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Three new screenplays by Akira Kurosawa discovered in Japan

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Oct 30Three new screenplays by Akira Kurosawa discovered in Japan(collider.com)
Three previously undiscovered screenplays by master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa have been uncovered in Japan. According to Sankei Sports (via The Playlist), Tokyo University Media Professor, Yasuki Hamano found the screenplays while researching for his upcoming book series Akira Kurosawa Archives in which the scripts will be collected. Two of the scripts-Kanokemaru no Hitobito (The People of Kanokemaru) and Ashita o Tsukuru Hitobito (The People Who Make Tomorrow)-are for feature films while the third-Yoki na Kojo (The Cheerful Factory)-was for a radio drama.
Oct 292 teenage boys found in parked car with severe injuries after apparent beating (Mainichi)
Two 19-year-old boys are in a coma after they were found with severe injuries inside a car parked in a residential area here following an apparent beating with a blunt object, police said. At around 5:15 a.m. on Oct. 29, a passerby found the two young men bleeding from their heads inside the vehicle parked on a street in front of Municipal Minami Ochiai Elementary School in Kobe's Suma Ward. They were rushed to hospital, but both of them remain in a coma with fractured skulls after they had apparently been struck on the head with a blunt object, investigators said.
Oct 29Haneda fails to solve Japan air travel woes (Asia Times)
The sparkling new international terminal at Tokyo's Haneda airport, with its futuristic design and market atmosphere akin to the Japanese capital's shopping districts, will at least give visitors a more cheerful welcome to the country. Yet once the fanfare subsides, many travelers will find that Japan is still not doing enough to bring down prices or improve connections between airports. The problem is that the "dual hubs" of Haneda and Narita are at least 90 minutes apart on trains often crammed with tired or drunk workers commuting between Yokohama, Tokyo and Chiba.
Oct 29Bellevue mother accused of stealing son to Japan (seattlepi.com)
King County prosecutors have filed felony charges against a Bellevue mother accused of fleeing to Japan with her 6-year-old son. According to charging documents, Michiyo Imoto Morehouse, 42, was barred from taking the boy out of the state after a county court awarded primary custody to the boy's father, Morehouse's ex-husband. Filing for divorce in 2007, Morehouse's ex-husband received temporary custody of the boy, who has dual U.S.-Japanese citizenship, according to charging documents. Concerned that his ex-wife might take their child to Japan, the man sent a request to the Japanese consulate in Portland asking that any request for a passport for the child be denied.
Oct 29The depths of traditional Japanese painting(Japan Times)
While China's long-running contribution to Japanese art is usually acknowledged, it is often assumed that Western models only started to have a significant impact in the Meiji period. Part of the reason for this is the sharp reaction to Western artistic influence that occurred in the late 19th century, which effectively split the art world in Japan into the competing camps of yoga (Western-style art) and nihonga (Japanese-style art). While the former appears as a whole-hearted embrace of Western artistic innovation, the other seems like a stubborn, purist clinging to timeless traditions, driving home the point that the two forms were artistic chalk and cheese.
Oct 28Japanese consulate car robbed, 2 injured (Daily Times)
Two employees of Japan's consulate in Karachi were injured when robbers opened fire on their diplomatic car in the limits of Artillery Maidan police station on Thursday. The injured included a guard and an administrative officer, senior Japanese diplomat Toshikazu Isomura said. "They were local employees, no Japanese diplomat was there in the car," he said. City police chief Fayyaz Leghari said the unidentified gunmen opened fire when the two consulate staffers stopped outside a restaurant after withdrawing cash from a bank.
Oct 28Commencement ceremony held for work to rebuild famous kabuki theater(Mainichi)
A commencement ceremony for the re-construction of the "Kabuki-za" theater in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, was held on Oct. 28 at the site where the famous theater stood before its dismantling. From the Shinto rituals that began at 11 a.m., around 130 attendees including kabuki actors Shikan Nakamura, Koshiro Matsumoto, Kichiemon Nakamura and Kanzaburo Nakamura, as well as members of the managing theater company, "Shochiku," were present. Prayers were offered by priests from the Teppo-zu Inari shrine, which holds strong ties with Kabuki-za, and an official ceremonially broke the ground with a hoe.
Oct 28The skinny jeans theory of decline (gantdaily.com)
Japan earned its fortune a generation ago through the power of office warriors, the so-called salarymen who devoted their careers to one company. They wore dark suits; they joined for rowdy after-hours booze fests with co-workers; they often saw little of their families. These are the fathers of Japan's young men. But among business leaders and officials, there is a growing understanding that the earlier work-for-fulfillment pattern has broken down. The economy's roar turned into a yawn. Concern about Japan's future replaced giddy national pride. As a result, this generation has lost 'the willingness to sacrifice for the company,' said Jeff Kingston, author of the recently published book Contemporary Japan.
Oct 28Ancient rouge color of 'beni' lip paint alive at Aoyama salon (AP)
Beauty-savvy women can discover the charm of trying "beni" rouge-colored traditional Japanese lip paint thinly spread inside a tiny elaborate porcelain cup at a salon in Tokyo's posh Minami Aoyama district. The staff at the salon of Isehan Co., a distinguished maker of the traditional makeup, apply beni on visitors with a thin brush. Although beni appears metallic green at first, it turns bright red once dissolved in water. "It's a surprise what hue of red it turns into when you apply it," a staffer said. "You can discover your own color."
Oct 28Winter officially on its way as chilly winds blast Tokyo (Mainichi)
The Tokyo region was hit with its official first blast of winter wind on the night of Oct. 26, the Meteorological Agency announced Oct. 27 -- seven days earlier than in 2009. Much of Japan had a chilly Oct. 26, with snow falling on Sapporo in Hokkaido and Aomori Prefecture, while the Kansai region was also blasted by winter winds.
Oct 27India's most successful export has been the gods of Japan(hindustantimes.com)
A few hundred Japanese, mostly middle-aged women, congregate in the courtyard of the Asakusa Shrine in central Tokyo. The five-storey pagoda is ornate and immaculate, not least because it was rebuilt in the 1970s. A bespectacled monk sits at a stall as worshippers paid a few yen to burn incense or ritually rinse hands with spring water. This is the Shoten-cho part of the Japanese capital, famous for its many temples and shrines. Less known is that Shoten, the Noble God, is the Hindu deity Ganapati. And there are temples to Sarasvati and Shiva to be found amid these crowded streets. In the 1830s, say scholars, over 100 Ganapati temples could be found here.
Oct 27Nobelists Suzuki, Negishi get Order of Culture (Japan Times)
This year's two Japanese Nobel Prize laureates, Akira Suzuki and Eiichi Negishi, have been awarded the Order of Culture, the country's top cultural award, for fiscal 2010, together with five other recipients, the government said Tuesday. The other recipients are architect Tadao Ando, 69, nuclear physicist Akito Arima, 80, stage director Yukio Ninagawa, 75, fashion designer Issei Miyake, 72, and medieval historian Haruko Wakita, 76.
Oct 27Expert looks at Japan's zombie outbreak readiness (weirdasianews.com)
As an island nation with the world's highest cremation rate, Japan looks like the ideal spot to ride out a global zombie pandemic, but one expert on the undead says this assumption is dangerously mistaken. Matt Mogk, Zombie Research Society (ZRS) founder and head researcher, believes Japan would be no safer than other countries in the event of a zombie outbreak and could be even more dangerous. Japan's tight border control, which last month denied entry to Paris Hilton, would offer some protection against hordes of rotting corpses brought back to life, but only provided the outbreak starts outside of Japan.
Oct 26Suspected killer may have left 2 million yen at scene in cover-up bid(Mainichi)
The suspected killer of a man in western Tokyo may have deliberately left 2 million yen at the murder scene in a bid to make it look as if her actions were not foul play, investigative sources said. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) investigators suspect Kanae Kijima, 35, gassed Takao Terada, 53, to death in his home by burning briquettes in his apartment between Jan. 30 and 31, last year. The MPD is set to obtain an arrest warrant accusing Kijima, already under indictment over a separate murder case, of killing Terada, a company employee whose body was found in his apartment in Ome in 2009.
Oct 26Missing sacred swords of Todaiji found after 1,250 yrs (AP)
Two swords found under the Great Buddha of Todaiji temple in the Meiji era have been identified as sacred swords that had been missing for some 1,250 years since around 760 after Empress Komyo, the wife of Emperor Shomu who built the Buddha, dedicated them along with other items to the temple, the temple said Monday. The swords, decorated with gold, silver and lacquer, appear on the top of about 100 swords in the weapon list of the Kokka Chimpo Cho (the book of national treasures to Todaiji) kept at the Shosoin repository at the temple in the ancient capital of Nara, and can be considered important historical materials in the related research.
Oct 26More countries join fight against Japan in child abduction cases (stripes.com)
International pressure continues to mount on Japan to address the problem of parental child abduction within its borders. Japan has been criticized for its family court system, which typically awards custody to one parent with no official visitation rights afforded the other parent. Japanese courts also do not recognize foreign custody orders, which some Japanese defy to bring their children back to their home country after splitting from foreign partners in different countries. There are currently 95 cases involving 136 children who have been abducted to Japan. Among them are 17 children of military servicemembers, Defense Department records show.
Oct 26Japan's Internet Users Not Into Social Networking (weirdasianews.com)
A study conducted by TNS, the world's largest Custom Market Research specialists, analyzed the online behavior for 50,000 consumers in 46 countries and determined that Japanese internet users have the least friends on social networking sites. Mixi is the king of the social networking sites in Japan, embracing more than 25 million users. MySpace has had a presence in Japan since 2006, but it has never gained popularity. Facebook, since its Japanese launch in 2008, has also experienced a very slow organic growth, experiencing 1/10 of the Mixi membership.
Oct 25Prosecutors seek death penalty for 1st time in lay judge trial(AP)
Prosecutors sought capital punishment on Monday for the first time in the lay judge trial system in the case of a 42-year-old man over the murders of two women in Tokyo last year. The judiciary system involving citizen judges was introduced in May last year. The prosecution said in its closing arguments in the trial of Koji Hayashi at the Tokyo District Court that the defendant committed a "cruel and premeditated act based on an extremely strong intention to murder." During the trial, Hayashi admitted to killing Miho Ejiri, 21, who worked at an ear-cleaning shop where he frequented as a customer, and her grandmother, Yoshie Suzuki, 78, in August last year.
Oct 25Wild boar put down after biting 5 people in Hiroshima (Mainichi)
A wild boar bit and injured five people here on Oct. 24 before residents preparing for a festival captured the animal using a ladder and wooden mallet, local officials said. The boar, a female measuring about 105 centimeters in length, was put down after the attacks early on Oct. 24. Officials from the Asakita Ward Office in Hiroshima said the boar attacked three people in the parking lot of a camera store in a residential area, then headed along a road near a park about 1 kilometer away, where it bit a man and a woman.
Oct 25Fire truck joyride leads to arrest of Ibaraki resident (Mainichi)
A man who stole a fire truck and drove it around, saying it was "cool" has been arrested, law enforcers said. Tomohiro Sasaki, 46, a resident of Sakuragawa, Ibaraki Prefecture, was arrested on suspicion of theft. "It was cool so I wanted to take it for a ride," law enforcers quoted the 46-year-old as saying. Police accuse Sasaki of stealing the pumper truck from a local fire department shed at about 1 a.m. on Oct. 24.
Oct 25Bae Yong-joon wins photo lawsuit in Japan (Korea Herald)
Korea's Hallyu megastar Bae Yong-joon won a lawsuit over a Japanese publisher who used a picture of him without permission, the Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, quoting Japan's Jiji Press. Bae claimed in the suit filed to Tokyo district court that the July 2008 edition of "It's KOREAL," a monthly magazine run by Okura Publishing Co., ran photos of him without his authorization. He sought 4.4 million yen (about $54,000) in compensation.
Oct 25North Korean defectors ran brothel in Tokyo (Japan Probe)
After defecting from North Korea, all 10 women entered a facility in South Korea that helps defectors settle in that nation, and all obtained status as South Korean nationals, according to the police. However, the women found it hard to find work in South Korea. One was quoted by the police as saying: "We defected from North Korea because our lives there were difficult, but our lives didn't improve in South Korea. In Japan, we earned a lot, partly thanks to the strong yen." The deported woman made profits of about 35 million yen at her salon between its opening and April this year.
Oct 25A Culinary Trip to Japan, Part 3 The Southern Island, Kyushu and Fukuoka(canada.com)
From Kyoto, I take the Shinkensen some 3 hours to Hakata Station in Fukuoka and meet Yasuhiro Aosa who is with the Department of Agriculture for Fukuoka Prefacture on the island of Kyushu. I have been invited to this lush southern island to see some of the important crops that are produced from one of the country's most important agricultural areas. I'm taken first to Koga Chagyo, a high quality tea company started by the Koga family some 75 years ago. I'm shown how the delicate leaves are steamed (keeping their bright green colour for their prized Matcha tea), tumbled dried in huge hot drums, then sorted (leaves and stems) and sorted again (sorting quality of leaves), and finally packaged depending on the variety, size and type of bag (from small consumer packs to large commercial bags (like what a Starbucks would use!).
Oct 25New movie depicts famous samurai ambush assassination of top gov't official (Mainichi)
A famous ambush assassination of a high-ranking government official in Japan's late samurai period has been adapted into Junya Sato's new movie "Sakuradamongai no Hen" (The Sakuradamon Incident). The film carefully depicts the country's upheaval at the end of the samurai era from the view point of the assassins, making it easier for everyone to understand the historic background of the incident. The climax of the movie is the assassination of Naosuke Ii (starring Masato Ibu), the chief minister of the Edo shogunate government, by a group of 18 samurais on a snowy day 150 years ago.
Oct 25Journalist ordered to turn over tape (Japan Times)
The Kobe District Court has ordered a well-known journalist to turn over a taped interview with a senior Foreign Ministry official as evidence in a lawsuit over remarks he made on TV stating that the ministry knows the people on its list of potential abductees taken by North Korea must already be dead, litigation sources said Sunday. Journalist Soichiro Tahara will appeal to the Osaka High Court, arguing that he should be allowed to keep his news source confidential, the sources said.
Oct 24Mother arrested for leaving sick daughter unattended(AP)
A 44-year-old woman was arrested Sunday on suspicion of leaving her sick daughter unattended that eventually led to her death, police said. The 17-year-old daughter of Tokie Ogushi became bedridden due to a serious infectious disease since February at their home in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture. Ogushi allegedly neglected her without treatment that led to her death around March 16, according to the investigation.
Oct 24TIFF opens with 'The Social Network,' offers peek at 'Tron: Legacy' (Tokyo Reporter)
An estimated 3,200 film fans gathered on Saturday in the Roppongi entertainment district of Tokyo for the opening night of the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival, which will feature 15 films in its main competition. Biz luminaries strode along the ceremonial "green carpet" - a symbol of the fest's ecological theme - laid upon Keyakizaka-dori at the Roppongi Hills complex in Minato Ward as the assembled crowd snapped photos and sought autographs. Kicking off the event was helmer David Fincher's "The Social Network," which stars Jesse Eisenberg and tells story of Mark Zuckerberg's founding of the immensely popular social-working site Facebook.
Oct 24Tokyo Int'l Film Festival opens with 'green carpet' appearances (AP)
The 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival kicked off Saturday, as actors and directors from around the globe showed up on the "green carpet" laid down in the capital's Roppongi district. French actress Catherine Deneuve and Japan's Maki Horikita were among some 300 movie celebrities and industry officials walking on the carpet made from an estimated 23,000 recycled plastic bottles, representing "ecology," the event's theme for the third straight year, at the opening of the nine-day event. The festival will screen about 200 films from around the world at the Roppongi Hills complex in Minato Ward and other venues in Tokyo.
Oct 24Louis XIV descendant sues over Japan pop art at Versailles (AFP)
A Palace of Versailles defence group and a descendant of the man who had it built, Louis XIV, are seeking an injunction against works by Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami being shown there. "It's about translating into judicial terms the debate and opposition that have been raised by exposing Murakami works," Arnaud Upinsky, president of the Versailles Defence Coordination, said of the show that opened September 14. The 48-year-old Japanese artist's hugely popular work evokes the look of "manga" comic books, depicting often giant characters in multi-coloured metal, fibreglass and acrylic, currently set against the palace's rococo splendour.
Oct 24Still a closed country? (Japan Times)
At the end of September a first group of 18 refugees from Myanmar arrived in Japan as part of a commendable government initiative to take in roughly 90 such immigrants over the next three years. These members of the Karen ethnic group have been living for many years in a refugee camp in Thailand after escaping persecution in Myanmar. How will they be received in Japan? Current plans call for a six-month period of orientation into daily life and Japanese-language study, and then placement into Japanese society where the refugees will fend for themselves in finding jobs and places to live.
Oct 24Gropers are not to be laughed off (Japan Times)
Regarding the Oct. 15 Kyodo article "89% of train groping victims don't notify police": In the United Kingdom this would be taken more seriously. The gropers would be arrested for sexual assault and, if guilty, would receive a prison sentence and be put on the sex offenders' list. These men aren't just sad cases groping women for a laugh; they are perverts. Groping one day can lead to more serious sexual assaults, so these people must be arrested and locked away. Women-only carriages on trains help, but Japanese women need to be able to feel safe, and not have to worry about hands on their bodies from a sick pervert standing behind them.
Oct 24Savoring the joys of Ainu hospitality(Japan Times)
This is a story of two very different halves. But I'm getting ahead of myself; let's start at the beginning. On first glance, Nibutani looks like any other rural Japanese village. Modest and unassuming, it straddles the two-lane Hidaka National Highway that criss- crosses the broad Saru River in Biratori Town, a couple of hours from Sapporo and close to Hokkaido's southwest coast. Though seemingly little more than a jumble of prefab houses, closer inspection reveals several woodcraft shops, a stonemasonry, a brace of museums - and even some thatched houses.
Oct 24Can we fix Japan's moral morass? (Japan Times)
It was in the early '90s that a sociologist coined a term that was instantly seized and spread by the media - "parasite singles": grown children living off their parents, largely because a corporate hiring freeze froze a large chunk of an entire generation out of steady full-time employment. It froze many of them out of marriage too. Raising a family costs money. The "parasite" trend mushroomed. In 2003, according to a Cabinet Office survey, 1.91 million "children" aged 35-44 were living with their parents. Shocking at the time, it seems positively benign now. The 2009 figure is 2.8 million. As parents age and retire, what becomes of the growing ranks of dependent adult children? They follow their own course of development, from parasite singles into what is lately being called "pension parasites."

By JS on Nov 4, 2010

tag : Japanese Society



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