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Sep 19No sex please, we are otaku! (Japan Times)
Spa!, not without misgivings, proclaims a "virgin boom." Virginity is in, sex appeal is out. Why does there even have to be such a thing as sex in the world? TV personality Kumiko Shiratori, the last word in unsexy cuteness, claims to have understood at puberty that sex was "filthy," and at 28 has yet to change her mind. She evidently strikes a chord.

Sep 19Why Japanese girls go mad for Korean girl bands (chosun.com)
Korean girl groups are attracting more fervent admirers among their own sex in Japan than from the young men they are ostensibly manufactured to appeal to. About 80 percent of the audience at the debut showcase of Girls' Generation at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Aug. 25 were female, from teenagers to women in their 30s. Plenty of them even sported Girls' Generation outfits.
Sep 18Why Japanese Girls Go Mad for Korean Girl Bands (Chosen Ibo)
Korean girl groups are attracting more fervent admirers among their own sex in Japan than from the young men they are ostensibly manufactured to appeal to. About 80 percent of the audience at the debut showcase of Girls' Generation at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Aug. 25 were female, from teenagers to women in their 30s. Plenty of them even sported Girls' Generation outfits.
Sep 18A different face of Haruki Murakami (Asahi)
On the evening of Aug. 23, some 800 people lined up outside the House of Literature here for a lecture. Oslo resident Nanami Straume, 30, was the second person in line. She was holding the Japanese version of Book 1 of "1Q84," which had not yet gone on sale in Norway.
Sep 18Boo! Scary Japanese sex stories to make your woody wilt (Tokyo Reporter)
"Fifteen years ago, I had a part-time job delivering obento box lunches to a soapland. One thing I noticed was a girl wrapped in a yellow bath towel who was always seated in the corner of one of the private massage rooms. She herself never ordered a meal, but when I made my deliveries, she would always be there, wrapped in the same towel and sitting in the same position. One day I asked about her to another lady who was working in the soapland. 'Say what? That room isn't in use by anyone...' she told me. Could it have been my imagination playing tricks?"
Sep 17Could Mattel's Japanese Barbie and Ken be any more stereotypical?(thefrisky.com)
A geisha girl and a samurai warrior: these are the stereotypes Mattel used for Japanese Ken and Barbie dolls. Barbie is dressed as a geisha with lotus blossoms in her hair, a gold fan, and some gladiator heels which are badass-looking, but I'm thinking not particularly Japanese. Ken is dressed as a bare-chested samurai warrior with a small ponytail and a long sword. An ex-boyfriend who went to grad school in Japan called the Japanese Ken doll, quote, "pure Fu Manchu stereotype" - minus that nefarious mustache, of course. Surprise, surprise, Mattel has a long history of representing their Japanese Barbies as geishas.
Sep 17Florida man discovers that his son is big in Japan! (wptv.com)
Allen S. Rout isn't famous. But as he discovered a few months ago, his son Steven, is big in Japan. Really big. And all because of a photo, that up until recently, Rout had forgotten about. It was a photo that he posted several years ago on his personal website of his infant son, in a crib. It was a picture that Rout discovered had blossomed into much more. It had been used in Japanese game shows, surrounded by Japanese cartoon characters with Japanese captions written around it. His son's head had even been cut and pasted onto Kurt Cobain's body.
Sep 17Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife still rockin' after almost 30 years (mlive.com)
Shonen Knife, all-girl pop-punk Japanese band, is still rocking after nearly 30 years. "I don't know why, but I can keep rocking," Naoko Yamano said during an interview from the first stop of the band's North American tour, Seattle, Wash. She is nearly 50, but "I make myself keep fresh, and I also have tennis lessons and keep my physical (body) tough," she said with a laugh. Yamano and her latest members Ritsuko Taneda and Emi Morimoto are crossing the Pacific to promote the English language release of "Free Time", and because fans demand more Knife.
Sep 17Religious scholars urged to investigate human rights violations in Japan (prnewswire)
Speaking to the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), Dan Fefferman, President of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom, urged religious scholars from Europe and North America to conduct independent investigations into the kidnappings and forced de-conversions of Unification Church members in Japan. Fefferman reported to CENSUR attendees that 10 to 20 Unification Church members are currently victims of forced de-conversions each year in Japan. Two new victims were abducted against their will during the month of August, and several more church members remain missing.
Sep 17Japanese cult leader denied retrial for sarin attack(globalsecuritynewswire.org)
A court petition has failed to secure a retrial for the one-time leader of the Japanese cult that carried out the 1995 sarin attacks on the Tokyo subway system. Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara, whose name at birth was Chizuo Matsumoto, is awaiting execution after being convicted of crimes including plotting the nerve agent strike that killed 13 people and injured thousands. One of Asahara's daughters in 2008 requested a retrial based on testimony in another trial in which the defendant repudiated an earlier statement that he had been directed by the Aum chief to manufacture sarin.
Sep 17Tips on illegal Net info set new high(Japan Times)
An Internet hot line seeking tips on sites offering illegal information experienced a 75.3 percent surge in submissions in the first six months of the year, the National Police Agency said Thursday. During the January-June period, the Internet Hotline Center received 18,542 reports of illegal information on websites, including child pornography and ads for banned drugs, the highest since it was set up in 2006, the NPA said. The center received 5,441 reports about harmful information, including suicide pleas and offers to commit paid murder, up 53.9 percent, the NPA said.
Sep 17Shedding some light on shadows (Japan Times)
What follows you around nearly everywhere but you never notice? It may sound like a joke from a Christmas cracker but the answer is, of course, your shadow. Not only shadows of the human figure, but also shadows of trees, buildings and everyday objects surround us all the time - though we barely notice them. The National Art Center, Tokyo's current exhibition, simply titled "Shadows," aims to encourage museum-goers to be more aware of shadows in art, and perhaps also in life, by exploring the work of 100 artists from different periods and cultures working in various media.
Sep 16Nurse acquitted over patients' nail-clipping injuries (AP)
A high court acquitted a nurse in Fukuoka Prefecture on Thursday of injuring two elderly patients by removing their toenails in 2007, recognizing her act as part of "necessary and proper" nursing care. In scrapping a lower court decision that found Satomi Ueda, 44, guilty and gave her a suspended prison term, the Fukuoka High Court also raised doubts about the credibility of her confessions to investigators in which she said she intentionally removed the nails of the female dementia patients.
Sep 16Leah Dizon's rumored AV debut has porn industry buzzing(Tokyo Reporter)
A report from overseas indicating that singer and model Leah Dizon will soon be making her AV debut has aroused the ears of weekly tabloid Shukan Post (Sep. 24). The tabloid specifically wonders whether Dizon will become the adult video industry's kurofune, or black ship, a term often used for a non-Japanese person or entity who holds a threatening marketing position. The name comes from the ships, most notably those of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853, used to open up Japan to trade to the West during the 15th and 19th centuries. Fans were caught by surprise when Hong Kong's leading daily paper Apple Daily provided coverage online that American-born Dizon is expected to debut in a porn film. Shukan Post believes that with her father being a Chinese-Filipino she is well known in Asia, and this news is now a hot topic on many Chinese websites.
Sep 16Magazine makes up a story about Steve Jobs being a ninja (tgdaily.com)
A Japanese tabloid magazine reported that Steve Jobs ran into a bit of an issue at a local airport while on vacation. But no one really took it seriously until Bloomberg decided it was worth reporting. SPA! Magazine wrote an eye-catching story about Jobs being held at the airport because officials found ninja throwing stars, known as shuriken, in his luggage. The story goes on to say that Jobs got in an altercation with the security personnel and then stormed onto his private plane, without the ninja gear, shouting he would never return to Japan again. With the clout of Bloomberg getting behind the story, headlines popped up all over the place suggesting Steve Jobs was some sort of secret covert ninja.
Sep 16The Japanese Untouchables in How To Be An American Housewife (huffingtonpost.com)
One thing I'd never heard of was the burakumin. I stumbled across a reference during other readings. Burakumin are the untouchable caste of Japan who lived in separate settlements, or buraku. Basically, Shintoism and Buddhism considered the burakumin to be unclean because of their work with butchery or leather (even if these people themselves used these products). The burakumin lived on the outskirts of society, denied employment and status based on their background; lists of burakumin ancestry were kept and may still be illegally kept, to make sure one does not accidentally hire or marry into a family with burakumin blood.
Sep 16Scarred lay judges battle stress (Japan Times)
In late November last year, Iwao Takasu, 55, became one of the first six people in Ibaraki Prefecture to serve as a lay judge in a criminal trial. Including three professional judges, the nine-member panel at the Mito District Court tried a 45-year-old man who had admitted to groping the breasts of a 16-year-old high school girl and injuring her hand by pushing her down. After hearing all of the evidence and deliberating thoroughly, they handed the man a suspended five-year prison term and ordered supervision by a probation officer.
Sep 16Court shoots down Asahara retrial (Japan Times)
The Supreme Court has rejected a plea for a retrial for Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara, who is on death row for masterminding the 1995 deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system as well as other crimes, sources said Wednesday. The top court's first petty bench reached the decision Monday over the petition filed by Asahara's 29-year-old second daughter in November 2008, the sources said. Asahara's real name is Chizuo Matsumoto.
Sep 16Prosecutors seen ready to drop idea of appealing Muraki case (Japan Times)
Prosecutors are poised to give up the idea of appealing a court ruling last week that acquitted senior welfare ministry official Atsuko Muraki of involvement in abusing the postal discount system for disabled people, prosecution sources said Wednesday. The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office is expected to announce the decision soon, the sources said. The Osaka District Court on Friday turned down the prosecutors' demand that Muraki be given an 18-month prison term, saying there was no evidence to prove her involvement in the case.
Sep 16Laundry logic (Japan Times)
Dear Alice, I've been married for three years to a Japanese woman who insists on doing laundry every day. When I asked her why, she said, "That's how we do it in Japan." I find this strange because Japanese people are generally very ecologically minded. I pointed out to my wife that if she did laundry every other day, instead of every day, she'd use half as much water and electricity. She didn't respond, and she didn't change her ways. Can you explain why the heck Japanese feel it necessary to do laundry every day?
Sep 15Actress Loren among Japan art prize winners (AFP)
Italian actress Sophia Loren was on Tuesday awarded the Japan Art Association's Praemium Imperiale, one of the most lucrative prizes in the arts world. Two more Italians also won the prize -- artist Enrico Castellani, known for his "paintings of light", and Milan-born pianist Maurizio Pollini -- as did German sculptor and installation artist Rebecca Horn and Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Each winner of the annual award, backed by Japan's imperial family, will receive 15 million yen (179,000 dollars) at a ceremony in Tokyo on October 13.
Sep 15Man held for attempted rape charged with murdering another woman (Mainichi)
A man under arrest for ramming his car into a woman with the aim of raping her has been hit with new charges of murder over the death of another woman, police said. Hokkaido Prefectural Police served a fresh arrest warrant on Koki Toyama, 23, a former company employee of no fixed address, on suspicion of murder and rape resulting in death on Sept. 13. The woman apparently died from wounds after her head was hit hard against the car body, and police determined that the suspect had willful negligence for not trying to save her life.
Sep 15Man, boy arrested for snatching bag from woman on bike, leading to her death (Mainichi)
A man and a boy have been arrested for allegedly snatching a handbag from a woman riding a bicycle, causing her to fall and die from head injuries. Police arrested Koichi Takahashi, 24, a resident of Matsudo, and a 19-year-old boy from the Chiba Prefecture city of Kashiwa on suspicion of robbery causing death. The two, both waterproofing workers, stand accused of approaching Sumiko Kikuchi's bicycle from behind while riding double on a motorcycle on a street in Matsudo at around 6:50 p.m. on Aug. 15 and snatching her handbag from the front basket of her bicycle.
Sep 15Armored bridegrooms grab spotlight(Yomiuri)
Look out, brides--more and more bridegrooms are grabbing your spotlight by donning rich suits of samurai armor. At his wedding reception in Tokyo this spring, 25-year-old Seiya Kurosawa appeared in red armor to the theme song of the popular TV drama "Abarembo Shogun" (wild warlord). A nurse from Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, Kurosawa entered the reception hall shouting "Genzan!" (Here I am). Grinning widely at the cheers from his surprised friends and families, he wore a sword at his side and his armor clanked with every step.
Sep 14Centenarians in Japan to hit record 44,000: survey (AP)
The number of centenarians in Japan is expected to reach a record 44,449 by Wednesday, up 4,050 from a year earlier and rising for the 40th consecutive year, according to a health ministry survey released Tuesday. The survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is based on information in the resident registry, which contains current addresses and other data on individuals. It came as a separate, family-based registry system indicates tens of thousands of "missing" centenarians who are registered as still living.
Sep 14Risk of HIV infection stalks Tokyo's gay enclave (Tokyo Reporter)
Ko is a regular in the gay quarter of Ni-chome, an area filled with small blocks of roughly 300 bars, clubs, video stores and small hotels in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. Of slight build and sporting long, wavy hair, the 23-year-old provides out-call (deri heru) SM services, typically dispensed in love hotels or residences, to homosexual men. Bondage, whipping and humiliation are among his specialties. During an interview at a coffee shop at the edge of 2-chome, Ko explains that should sexual contact be requested, a condom is a necessity. "And if I have to touch inside a customer, I'll use rubber gloves," he adds. Yet many men do not take such precautions - a fact that has made the gay community the largest growth population for cases of HIV and AIDS in Japan, reports the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention (JFAP).
Sep 14Desperate parents join children at matchmaking parties (Mainichi)
"Arranged" marriages are not so common in Japan, but "arranged dates" -- to which parents or other adults serving as a go-between often attend at least in part -- have been more of a norm in recent decades. "Arranged" meetings between parents as a proxy for their children has been a recent trend, but some people have come to engage in an even newer trend in their search for the perfect mate: the mass "arranged" marriage party.
Sep 14US marine found dead in Japan barracks (nypost.com)
A U.S. Marine found dead in his Camp Foster barracks room in Okinawa, Japan, was the third U.S. servicemember to die in the city in less than a week, according to officials. On Thursday, Airman 1st Class Michael Reio, 20, died from injuries sustained in a single-car accident. Additionally, Maj. Mike Kallai, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, was found unconscious at his home Sunday and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at a military hospital.
Sep 14Lead poisoning in samurai kids linked to makeup (MSNBC)
Lead poisoning isn't just a problem for post-industrial city kids - the children of samurai suffered from it too, a new study suggests. An analysis of bones of children who lived as many as 400 years ago showed sky-high lead levels, which scientists now think came from their mothers' makeup. During the Edo period, from 1603 to 1867, Japan was ruled by a series of shoguns. Below the shogun, a few hundred feudal lords presided over the country's agricultural domains, each from within a castle-town headquarters that was protected by a cadre of samurai military nobles.
Sep 14Oshio takes stand, says he tried to save woman (Japan Times)
Actor Manabu Oshio, taking the stand in his own defense at the Tokyo District Court, testified Monday that he tried to save the life of the woman who died of a drug overdose in his presence. Oshio said he performed cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when Kaori Tanaka's overdose symptoms worsened and her heart stopped beating after the two had sex Aug. 2, 2009, in a luxury apartment in Tokyo's Roppongi district.
Sep 13Japan: a haven for parental abductions? (hotair.com)
Several countries, including Japan, Singapore and South Korea, are not signatories to the 1980 Hague treaty on international child abduction. These countries regard parental abductions of children as a matter for family, not criminal courts. As a result, authorities in these countries won't extradite parents for prosecution in the U.S., forcing victim parents to battle things out via diplomatic channels or in civil courts of the country where their child is living. Randy Collins, 49, of Anaheim Hills, is fighting to get back his son, Keisuke. The boy was 5 when his mother, Reiko, fled with him to her native Japan in June 2008 despite a court order forbidding her from leaving the country.
Sep 12Arrested man says he traveled 1,000 km on stolen bicycle (AP)
A 25-year-old man who was arrested Sunday in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, for allegedly stealing a bicycle in Tokyo in late August has told police that he had traveled the roughly 1,000 kilometers from the capital on the bike, Yamaguchi police said. Otoya Muramatsu, who is unemployed and of no fixed address, is suspected of taking the sport utility bike, owned by a 15-year-old high school boy and worth about 30,000 yen, around 10 p.m. on Aug. 28 after finding it abandoned by someone else on a street in Tokyo's Toshima Ward, the police said.
Sep 12Yoji Yamada nurtures Japan's next generation in 'Kyoto Story'(Tokyo Reporter)
Famed Shochiku helmer Yoji Yamada passes on the art of filmmaking to Japan's next generation in "Kyoto Story," his collaboration with co-director Tsutomu Abe and a team of university students. Yamada ("Twilight Samurai" and "The Hidden Blade"), Abe and 22 students from Ritsumeikan University College of Image Arts and Sciences teamed up on the film, set in Uzumasa, one of Kyoto's most historic areas. "How one goes about teaching filmmaking is a common point of discussion nowadays," said Yamada of the film following a press screening at The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan last week. "If you teach painting, of course you draw. If you teach music, you ask students to perform. So naturally, if you want students to understand filmmaking you must ask them to make a film."

By J.S. on Sep 23, 2010

tag : Social News



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