at railway station in Yokohama (Mainichi)
 Ten advertising club members of Keio University have been reported to prosecutors after filming themselves running around naked at a railway station here. Police reported the 18- and 19-year-old first-year students -- nine boys and a girl -- to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office on Tuesday on suspicion of public indecency.
Oct 15 In Japan, cutting costs with seaweed and sit-ups (csmonitor.com)
 The traditional Japanese diet - tofu, rice, fish, and, yes, mineral-rich nori - is famous for being considered healthy. The typical American diet - fill in your own favorite fatty food here - is seen as far less so. That is one reason Japan always comes out on top in world rankings of life expectancy (83 years versus 78 years in the US). It is also why Japan has among the lowest obesity rates in the world.
Oct 15 3 men arrested over dumping 2 bodies in sea (Yomiuri)
 Police on Wednesday arrested three men on suspicion of abandoning the bodies of two men in waters off Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama, after dismembering the bodies in mid-June, sources said. The three men include Naoki Miyahara, 21, from Shiga Prefecture. The other two are also from the prefecture and in their 20s.
Oct 14 High court upholds death penalty for triple murderer (Mainichi)
 A high court has upheld the death penalty for a man convicted of killing his sister-in-law and her two granddaughters, dismissing his appeal. The death sentence for Masanori Kawasaki, 63, was upheld Wednesday by Presiding Judge Hideki Shibata of the Takamatsu High Court for the murders of Keiko Miura, 58, and her granddaughters Akane Yamashita, 5, and Ayana Yamashita, 3.
Oct 14 Rakugo: Japan's answer to stand-up comedy (Channel NewsAsia)
 There is a joke in Japan that goes like this: How do you get a Japanese guy to laugh on Monday? You tell him a joke the previous Friday. While the Japanese are usually described as polite, good-tempered, and are rarely without a smile on their face, they wouldn't be associated with adjectives such as humourous or jocular. More often, the image of a strict disciplinarian comes to mind. But all that was before I came across Rakugo, the Japanese version of a stand-up comedy, ironically performed sitting down.
Oct 14 Aussie town reverses Taiji sister-city decision (AP)
 The Broome Shire Council voted Tuesday to unanimously reject an earlier resolution to effectively suspend Broome's sister-city status with Taiji, after it expressed concern over the Japanese town's annual dolphin cull. Each year Japanese fishermen in the coastal town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, kill thousands of dolphins for their meat. The plight of the dolphins in Taiji was highlighted in "The Cove," a recently released film that contained bloody footage of the kill and sparked outrage around the world.
Oct 14 Man held over murder of wife who killed son (Yomiuri)
 A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife after apparently being unable to deal with her depression and suicidal urges following her mercy killing in 2004 of their terminally ill eldest son, police said. Officers from Sagamihara Police Station arrested Koshin Sugano, 66, on suspicion of stabbing his wife, Hatsuko, 65, with a kitchen knife in a first-floor bedroom of their home in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, at about about 2:30 p.m. Monday.
Oct 14 NPA plans centers for sex crime victims (Yomiuri)
 The National Police Agency plans "one-stop" support centers where victims of sex crimes can receive care and file a complaint, starting next fiscal year. The planned centers are to be modeled on a South Korean system, that has proven effective. It aims to lessen the trauma faced by victims of sex crimes when being questioned by the police and when being treated in a hospital.
Oct 14 Girls hurt by falling bookshelves (Japan Times)
 Large bookshelves fell on three people and knocked them to the floor Tuesday at a bookstore in Sapporo, leaving a girl unconscious, police said. Aina Suzuki, 10, was listed in serious condition at a hospital in the evening after she was hit by the falling bookshelves. They also hit her sister, Airi, 14, and a 19-year-old male employee at the Daily Books store in Higashi Ward at around 3:40 p.m.
Oct 13 Japanese porn star's visit delayed due to Indonesian uproar (Jakarta Globe)
 The controversial visit of Japanese porn star Miyabi to shoot a movie in Indonesia has been postponed until an undetermined date, one of the fim's producers said on Monday. Miyabi, whose real name is Maria Ozawa, planned visit and cameo part in a local movie has sparked heated protests from conservative groups in recent weeks, with students in Kudus, Central Java, voicing their disapproval by setting fire to women's underwear on Monday.
Oct 13 Monk completes Mt. Hiei's thousand day mountain marathon (Mainichi)
 A 34-year-old Buddhist monk here held a prayer ceremony at the Kyoto Imperial Palace on Monday, following the completion of a mountain pilgrimage known as one of the most arduous religious practices in the world. Endo Mitsunaga, chief priest of Enryakuji Temple's Daijo-in monastery, became the 13th to complete the 'Sennichi Kaihogyo'(thousand day mountain marathon) on Mt. Hiei since the end of World War II.
Oct 13 Geisha 'delivery service' throws performances open to public (Mainichi)
 A 'delivery service' for geisha performances aimed at foreign tourists is gaining popularity at an event space in Tokyo's Nihombashi district. The 'Omotenashi Experience' shows by performers from six geisha districts in Tokyo were initially planned as dinner shows for guests at luxury hotels in the city. In response to requests from the public, however, the shows are now also held on the first and third Saturdays of every month at Muromachi Fukutokujuku in the Nihombashi district in Chuo Ward.
Oct 13 Taking on skyscrapers to protect view of an 'old friend' (New York Times)
 Growing up in prewar Tokyo, Makoto Kaneko recalls that the perfectly shaped, snow-capped cone of Mount Fuji was like a constant companion, visible on the horizon from the narrow streets of his hilly working-class neighborhood. The most majestic view was from a steep hillside affectionately named Fujimizaka, "the slope for seeing Mount Fuji." Today, Mr. Kaneko's cramped 80-year-old shop selling foods cooked in soy sauce is one of several old wooden stores and Buddhist temples that still stand here, making the Nippori neighborhood a rare oasis of medieval charm in Tokyo's concrete sprawl. But the distant volcano, Japan's tallest peak and pre-eminent national symbol, has been increasingly blocked by skyscrapers and smog.
Oct 13 American father mistreated in Japanese jail, attorney says (CNN)
 An American father jailed in Tokyo has been harshly treated in the Japanese prison system, his attorney said Monday. Christopher Savoie -- accused of trying to kidnap his children after his ex-wife took them to Japan -- is being held without trial, interrogated without an attorney present and denied needed medical treatment, according to attorney Jeremy Morley. Savoie has also been exposed to sleep deprivation and denied private meetings with attorneys, said Morley in a statement.
Oct 12 Scriveners aid illegal marriages, work (Yomiuri)
 In recent years, a number of administrative scriveners have helped foreigners obtain residency permits illegally, taking advantage of the fact that the immigration control law stipulates no punitive measures for violators. Many scriveners place ads in newspapers catering to Chinese and free papers in Korean that are available in Shinjuku's Kabukicho area and elsewhere.
Oct 12 4-year-old boy killed in dog attack (Japan Times)
 A 4-year-old boy died Sunday after he was mauled by two large dogs at a training institute for lawyers in Nakagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, police said. The boy, Kaichi Takaki, was bitten in the head and neck, the police said. The dogs - an Akita and a German Rottweiler - were kept on the institute's grounds, they said.
Oct 11 Fire at Japan's Daihatsu leaves 1 dead, 2 injured (AP)
 Police say a fire at a Daihatsu Motor Co. factory in western Japan has killed one worker and injured two others. Police said the fire broke out Saturday during maintenance of ducts and an aluminum furnace at Daihatsu's casting plant in Shiga prefecture (state). The cause of the fire, which was extinguished five hours later after damaging about one-tenth of the factory complex, is under investigation.
Oct 11 Birth control pill still unpopular in Japan 10 yrs after introduction (Kyodo)
 A decade since their much-publicized introduction, low-dose birth control pills that enable women to control pregnancy are still struggling to gain popularity in Japan due to strong fears about side effects. September marked the 10th anniversary of their introduction in the country, but the number of users is estimated at just 3 percent of women of childbearing age -- 16-49 years -- in Japan as of 2008.
Oct 11 Japan's No. 1 playboy hardly a lady-killer (Japan Times)
 When Tamura first put the idea to Ishida, the actor seemed reluctant to have his every romantic notion and action recorded by cameras, but he accepted, probably knowing that the coverage would allow him to keep up appearances as "Japan's No. 1 playboy," a reputation basically self-promoted and the main source of his livelihood. This reputation is maintained with the help of tabloids and weeklies, in particular Friday magazine, which for a time appeared to have a photographer specially assigned to Ishida.
Oct 11 Campaign against groping (Japan Times)
 Every year in Japan, some 1,800 men are arrested for groping women on trains. In a stepped-up campaign of intervention, police are apprehending suspects and putting pressure on operators of the growing number of "how to" Web sites for gropers (chikan). The development of police forensics makes it possible now to obtain physical evidence of rubbing, touching or chewing on hair, a common act.
By J.S. on Oct 21, 2009



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