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Miyazaki's next based on kid's novel

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Taking up herewith Japanese Social Trend News by Media.
Social Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Interesten in "Miyazaki's next based on kid's novel" and "A phoenix amid the tea fields of Uji" and etc.
Dec 21 Family gathers in annual tradition to pound mochi the old-fashioned way (mercurynews.com)
 In keeping with a century-old family practice, the Kawaguchi-Niizawa-Yasui clan of Morgan Hill and San Jose makes rice cakes for Japanese New Year the traditional way. That means hours of steaming, poking, pounding, cutting, rolling and packing 2-inch disks of mochi. And that doesn't count the preparation days required to erect an ad hoc kitchen under a tarp in the yard. No wonder old-world traditions have given way to shortcuts, like electric mochi-makers, even in the old world. While mochi-making survives as an annual Japanese-American year-end undertaking, most families join with temples and clubs, and let machines handle the grunt work.
Dec 20 Woman's body turns up in rubble of shed destroyed in traffic accident (Mainichi)
 Kanagawa police investigating a traffic accident that destroyed a shed here failed to spot the body of a woman apparently killed in the accident in the debris, leaving the grisly discovery to be made by the property owner. The 61-year-old Zama resident filed a report at Zama Police Station at about 1:15 p.m. on Friday, saying that the body was buried in the rubble of a shed at his home.
Dec 20 Woman held after body found in suitcase; roommate missing (Yomiuri)
 A 33-year-old woman was arrested Saturday on suspicion of abandoning the body of a woman--thought to be her roommate--caking the body with cement and stuffing it in a suitcase, police said. According to the police, Tomoko Nitta, unemployed, of Mizuhomachi, Tokyo, allegedly abandoned the naked body of a woman in a plastic suitcase measuring 60 centimeters by 80 centimeters by 50 centimeters at her apartment in mid-December. The body had been bent in half and plastered with what appeared to be cement.
Dec 20 Aging housing unit turns to young foreigners (Yomiuri)
 Can foreign students breathe new life into an aging Tokyo housing complex? That's what a group of residents at the Takashimadaira Danchi apartment complex hopes for as it allows foreign students studying nearby to move into empty units. Located in Itabashi Ward, the complex first opened in 1972. Many of the first residents were young couples, but today, reflecting the graying society and declining birthrate, those same couples are now elderly and their children have moved out.
Dec 20 A phoenix amid the tea fields of Uji (Japan Times)
 Recalling the glorious Heian Period in Japan's history from 794 to 1185 at once conjures up images of a world of courtiers, 12-layered kimono, elegant poetry competitions beside winding streams - and secret trysts in scented chambers. At its heart, the immensely priviledged Heian court cultivated an intensely self-preoccupied culture - one in which the clumsy composition of a single line of poetry could doom a promising romance. For members of the Imperial court in Kyoto, Uji - now a Kyoto Prefecture city just 30 minutes by rail from the former Imperial capital - must have felt to be a world apart.
Dec 19 People living alone to account for one-third of Japanese households in 2020 (Mainichi)
 Over a third of households in Japan in 2020 will be single occupancies, projected figures from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research have shown. During a previous survey in 2005, it was estimated that the figure would be reached in 2025, but the latest estimates put the figure five years earlier than that. On a national level in 2005, single-person households accounted for 29.5 percent of all households.
Dec 19 Sordid goings on behind Fukushima Prison's gates (Tokyo Reporter)
 A staff member of Fukushima Prison has been taken into custody for engaging in obscene acts. Nikkan Gendai (Dec. 17) reports that Tomio Hirai, age 60, was arrested on suspicion of forcing a male convict to perform oral sex on him the previous October 18. On December 14, Hirai was charged with violation of the special law applied to breach by duty public officials, which prescribes penalties of up to seven years imprisonment.
Dec 19 3 'Pink Panther' thieves convicted of 2004 Tokyo jeweler robbery (AP)
 Three Serb members of the "Pink Panther" ring of thieves were convicted Friday of stealing about 3.5 billion yen worth of jewels from an upscale shop in Tokyo's Ginza district in 2004, the Associated Press reported. Aleksandar Radulovic was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison and Djordje Rasovic received six years and three months, while Snezana Panajotovic got two years and 10 months in jail, the AP said.
Dec 19 Students attacked by pack of dogs on high school grounds, 5 injured (Mainichi)
 Five students were slightly injured here Thursday when they were attacked by a pack of dogs that had entered a high school, police said. Seven dogs entered Iinan High School and set upon students in the middle of club activities at about 1:25 p.m., biting four boys on the legs. The dogs had already attacked a junior high school student on her way home from school and bitten her on the leg.
Dec 19 Memories of father halt would-be robber (Yomiuri)
 A man who allegedly intended to steal money from a Kyoto store but abandoned his attempt because he thought the owner resembled his late father was arrested Thursday on suspicion of intent to commit a robbery, according to police. The police suspect unemployed Hideo Nakamura, 60, of Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, entered the store selling Buddhist altars and related fittings in the city's Shimogyo Ward on Dec. 1, carrying a paper bag containing a box disguised as a wired explosive device and two plastic bottles filled with gasoline and other liquids.
Dec 19 Group mentality - dressing to belong? (Japan Times)
 Japan's group mentality stumbles with frequent kicks from the Western mind. Too often, group-think translates to no creativity, no backbone, no individuality. Japan's reputation as a nation of the group versus the individual is used as a convenient explanation for many things Westerners dislike about Japan, things that center around conformity, regulations, and norms.
Dec 19 For many, no final resting place (Japan Times)
 About 40 percent of Tokyo residents who responded to a metro government questionnaire say they have no burial plot and their hometown is just too far away to consider as a final resting place. In the heart of Tokyo, it costs nearly 10 million yen to purchase a 3-sq.-meter cemetery plot in perpetuity.
Dec 19 Number of obese kids decreases among all ages of 5-to-17 group (Yomiuri)
 The number of obese children decreased among all ages of the 5-to-17-year-old range, according to an annual survey by the education ministry. It was the first time the number of such children has decreased among all groups in that age range since the ministry began conducting the survey on school health in 1977, the ministry said.
Dec 18 Heavy snowfall in northern Japan leaves one man dead (Mainichi)
 Heavy snow fell across areas of northern Japan on Thursday, leaving one man dead. A strong cold air mass brought heavy snow mainly to areas along the Sea of Japan side in the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions on Thursday. Many of the places reportedly had 30 to 40cm of snowfall in 24 hours until 5 p.m. on Thursday, including the Gifu Prefecture village of Shirakawa with 47cm and Tsuruoka with 33cm.
Dec 18 At towering Japanese cliffs, a campaign to combat suicide (New York Times)
 The towering cliffs of Tojimbo, with their sheer drops into the raging, green Sea of Japan, are a top tourist destination, but Yukio Shige had no interest in the rugged scenery. Instead, he walked along the rocky crags searching for something else: a lone human figure, usually sitting hunched at the edge of the precipice. That is one of the telltale signs in people drawn here by Tojimbo's other, less glorious, distinction as one of the best known places to kill oneself in Japan, one of the world's most suicide-prone nations.
Dec 18 Sakai and Oshio cases leading to Tokyo 'white powder sweep' (Tokyo Reporter)
 The high-profile drug arrests of singer-actress Noriko Sakai, 38, and her 41-year-old husband, Yuichi Takaso, have prompted police to institute a "white powder sweep" through the notorious Tokyo entertainment areas of Roppongi and Shibuya, reports Shukan Taishu (Dec. 21). Both Sakai and Takaso subsequently received suspended sentences, which have led some to question how seriously the cases were handled. "Considering their impact on society, they were treated very leniently," says a representative within the legal community. "It would have made more sense for them to have served time."
Dec 18 Faux candies lead to real illnesses (Yomiuri)
 Beware--that mouthwatering Japanese sweet might not be as tasty as it looks. In fact, it might not be a sweet at all. Nine cases in which people, most of them elderly, fell sick after eating soap designed to look like confectionery or drinking "tea" they brewed from bath powder, have been reported since fiscal 2006, according to the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan.
Dec 18 Miyazaki's next based on kid's novel (Japan Times)
 Studio Ghibli will release a new animated film next summer based on a novel by British writer Mary Norton, the leading "anime" creator said Wednesday. The film, "Karigurashi no Arrietty" ("Arrietty Borrows Everything"), is directed by Ghibli animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, with the assistance of anime great Hayao Miyazaki, Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki said at a press conference.
Dec 17 Court cuts Asashoryu's compensation in magazine slander case (Mainichi)
 A Tokyo High Court decision Wednesday reduced the amount of compensation awarded to Yokozuna Asashoryu in a slander case against a writer and publisher Kodansha Ltd. The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) and 30 sumo wrestlers, including Asashoryu, were originally awarded a total 42.9 million yen in the case brought against freelance writer Yorimasa Takeda and Kodansha, for an article Takeda wrote for weekly magazine Shukan Gendai that claimed Asashoryu and others were fixing bouts.
Dec 17 Heavy snow, cold temperatures hit many parts of Japan (AP)
 Very cold air swept through large swaths of areas along the Sea of Japan on Thursday, causing record accumulations of snow and record-low temperatures for December in northern parts of the country, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Local observatories measured 93 and 86 centimeters of snow in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, and Akita, respectively, in the morning for a record accumulation for the month at each location.
Dec 17 John Lloyd Cruz deported from Japan (Manila Bulletin)
 ABS-CBN confirmed that actor John Lloyd Cruz was deported from Japan recently for not being able to properly explain the purpose of his visit. "The authorities thought he was there for a concert with Martin Nievera," said Bong Osorio, head of ABS-CBN Corporate Communications. Cruz, who went to Japan on Dec. 12 using a tourist visa, actually meant to join another ABS-CBN talent, Nikki Gil, and not Nievera.
Dec 17 Not out of the Woods yet -- how Japanese wives deal with infidelity (Tokyo Reporter)
 What, Aera (Dec. 21) asks, would happen if a Japanese Woods got caught making extramarital whoopee by his tigress? "I made him grovel on his hands and knees, and promise in writing to turn over his entire pay packet to me every month," mutters wounded wife Masumi, age 37, after her husband's dalliance was revealed. "But that wasn't enough to my stifle my anger, so I made him buy me a Cartier ring."
Dec 17 Chiba police officer held over drug possession (Yomiuri)
 A 48-year-old assistant inspector of the Chiba prefectural police was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possessing stimulant drugs, the Metropolitan Police Department said. According to the MPD, Yusuke Sato and a female acquaintance were in possession of stimulant drugs around midnight on Dec. 8. in a car parked outside a sushi restaurant in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture. The MPD searched his house and office Dec. 15, and found at his home a scale and an unused syringe that appeared to be for drug use.
Dec 17 Tokyo's trendy greens (Japan Times)
 Etsuo Asano is Japan's undisputed rock star of specialty vegetable farming. The 65-year-old Chiba native, who's been tilling the same land that's been in his family for over 100 years since he was 17, supplies vegetables to some of Tokyo's top eateries, such as Ristorante Hiro Centro in Marunouchi and the Michelin 3-star rated Quintessence in Shirokanedai. His chicory radicchio is said to rival the best produced in Europe, and his rucola (or rocket) is now legendary among Tokyo's gourmet elite. Today, more than 130 restaurants across Japan buy his produce.
Dec 17 Mental check urged for admitted 'beast' killer (Japan Times)
 Lawyers for a man accused of fatally stabbing a former health ministry bureaucrat and his wife and wounding another asked the court Wednesday to conduct a thorough mental analysis of their client. The request by the lawyers for Takeshi Koizumi, 47, came during his fourth trial session before the Saitama District Court following a statement in the previous session that bewildered the public.
Dec 17 Not paying rent? Turn up the heat (Japan Times)
 A landlord in Nagoya was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of setting her own apartment building on fire to drive out a tenant whose monthly rent was long overdue, police said. The resident was unhurt. Noriko Segawa, 48, who owns the wooden, two-story Suehiroso apartment in Chikusa Ward, was quoted as telling police, "I wanted to drive out a resident because he hasn't payed his rent."
Dec 16 Man given prison terms on separate charges of murdering Filipino women (AP)
 The Tokyo District Court sentenced a 50-year-old Japanese man to life and 14 years in prison Wednesday on separate charges of murdering two Filipino women in a span of nine years. The court handed Hiroshi Nozaki life imprisonment for the murder of Honiefaith Ratilla Kamiosawa in 2008 and the other prison term for the slaying of Elda Longakit Yoneda in 1999.
Dec 16 Man given 20 yrs over arson-murder at Kobe dating club (AP)
 A Japanese court sentenced a man to 20 years in prison on Wednesday for his role in a 2000 firebomb attack on a telephone dating club chain in Kobe that killed four people. The Kobe District Court ruled that Kenichi Hori, 41, was the driver of the car that carried two men who threw Molotov cocktails into the dating club, Rin Rin House, on March 2, 2000. Three others were injured in the attack.
Dec 15 Singer Amuro teams up with Gundam anime series character on video for new album (Mainichi)
 J-pop singer Namie Amuro will release a new album on Wednesday, including a song whose video features herself and a main character from the popular TV anime series "Mobile Suit Gundam." In the animated video of the song "Defend Love," included in the album "Past - Future," Amuro faces off against the character -- Gundam pilot Amuro Ray.
Dec 15 Japanese-Brazilians on welfare soaring (Asahi)
 Brazilian Paulo Sergio Almeida Santos was living the Japanese dream. After moving from Brazil to Japan in 1992, he had a steady income and a working wife, a Japanese Brazilian. They bought a condominium and decided to stay permanently in Japan with their young daughter. That dream was shattered months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sent ripples to the shores of Japan's manufacturing sector, devastating the labor situation for Japanese-Brazilians and their families.
Dec 15 Japan train line mulls anti-groping cameras (AFP)
 A Japanese railway company may install high-definition security cameras in some Tokyo commuter trains to prevent an epidemic of groping in crowded carriages, a spokesman said Tuesday. East Japan Railway Co. is considering setting up the cameras in some cars on Tokyo's Saikyo line, the company spokesman said. The line is notorious for attracting molesters who target women.
Dec 15 Man with knife robs Tokyo Domino's Pizza of one million yen (examiner.com)
 A man with a knife robbed a Domino's Pizza in Tokyo of more than one million yen on the morning of Dec. 14th. At around 10am, a man wearing a black ski suit, black knit cap, and sunglasses, burst into the changing room of the Domino's Nishiarai branch. There he pressed a fruit knife-shaped object against the only employee in the shop at the time, a 23-year old female store manager, and demanded money.
Dec 15 Kitchen knife thief on the loose in Kobe (examiner.com)
 Kitchen knives are mysteriously disappearing in mass quantities from supermarkets and home improvement stores in and around Kobe, Japan. As of the evening of Monday, Dec. 14th, at least ninety-seven blades have gone missing from six different stores over the last several days. The first reported case came on the evening of the 12th, when an employee at a supermarket noticed nine knives had vanished.
Dec 15 Vandals target Protestant churches in Kansai (Asahi)
 Investigators are perplexed and the Christian clergy has been shaken by a rash of vandalism acts against Protestant churches in the Kansai region over the past year. More than 50 incidents have been reported at churches and other religious facilities belonging to Protestant groups in Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto and Shiga prefectures since September 2008. The attacks share common traits in that they all occurred at night and that in many cases fire extinguishers were used to smash windows.
Dec 15 Okinawa: Land of the rising lifespan (CBS)
 Okinawa has calmly maintained itself as the place with the most number of centenarians, and its residents are among the people who live the longest anywhere in the world, with an average life expectancy of 81 years. A recent and in-depth study of Okinawan residents finds that the number of centenarians here has been doubling every five years, from 30 in 1975 to a current figure of more than 900.
Dec 15 Cop who couldn't hold it nabbed (Japan Times)
 A police officer has been arrested for allegedly urinating from a Tokyo train platform, the Metropolitan Police Department said Monday. The sergeant in his 50s, whose name was withheld because he was released without being sent to prosecutors, allegedly committed the act of public indecency at Minami-Senju Station on the JR Joban Line at around 10 p.m. Sunday night, according to a police spokesman.
Dec 14 Man says he buried mum's body on mountain because he couldn't afford funeral (Mainichi)
 A man was arrested on Sunday for allegedly abandoning the body of his 84-year-old mother in a mountain forest here, police said. At around 11 a.m. on Sunday, Miki Sato, 84, was found dead by a policeman in a mountain forest near her home in the Miyagi Prefecture city of Tome. Miki's body was reportedly wrapped in a plastic sheet and tied with string, and buried about 50 centimeters below ground.
Dec 14 Emperor, Empress, Crown Princess attend anniversary concert at Gakushuin University (Mainichi)
 Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Crown Princess Masako attended a concert on Sunday given by an orchestra comprised of Gakushuin University graduates, held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Emperor's enthronement and the 50th anniversary of the Imperial Couple's marriage.
Dec 14 Japanese tourist dies in Australia car accident, 7 others hurt (AP)
 A 25-year-old Japanese man was killed Sunday when a vehicle he was traveling in overturned on an island off the coast of southeast Queensland, police said Monday. The man was with seven other Japanese tourists, all believed to be in their 20s, when their four-wheel drive rolled on a beach on Fraser Island about 300 kilometers from Brisbane.
Dec 14 Lost dream restored to Japanese American family (Los Angeles Times)
 For a time, the Fujiokas of Los Angeles lived a life of almost unimaginable abundance for a Japanese immigrant family in the early 20th century. There were white mink stoles and a Steinway grand piano, beachfront property and vacations to Catalina, even enough money to sponsor an Indianapolis 500 racer. Then came Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and suddenly, the family lost nearly everything.
Dec 14 Okinawans call for handover of U.S. serviceman over hit-and-run (Japan Times)
 Over a thousand Okinawa residents and lawmakers gathered Sunday in Yomitan, Okinawa Prefecture, urging the U.S. military to hand over the custody of a U.S. serviceman who is suspected of involvement in a fatal hit-and-run accident in the village last month but refuses questioning by the Japanese police.
Dec 14 Police busts only scratch surface of drug-smuggling operations (Japan Times)
 Japanese police are having difficulty cracking down on the smuggling of illegal stimulants amid an increase in their use among celebrities as well as ordinary citizens. Japanese investigative authorities and illegal drug experts believe almost all illegal stimulants in the country have been smuggled in from overseas by domestic and foreign crime syndicates, who are often in collaboration in the crime.
By J.S. on Dec 21, 2009



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