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'Samurai' parade marks 150th year of Japan warship's arrival in U.S.

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Apr 25Man arrested over murder after woman found with knife in chest(Mainichi)
Police have arrested a man on suspicion of fatally stabbing a woman who was found dead here Friday with a kitchen knife stuck in her chest. Shuji Koyama, 28, from Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of murdering Rika Kanazawa, 29, a hotel worker also from Hitachi. At around 11:15 p.m. on Friday, rescue workers received an emergency call from a woman reporting that someone had collapsed outside an apartment complex in Hitachi. Officers found the woman lying in a passageway on the premises with a kitchen knife stuck in her chest.
Apr 25Police to abandon murder case against ex-hostess following mysterious death (Mainichi)
Police will not form a criminal case against a former hostess over the death of a man under mysterious circumstances last year, sources close to the investigation said. Tottori Prefectural Police are set to disband a task force that has been investigating the death of Kazumi Taguchi, 58, an unemployed resident of Tottori, as Taguchi's exact cause of death cannot be determined.
Apr 25Captain whose ship sank by Japanese boat launches new vessel(focustaiwan.tw)
The captain of a recreational fishing boat that sank after a collision with a Japanese patrol boat two years ago launched a new vessel Saturday that was partly paid for by the compensation he received from Japan. On June 10, 2008, Ho's vessel, the Lienho, sank after it was rammed by a Japanese vessel near the disputed Tiaoyutai islands, which are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan. The 13 recreational fishermen and three crew members on board were rescued as the ship begin to sink, and they were later released, but Ho was held in detention.
Apr 24Speedy trial begins in Japanese woman's gangrape case(Calcutta News)
A Bihar court Thursday began the trial into the gangrape of a Japanese woman on April 16. Three people have been arrested. The 25-year-old Japanese woman was allegedly raped near Bodh Gaya by five people, including an autorickshaw driver, on April 16 when she was on her way to the Gaya railway station. Thousands of tourists visit Bodh Gaya, where Buddha got enlightenment under a Bodhi tree.
Apr 24Justin Bieber: Japan is one of my favourite places (insidejapantours.com)
Canadian teen singer Justin Bieber has named Japan as one of his favourite places in the world after a recent promotional tour in the country. Speaking to Japanese morning show Sukkiri, the Baby singer said that he did not know very much about the country before he arrived. He commented: "When I thought of Japan I thought of sushi and ninjas and now I just think it's a really nice place and people are pretty nice."
Apr 24Japanese hip-hop and its shining star (skidmorenews.com)
Rap had only found a limited audience in early 1980s Japan, even as Run DMC and contemporaries were in the process of making hip-hop commercially viable. However, the commercial interests of America didn't make it across the Pacific. Instead, record companies ignored hip-hop, causing it to develop locally and almost entirely underground. J-rap's popularity grew to the point where, in the early 2000s, Japanese rap records began to outsell those of the United States. Growing parallel to its mainstream explosion was the diversification of topics dealt with in the music.
Apr 24Ureshino spa goes barrier-free (Japan Times)
The Ureshino hot spring in Ureshino, Saga Prefecture, widely known as a spa that helps to smoothen skin, is trying to create a barrier-free environment for babies, the elderly and handicapped people to improve safety and comfort. The trend is spreading to hot springs and tourist spots throughout the country as a way to attract more customers in these hard times.
Apr 24Woman accused of murdering son after failed suicide attempt avoids prison(Mainichi)
A woman accused of murdering her 40-year-old ailing son after he attempted to commit suicide was handed a suspended sentence in a ruling in the Tokyo District Court on Thursday. The court sentenced Kyoko Wada, 67, to three years' imprisonment, suspended for five years. During the trial, the court heard how Wada faced the shocking fact of her son trying to commit suicide. Knowledge that the huge medical bills after his suicide attempt would not be covered by health insurance had dealt the family a heavy blow.
Apr 24Man admits damaging popular manga character statue (Mainichi)
A 23-year-old man has turned himself in to police and admitted to breaking off part of a statue of a popular manga character in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward, law enforcers said. The man, a resident of the ward, confessed that he broke a maraca off a statue of Ryotsu Kankichi, the main character of the long-running manga series "Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsu-jo" ("This is the police box in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward")
Apr 2336 hours in Kyoto, Japan(New York Times)
Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan, is a vibrant mash-up, an ancient city electrified by the breathtakingly new. Cruise the futuristic food halls of a department store, gaping at the perfect fruit and glistening sea creatures, before zipping up to the traditional floor, with its kimonos and tea ceremony implements. See 2,000 ancient temples and shrines, then dine at a sleekly modern restaurant. Glimpse a geisha gliding down a cobblestone lane, bracketed by wooden machiya houses, and feel yourself catapulted to the 18th century - until you see her duck into a very 21st-century taxi, with a passenger door that opens and shuts automatically.
Apr 23'Cove' director reacts to base ban (Japan Times)
The director of "The Cove" said Thursday that a decision by a U.S. military base in Japan to ban the Oscar-winning film on dolphin killings and protests at the local distributor's office won't silence the film's message on saving dolphins. "The Cove" documents the slaughter by fishermen in the western seaside town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, where some dolphins are captured and sold to aquariums while others are killed for their meat. The film has set off a flurry of debate, especially after it won the Oscar for best documentary at this year's Academy Awards.
Apr 23Technically Kagoshima but Ryukyu in its soul (Japan Times)
Astute readers will notice this story is datelined "Kagoshima Prefecture." But given that this island lies just southwest of Amami-Oshima and roughly 100 km from the northern tip of Okinawa, it's no surprise that Tokunoshima feels more like a part of the Ryukyu Islands than Kyushu. Famed for its bullfighting, pristine beaches - one of which, Prince Beach, was named after the Emperor, who visited the area when he was the Crown Prince - and an annual triathlon that draws athletes from all over Japan and abroad, including Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi, who got a local road named after her, Tokunoshima is about as far away from Kyushu as you can get and still be in "Kagoshima."
Apr 22'Gundam' cafe to open in Tokyo's Akihabara (AP)
A theme restaurant based on the popular Japanese sci-fi animation series "Mobile Suit Gundam" will open in Tokyo's Akihabara district on Saturday, the operator Bandai Co. said Thursday, calling on foreign tourists pay a visit. Visitors can watch various videos providing information about the popular animation series, which began on television 31 years ago, while trying foods and deserts featuring its key characters and futuristic settings in the 60-seat "Gundam Cafe."
Apr 22Crummy Shibuya girl scouter nabbed with hand in cookie jar (Tokyo Reporter)
At long last, the Tokyo government finally got around to passing an ordinance prohibiting men to approach women on the street and solicit them to take jobs in the sex industry. And recently, reports Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 21), Yusuke Yoshino, a 30-year-old operator of a massage joint in Shibuya, and three of his cohorts were arrested for violating the ordinance. "Last November, Yoshino and his crew talked a 19-year-old woman into working at the massage joint," says a police source. "Using the same technique, they had hired over 200 women that way."
Apr 22Ibaraki's pancake service for foreign travelers falls flat (AP)
Ibaraki Prefecture's attempt to console stranded foreign travelers at Narita airport due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland by giving them Japanese pancakes came too late Wednesday as many airlines had resumed Europe-bound flights and most of them had already left the airport when prefectural officials arrived there carrying 500 pancakes. The officials said they were obliged to hand out the pancakes, each bearing the name of Ibaraki Airport which opened in March, to ordinary passengers. Some of them were delighted by the unexpected gift but others appeared bewildered.
Apr 22Those aging overpasses(Japan Times)
In making recommendations to the infrastructure and farm ministries concerning the maintenance of the nation's road overpasses, the internal affairs ministry has said that the number of overpasses at least 50 years old will rapidly increase and that serious damage frequently happens already. We should remember the Aug. 1, 2007, collapse of an expressway bridge across America's Mississippi River, which killed 13 people and injured nearly 150 others.
Apr 22Maraca stolen from 'Samba' statue of beloved Tokyo manga character(Reuters)
A statue of a famous manga character and beloved Tokyo figure has been vandalized, with one of two maracas in the character's hands going missing. The statue of Kankichi Ryotsu, the main character in the long-running manga series "Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsu-jo" ("This is the police box in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward"), is located on the Kameari central shopping street in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward.
Apr 21Japan says 'sayonara' to Tokyo's kabuki theatre (mysinchew.com)
The curtain is coming down on Tokyo's Kabukiza, the iconic home of Japan's traditional kabuki drama, which is set to be demolished next month to make way for a skyscraper. Women dressed in their finest kimonos and crowds of tourists have flocked to the venue, a landmark that evokes ancient Japanese castles and temples, to catch the final shows before its date with the wrecking ball. Nestled amid the glass and steel of the upscale Ginza shopping district, the four-story playhouse, with its curved roofs and red paper lanterns, is a reminder of a quieter past beloved by many in the bustling metropolis.
Apr 21In Los Angeles, Jidori cicken is the new kid in the coop (New York Times)
The cuisine in Los Angeles is as diverse as the city itself, but there are a few things that every imaginative restaurant in town seems to share, as reliably as rain comes in spring and fires in autumn. Persimmons. Meyer lemons. Jidori chicken. The chicken - a type of free-range bird common in Japan but until recently almost unheard of in American restaurants outside the Los Angeles area - is served with a ragout of root vegetables at Melisse, in Santa Monica, Calif. At Hatfield's, in Los Angeles, it's used for the buttermilk-steamed chicken breast.
Apr 21Paper’s pride probed for ad featuring supplement-soliciting AV actress (Tokyo Reporter)
Determining that an ad in a recent edition of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper was a tad over the top - given the appearance of a popular adult video (AV) actress - weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun (Apr. 22) defends its typically titillating turf by calling the conservative daily into account for its actions. Placed on page 25 of the April 2 edition was an advertisement for an "energy-enhancement" supplement. "It builds men's confidence," reads the copy. Positioned next to the large headline is a very sexy lady.
Apr 21Lady Gaga's HIV/AIDS gig hits Tokyo (AP)
Lady Gaga, a U.S. diva working to help people infected with HIV, gave a special concert in Tokyo on Tuesday, while urging people in Japan to be more open to discussing the issue instead of keeping it "under the table." Lady Gaga, together with dancers, performed in front of a couple hundred fans and celebrities, who chanted her name feverishly, at what used to be a printing plant in Tokyo's bayside area. During the 20-minute show she also played on a white custom piano, which is scheduled to be auctioned in New York at the end of April to raise funds to help people with HIV.
Apr 21Tokyo takes expensive toll on stranded travellers(AFP)
Being stranded in Asia as a cloud of volcanic ash over Europe causes air traffic chaos has taken a punitive toll on travellers marooned in Tokyo, one of the world's most expensive cities. The soaring costs of an extended stay in Japan has driven some to despair amid the clamour to find the next available flight out of Narita airport, with nearby hotels full and metropolitan Tokyo an hour-long train ride away. At least 35 international flights were cancelled in Japan Tuesday, 26 at Narita, officials said, leaving thousands stranded in a city named by the Economist Intelligence Unit last year as the world's most expensive.
Apr 21Former cop indicted for fatal 2001 accident under new inquest system (Japan Times)
A former senior police official was indicted Tuesday for allegedly failing to prevent a fatal crush in 2001 in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, making him the first person to be officially charged under the new prosecution inquest system. Kazuaki Sakaki, 63, then deputy chief of the Akashi Police Station, was indicted for negligence resulting in death and injury under a revised law that went into force last May. The legal change enables a panel of citizens to overturn prosecutors' decisions and effect a mandatory indictment.
Apr 21Wife presses for details in death of deportee (Japan Times)
The Japanese wife of a Ghanaian who died last month while he was being deported for overstaying his visa called Tuesday on police and the Immigration Bureau to disclose exactly how he died. Police said Abubakar Awudu Suraj was confirmed dead in a hospital March 22 after an undisclosed number of immigration officers overpowered him when he became violent in an airplane before it departed Narita International Airport that day for Cairo.
Apr 202 JAL flights from Europe arrive at Narita with 500 on board(AP)
Two Japan Airlines flights from Moscow and Rome arrived Tuesday at Narita airport outside Tokyo carrying a total of some 500 travelers, including those stranded in Europe due to a massive grounding of flights caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland. JAL Flight 442, a Boeing 777, from Moscow arrived at Narita International Airport at around 8:30 a.m. with some 180 passengers on board, becoming the first flight to be operated by a Japanese airline to and from Europe since last Thursday. JAL said the plane took a detour to avoid volcanic ash on the flight course.
Apr 20Jackson fans to get peek at memorabilia in Japan exhibit (Reuters)
Nearly 300 items of Michael Jackson memorabilia -- from the huge Neverland sign that once marked the entrance to his California ranch to a 1967 Rolls Royce -- are set to go on display in Japan later this month, nearly a year after the singer's death. Jackson's death last June from cardiac arrest at the age of 50 shocked fans around the world and sparked a new wave of interest in his music, while a documentary film featuring the singer, "This Is It," became a blockbuster cinema hit.
Apr 20Police eye charges against man over resale of psychotropic drugs(AP)
Police plan to file charges against a man in Kanagawa Prefecture for allegedly obtaining psychotropic drugs from welfare recipients and reselling them online, police sources said Tuesday. Koichi Osawa, 41, who has already been indicted on other drug charges, is suspected of obtaining the drugs from Ichiro Kuriyama, 53, also arrested for allegedly violating the antidrug law. Kuriyama is believed to have bought the drugs from several dozens of people on welfare in Osaka by having them make false sick claims such as sleep deprivation.
Apr 20Japan's first full 3D music video: UVERworld's GOLD (examiner.com)
Rock band UVERworld premiered Japan's first full 3D music video on April 17th for their song GOLD, the lead track on their new album LAST. At a screen test event, UVERworld showed off their new 3D music video in front of 200 contest winners. Japanese entertainment information guide Oricon reported that video was filmed and shown using the same technology as Avatar, making it Japan's first complete music video created using new 3D techniques.
Apr 20Reprieve for death row dogs in Japan(ABC News)
Dog-lovers in Japan are dismayed because increasingly many pet puppies are being disposed of once they grow up, most ending up at the pound where more than 70 per cent are put down. The idea of adopting a dog from the pound has not caught on in Japan where many strays are seen as second-hand goods. Now a group has been formed in Japan to try to save dogs from death row.
Apr 20Stranded passengers at Narita feel fatigue (Yomiuri)
At Narita Airport on Monday, the fifth day since Europe-bound flights were canceled due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland, about 90 international travelers stranded inside the airport and businesspeople holed up at nearby hotels were showing deep fatigue. On Monday, a flight to Milan departed in the afternoon. But confusion continued, as was seen in a decision by Austrian Airlines to cancel a flight to Vienna just before departure. Foreign travelers stuck inside the airport were offered sleeping bags by the Narita International Airport Corporation. They slept on sofas in departure lobbies and relieved their hunger with crackers and bottled water.
Apr 20Foreigner stabbed to death at apartment, Filipino man faces arrest (Mainichi)
A foreign man was stabbed to death at an apartment in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, law enforcers said. They are seeking an arrest warrant for a Filipino man in custody. According to police, at around 7:50 p.m. on Sunday, a foreign-looking man came to a police box in Suzuka city, Mie Prefecture, saying there had been a fight in the apartment next to his and a man was lying in the corridor outside.
Apr 20Thieves make off with tens of thousands of bees(earthtimes.org)
Criminals have made repeated bee thefts around Japan, taking tens of thousands of the insects and making the lives of strawberry farmers difficult. Thefts of the insects, which are necessary for the propagation of the fruit, have been recorded in the central prefecture of Shizuoka and other areas. The lack of bees have driven up their prices, and experts have surmised that the perpetrators are taking the bees so they could sell them on for more money. Prices also increased after Japan banned the import of the pollinators three years ago to prevent infections.
Apr 19Saori Hara, Maria Ozawa and Shelly Fujii shine at 2010 porn awards (Tokyo Reporter)
The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity for porn starlet Saori Hara. Just prior to being served papers in January for an "indecent" appearance in the photo book "Tokyo 20XX," Hara released her memoir "My Real Name is Mai Kato: Why I became an AV Girl." But certainly most memorable was her crowning last month as Best Actress at the Sky PerfecTV! Adult Broadcasting Awards. "I am so surprised to have received this wonderful award," beamed the 22-year-old, attired in a low-cut light purple dress during the ceremony that took place at a theater in the love hotel area of Tokyo’s Shibuya district.
Apr 19Japan's oldest man celebrates 113th birthday with family (AP)
Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest living Japanese man, celebrated his 113th birthday Monday together with about a dozen family members at his home in Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture. Surrounded by his great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, Kimura finished his festive plate of red rice and a grilled sea bream for lunch, and smiled when he was handed a birthday cake. When he was told that the record longevity for a Japanese male is 120, Kimura said "it might be a little difficult" to break the record "but that makes it all the more worthwhile" to try.
Apr 19'Samurai' parade marks 150th year of Japan warship's arrival in U.S. (AP)
A "samurai" parade was held Sunday in San Francisco to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival in the United States of Japan's first warship to cross the Pacific, an event that marked the country's emergence from more than two centuries of isolation. About 30 people reenacted a procession from Japan's feudal era with lord, lady and warriors processing along a 2-kilometer route through the city to commemorate the arrival in March 1860 of the Kanrin Maru.
Apr 19Cancellations of Japan-European flights continue(AP)
At least 54 flights between Japan and Europe were cancelled Monday as the effects of last week's volcanic eruption in Iceland continued, airport officials said. The flights include 42 using Narita International Airport east of Tokyo, nine including Air France flights linking Kansai airport in western Japan with Paris, and three including Finnair flights between Chubu airport in central Japan and Helsinki. Four flights connecting Kansai airport with the French and Finnish capitals have also been canceled for Tuesday, the officials said.
Apr 19Japanese women reborn in the nude through photography(independent.co.uk)
One photograph shows Yoco sitting naked on a bed, smiling softly as she admires her ample breasts in her cupped hands. In the next picture one of her breasts has gone, the right side of her chest wrapped in a bandage. "I can't feel it anymore," the picture caption reads, as she blankly stares out of a window, bruises and blue arteries criss crossing her bosom after a surgeon's knife did its brutal but vital work and cut out the cancer. The unusually intimate images are from a new Japanese photography book entitled "Sono Saki-ni Arumono" (What Awaits Beyond), the story of a 38-year-old mother of two who survived breast cancer.
Apr 18Delinquents, dust-ups and drunken dames - Kabukicho drifts downward(Tokyo Reporter)
Tokyo's Kabukicho area as captured at night by the camera of photographer Hajime Kiyohira is seen to be increasingly turning into a Mecca for Japan's youth, similar to Shibuya, reports Flash (Apr. 20) in a special pull-out section. The four-page spread features a drunken girl urinating in a street corner; a salaryman takes a punch from an aggressive street tout in front of the infamous Parisienne coffee shop; women unable to walk are sprawled in the arms of their boyfriends as they are dragged away; and a police officer chases and eventually corals another unruly tout.
Apr 18Reclusive man stabs 5 of his kin after Net access taken away(AP)
A 30-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of stabbing five members of his family at their house in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, killing two, after he was enraged by his father terminating a contract for Internet access, police said. According to the police, Takayuki Iwase, who is also suspected of setting fire to the house, is unemployed and had confined himself inside his home. Neighbors said Iwase had been reclusive for the past 15 years. He was arrested in the early hours of Saturday after the police received an emergency call from a neighbor and found five family members, including his father Kazumi Iwase, 58, with stab wounds at the house, which was on fire. Kazumi and his 1-year-old granddaughter, Tomomi Kanemaru, were later confirmed dead.
Apr 18Japan pushes fashion boundaries like nowhere else (The Linc)
Many books have been published full of photos of the truly eccentric fashions, much of which is dedicated to the Harajuku district of Japan. Harajuku is a shopping district that caters for those that love designer labels, to those looking for affordable alternative fashion. Every Sunday, youths gather on the pedestrian Jingu Bridge to show off their style. From Lolita to Cosplay, the area is an explosion of inspiring fashion and is a favourite for style bloggers. A 'gothic Lolita' is a darker take on the fashion, sticking to a black colour palette. Another major style in Tokyo is 'ganguro'. This consists of bleached hair, a deep tan, both black and white eyeliners, false eyelashes, brightly coloured clothes, miniskirts and lots of rings and necklaces.
Apr 18Man arrested for confining 3-yr-old girl, mother earlier arrested(AP)
A 31-year-old man in Fukuoka City was arrested Saturday on suspicion of confining a three-year-old girl he lives with to the bathtub of their home for six hours, local police said. The arrest of Eiji Yamasaki, a company employee, follows the arrest Monday of his wife, Shiho Yamasaki, 28, on suspicion of critically injuring the girl, Miyu Yamamoto, Shiho's daughter by another man. Miyu remained unconscious Saturday. According to the police, Eiji put Miyu in the bathtub and tied her to the faucet by her wrist using adhesive tape, shut the door of the bathroom and left her there between 2 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. last Sunday.
Apr 18Student, friend arrested for staging attack, rescue of girlfriend (Mainichi)
A university student and his friend have been arrested for trespassing and violent behavior after they staged an attack and rescue of the student's girlfriend here, police said. The suspects are Atsushi Tsubokura, 21, and Yasuhiro Adachi, 21, both university students. The victim was also a university student, a 21-year-old woman in a relationship with Tsubokura.
Apr 18Looking back on periods of Japanese history reveals different faces of Japanese character(Mainichi)
Does the name Kazuo Kasahara ring a bell? He was the scriptwriter credited for writing director Kinji Fukasaku's "Jingi naki tatakai" (Battles Without Honor and Humanity) film series, and he passed away in 2002. Born in 1927, Kasahara was a trainee at the Kure naval barracks in Hiroshima Prefecture when World War II came to an end, and a member of a generation that lived through a Japan of burned-down cities and black markets. Still, he had a touch of Western influence in his life, having been born in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district to a father who worked at a foreign trading company -- a rarity in those days.
Apr 17Japanese tourist gangraped at Bodh Gaya(Indian Express)
In a shocking incident that could jeopardize tourist inflow in Gaya, a 25-year-old Japanese woman was gang-raped on way from Bodh Gaya to Gaya railway station on Friday evening. Police said the incident took place at around 8.30 p.m. on Friday when the 25-year-old Japanese tourist (identity protected) hired an auto-rickshaw from Bodh Gaya to reach Gaya railway station. The auto-driver and four other persons, following her in another auto, allegedly raped the Japanese tourist at a deserted place between Bodh Gaya and Gaya.
Apr 17Teens explore abuse on the dating scene (Japan Times)
It was a relationship marred from the start by jealousy and suspicion. Saki Inoue (not her real name) found herself having to text-message her boyfriend every few minutes in class, at home or anytime they were apart. If she forgot, he would be angry, as he would be if his high school sweetheart didn't pick up the phone before bed or even when she was asleep. She was not to talk to other boys.
Apr 17Media get glimpse of Nara's 1,300th anniversary celebrations (Japan Times)
A press preview of the celebrations for the 1,300th anniversary of the founding of Heijyo-kyo as Japan's ancient capital, which officially begin on April 24, was held Friday, as Nara officials scramble to put the final touches on an event they hope will boost the area's appeal as a tourist destination. The Heijyo-kyo capital, the site of which is located just west of downtown Nara, has been partially re-created. A number of modern facilities, including museums featuring high-tech displays of Nara's historic role as the far eastern end of the Silk Road in the eighth century, have been built for the anniversary event, which ends in November.
By J.S. on Apr 29, 2010

tag : 'Samurai' parade



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