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'Yamato' film draws Japanese men in 30s, 40s

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Jan 01'Yamato' film draws Japanese men in 30s, 40s
An action film adapted from the popular anime TV series "Space Battleship Yamato" has proved a hit in Japan, drawing more than 2 million viewers since its release on Dec. 1, especially men in their 30s and 40s who were attracted by the original story in their youth. The film, starring Tsutomu Yamazaki, Takuya Kimura and Meisa Kuroki, topped the box office rankings in its first week and remained in the top five slots later in the month, according to Kogyo Tsushinsha, adding it has taken 2.5 billion yen in revenues. (AP )
Jan 01Housewives' traditional December fling makes existence bearable the rest of the year
"This year, I and some other housewives in our neighborhood embarked on our customary annual trip together. But we have a secret. Its purpose is actually to vent our lustful urges." Thus begins yet another erotic amateur contribution from the pages of women's soft porn magazine Ai no Taiken Special Deluxe (Dec.) as introduced in Shukan Bunshun (Dec. 23). "This time our destination was Tokyo," the writer continues. "We primmed up and walked into a classy bar. Looking around at the clientele, my eyes made contact with a tall and good-looking young hunk. Talking to him for a while, I was told he was still in his freshman year at his company." (Tokyo Reporter)
Jan 01Snow disrupts traffic over wide areas of Japan on New Year's Eve
Snow caused by low pressure fell over wide areas of Japan on Friday, disrupting air and railway travel as people headed back to their hometowns for New Year's Eve. The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of blizzards and high waves as it forecast strong winds and heavy snow across a wide range of areas, particularly in western and northern Japan. (AP )
Jan 01Your 108 misleading karmas
Happy New Year! Did you visit a temple (or shrine) on the first of January, and ring the bell 108 times, per Japanese tradition? The ringing of the bell represents the 108 bonno - defilements of man. Have you even wondered what exactly the 108 bonno are? Here is a list: Ostentatiousness, grudge, gambling, ingratitude, dipsomania (make that 109 bonno if you don't know what dipsomania is), ambition... (Japan Times)
Jan 01Perfect vacation and perfect aggravation
All good marriages hinge on compromise, no matter what the couples' cultural backgrounds. Remove compromise and the open door of married life soon swings awry. "Ahem . . ." My wife clears her throat. "I prefer a different analogy. One where compromise in marriage is compared to the proper blend of sugar and cream in a cup of rich coffee." "Oh shut up. What do you know?" In response, she can't decide whether to stick out her tongue or tweak my nose. So she compromises and does both. (Japan Times)
Dec 314 in cardiac arrest in avalanche at Tottori ski resort
Four people were found in a state of cardiac arrest Friday after they were caught in an avalanche at a ski resort in the town of Kofu, Tottori Prefecture, local authorities said. The four, members of the patrol staff at the resort, were found buried in snow following the avalanche, which occurred at around 1 p.m. at Okudaisen ski resort, according to officials of the Kofu municipal government and the resort. (AP )
Dec 3148 hours in Tokyo
Futuristic, frustrating and fascinating sum up Tokyo, a city of contrasts where narrow alleys packed with dark, smoky restaurants lie within view of extravagant buildings that would fit into a Batman film. Correspondents with local knowledge help visitors to the Japanese capital get the most out of a short stay. FRIDAY: 6pm - Head to the Yurakucho area, just off the posh Ginza shopping district, for dinner under the raised train tracks of the Yamanote Line, which circles the city. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 312010 top movies: Japan feels a crazy little thing called love
This was the year of love in Japan. Not that there was a sudden rise in the marriage rate (ain't happening), but you could sense a certain savviness about love-related issues that wasn't present before. Evidence: In cinema, 2010 was a bumper year for both Japan-brand and European/American love stories created far from the Hollywood rom-com conveyor belt. Box office sales indicated that people would rather see vehicles less manicured and more unwieldy, light on the reliably rewarding endings but heavy on gritty, unrequited longing. (Japan Times)
Dec 31'Kohaku' gig cements Arashi's star status
Wildly popular boy-band Arashi were in the eye of the storm at rehearsals for NHK's "Kohaku Uta Gassen" ("Red and White Song Battle"), the long-running "competition" that this year pits 22 popular male bands and singers against their female counterparts and will be broadcast live on New Year's Eve from NHK Hall in Tokyo's Shibuya district. (Japan Times)
Dec 30Rush of homeward travelers peaks in Japan
The rush of travelers going to their hometowns in various parts of Japan for the New Year holidays peaked Thursday, with most shinkansen bullet trains and domestic flights fully booked throughout the day. Reserved seats on all bullet trains on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line connecting Tokyo and Osaka were at full capacity all day, while the occupancy rate for nonreserved seats on trains leaving Tokyo was as high as 160 percent, operators said. (AP )
Dec 302 cyclists die after being knocked onto railway crossing by car in Mie
Two people on bicycles died Thursday when they were knocked onto a railway crossing by a car behind them and were hit by an express train in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, police said. One of them was identified as Wang Ding Xiang, a 21-year-old Chinese factory intern in the city, while the other is believed to be a 40-year-old Japanese man also living in Yokkaichi, according to police. They were waiting for the train to pass in front of the crossing when the car, driven by Tetsu Ikeda, a 46-year-old dentist, rear-ended their bicycles, knocking them into the path of the train, police said. (Japan Today )
Dec 30Conceptions of rape, sexism differ
In his Dec. 26 letter, "Statistically Japan does value life," Greg Hutchinson makes the mistake of comparing statistics from the United States and Japan as though their history, culture and tendency toward liberalism were irrelevant. After nearly 20 years here, I have come to believe that problems in Japan should be addressed as problems in Japan. (Japan Times)
Dec 30Man busted at Metro Airport insists heroin was for ailing grandmother
That's what an international airline passenger told federal agents in Detroit this week after getting busted trying to sneak $50,000 worth of heroin into the country, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. Stevan Patong Thao, 53, of Oklahoma was caught transporting two pill bottles containing 490 heroin capsules during a customs inspection at Detroit Metro Airport, where he arrived around noon Sunday from Narita, Japan, the complaint said. His trip started in Laos. He was headed to Oklahoma. (freep.com)
Dec 30A 'brilliant' Shikoku grandmother / Undaunted by farming tragedy, Tokushima woman plunged into new field
The maples behind Tsuneko Hariki's house had turned a deep, deep red by the beginning of December, but it was more than a pretty sight to the 88-year-old great-grandmother. The leaves are her "bread and butter" and the salvation of her small mountain town. "We've already had a frost, so the maples will be finished soon," Hariki said as she cut branches and carried them to a shed on the cold morning. Restaurants and inns use different kinds of vegetation, including maple and bamboo leaves, as decorative garnish called "tsumamono." Kamikatsucho is one of the few areas of the country that specializes in growing plants especially for this purpose. (Yomiuri)
Dec 29Unemployed 30-yr-old man arrested for kidnapping 5-yr-old girl in Chiba
An unemployed man of no fixed address was arrested in Chiba on Tuesday over the kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl. According to police, the man - who has not yet been identified - approached the girl at around 6:40 p.m. on Monday at the entrance to a supermarket in Hanamigawa Ward. The girl's mother was shopping inside. He told her that her older brother had been in a car accident and said that her mother had sent him to pick her up. (Japan Today)
Dec 293 Chinese men indicted for Tokyo burglary face new charges of theft at Sapporo store
Three Chinese men under indictment for burglarizing a Tokyo department store face new charges of stealing around 93 million yen worth of watches and jewelry items from a shop here, law enforcement sources said. Police have decided to serve fresh arrest warrants as soon as next month, accusing the three of burglarizing a jewelry shop in the Marui Imai department store's Sapporo main outlet in Chuo Ward, Sapporo, between the late night of June 23 and the predawn hours of June 24, only about one week before the Tokyo burglary. (Mainichi)
Dec 29Girls' Generation's Korean album hits Japan
K-pop group Girls' Generation's Korean language album, "Hoot," ranked second in Japan's Oricon Chart, Tuesday. Some 61,000 copies were sold there, according to the best known music chart in the neighboring country. Meanwhile the band's new album "Into the World" is due to be released here Thursday. It is a recording of their first solo live concert held in Seoul on Dec. 19 and 20. (Korea Times )
Dec 29Papers sent in airport death of Ghana man
Police have sent papers to prosecutors on 10 immigration officers in connection with the death of a Ghanaian man whom they subdued immediately before his deportation by plane, it was learned Tuesday. Their action to overpower the man when he physically resisted before boarding a plane at Narita Airport may have resulted in his death, the Chiba prefectural police said. (Yomiuri )
Dec 29When it applies to makeup, Tokyo women the most dolled up: Kanebo poll
Women in Tokyo apply makeup more frequently and extensively than women in other Asian cities because how other people see them is considered a vital concern, according to a survey on Asian women's lifestyle by Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. "Tokyo women are distinct for their wish to be stylish and 'kawaii' (cute), for their emphasis on surface qualities, for their awareness of human relationships, and for their concern over how others see them," Kanebo's research arm, Beauty Research Laboratory, said. (Japan Times)
Dec 28The mystery of what foreigners like about Japan
Culturally, Japan continues to carry weight - whether it be through food, fine art or even industrial design and fashion. The mystery for Japan is latching on to what foreigners think is cool about the country, and then turning that coolness into cold hard cash. A Japanese television show polled foreigners and learned that they think the coolest thing about Japan are the country's toilets - ho-hum and "normal" to Japanese people. And Japanese people, on the other hand, might think things like its fireworks or festivals are pretty darn cool, but might find those have less appeal abroad. (Kotaku)
Dec 28Police failed to track whereabouts of 25 percent of released child sex offenders
The places of residence of one in four former inmates, who have completed their prison terms for sexually assaulting children and are subject to police surveillance, were unknown immediately after they were freed, the National Police Agency (NPA) said. The NPA is considering introducing a system under which police officers provide consultations to those who are feared to repeat such crimes. But how to grasp the whereabouts of those who have completed their prison terms will likely be a challenge to the introduction of the system. (Mainichi)
Dec 2827-year-old man indicted for assaulting kabuki actor Ebizo
Prosecutors indicted a 27-year-old man on Tuesday for assaulting kabuki performer Ichikawa Ebizo in Tokyo in late November, an incident that captured wide media attention. Lion Ito is suspected of punching Ebizo in the face in the early morning of Nov 25 at a bar on the 11th floor of a building in Tokyo's Nishiazabu district, inflicting severe injuries including a broken left cheekbone. Ebizo was hospitalized for nearly two weeks following the incident and has since excused himself from kabuki performances. (Japan Today )
Dec 28Saitama woman held for murder after setting fire to husband
A 53-year-old woman has been arrested for murder after dousing her husband with kerosene and setting fire to him at their home in Saitama on Monday. According to police, Kumiko Oki approached her husband Fumio, 60, while he was sleeping around dawn, poured kerosene on him and set fire to him using a lighter. She has also been charged with arson after their 90-square-meter home was razed. (Japan Today )
Dec 28Kabuki going strong, 400 years on
The media frenzy over kabuki star Ichikawa Ebizo's drunken midnight brawl in Tokyo last month may be a testament to how, 400 years after its birth, the genre remains a highly popular form of entertainment integral to Japanese culture. Despite Japan's radical transition from an isolated, feudal nation to a developed industrial democracy, kabuki has managed to successfully cultivate new fans and become the most popular form of traditional dance and drama. (Japan Times)
Dec 28Mind the gap, get over it: Japan hands
Things have changed for the better for foreigners since the old days in Japan. Cries of "Expel the barbarians!" are rare now. The five settlements where foreign residents were required to live in the Meiji Era are a thing of the past. The Ee Ja Nai Ka incidents of the late 1860s - when people danced crazily in the streets shouting "Ee ja nai ka!" ("Isn't it wonderful?") after finding talismans printed with the words "Exterminate the foreigners!" that were said to have fallen from the sky - are unlikely to be repeated. (Japan Times)
Dec 28Japan bakery scores surprise hit with 'edible iPhone'
Fans of Apple's iPhone who just can't get enough of the popular gadget can now travel to Japan to gobble up a tasty cookie modelled on the popular smartphone. A small countryside bakery in western Japan has enjoyed a surprise hit with its "iPhone cookie", a handmade chocolate biscuit decorated with colourful, edible application icons. Green Gables in Tokushima prefecture pioneered the tasty treat in 2008 as a special birthday gift for a customer's husband, said Kumiko Kudo, the 44-year-old owner of the store. (AFP)
Dec 28Comedian Hazama completes Eurasia leg of global marathon
Japanese comedian Kampei Hazama completed the Eurasia leg of his Earth Marathon, a run-and-sail trip around the world, as he arrived Monday in Qingdao, Shandong Province. Hazama, 61, plans to leave Qingdao by yacht by New Year's Day to reach the Japanese city of Fukuoka on Jan. 4 and complete the marathon in Osaka on Jan. 21. He broke the finishing tape in Qingdao with some 100 Japanese residents of the eastern Chinese city cheering for him. (AP )
Dec 28Huge hamburger made in Miyazaki sets Guinness record
A giant hamburger, which was created in the city of Miyazaki last year and weighed 136.2 kilograms, has been certified as the world's largest hamburger on sale by the Guinness Book of World Records, its producer said Monday. The hamburger -- 92 centimeters in diameter, 44 centimeters in height -- was made during a beach event on July 4, 2009, by Phoenix Seagaia Resort, the operator of Seagaia resort facilities in Miyazaki Prefecture. (AP)
Dec 28Japan calls in the 'sushi police'
Japan's sushi industry is to launch a certification campaign for foreign sushi chefs. Similar campaigns to certify authentic sushi overseas have been criticised as an attempt to impose a "sushi police" but the All-Japan Sushi Federation says the latest effort is aimed at promoting hygiene amid concerns about the reputation of its national cuisine. There is a mounting concern among sushi chefs in Japan that, if food poisoning repeatedly occurs in the world because of a lack of proper knowledge and techniques, sushi may get branded as dangerous food. (Herald Sun)
Dec 27Fukushima highway reopened after 33-hr closure amid heavy snow
A highway in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, was reopened Monday morning after being closed for more than 33 hours, with as many as 300 vehicles having been stranded after a large truck lost control and blocked the road amid heavy snowfall. The gridlock was cleared late Sunday night and all people in the stranded vehicles rescued after offices of the transport ministry carried out snow removal operations with help from the Ground Self- Defense Force. (AP )
Dec 27Number of death-row inmates hits record high of 111
There will be 111 death-row inmates in the nation as of the end of the year, a record high since the end of World War II, according to the Justice Ministry. The figure includes nine inmates whose death sentences were confirmed this year, while the number of those who were executed in 2010 stood at two. It is the first time that the number of death-row inmates at the end of the year will top 110, while the previous high was 107 at the end of 2007. (Mainichi)
Dec 27Popularity of bunnies bouncing in Japan on Year of the Rabbit
A sunny weekend in the port city of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture finds a small room packed with young visitors eager to get to the dozen metal cages lined up on a shelf. "Look, it's getting all cozy and drowsy," said a young woman to her husband as they sat on a bench, while a little boy timidly touched the furry little animal in his lap and smiled. Usagi Cafe, or rabbit cafe, located not far from the city's Chinatown district, has been a key attraction in the area since its opening in November. (AP)
Dec 27Old western Japan city drawing young male 'anime' fans
The old scenic city of Takehara in the western Japan prefecture of Hiroshima, which had previously attracted elderly tourists to its streets lined with traditional-style buildings, is now drawing young male fans of the "anime" series "Tamayura" that is based in the city. Anime enthusiasts can now be spotted in the town taking photos of scenes and stores from "Tamayura," which portrays the life of a high school girl who loves taking photos and is directed by Junichi Sato of the "Sailor Moon" series. (AP)
Dec 27Car mounts sidewalk, killing 9-year-old boy and injuring 3 others
A passenger car driven by a 20-year-old man ran onto a sidewalk and hit four pedestrians Sunday night in a Tokyo residential district, leaving one of them, a 9-year-old boy, dead and the other three seriously injured, police said. Tomohiro Miyata was arrested at the scene of the 9:45 p.m. accident in the Denenchofu district in Ota Ward, and has admitted to the allegation of negligent driving resulting in death and injuries, the Metropolitan Police Department said, adding that no alcohol was detected in the driver. (Japan Today )
Dec 27Oh my Bento: A perfect balance of beauty and taste
As a Londoner, my homeland is indeed not famed for the beauty of its cuisine (although, in our defense, no, we don't eat fish and chips every day). The words "lunch box" remind me of school: sliced bread with some ham, a carton of orange juice, and a packet of cheese and onion crisps. Cordon Bleu it is not. Japanese obento inhabit a different world. From ekiben and konbini bento to housewives' daily creations, the nation excels at making exquisite parcels of food. As part of my self-imposed Japan makeover, I decided recently to start making -- not just eating -- obento myself. (Mainichi)
Dec 27Volunteers may join exhumations on Iwoto
The government will likely allow private-sector volunteers to participate in efforts to recover the remains of those killed during the Battle of Iwojima in the final days of World War II, sources said. The entire island, now known as Iwoto, consists of Self-Defense Forces facilities and access to the island is banned, except for special exemptions such as visits by former residents for memorial events and family members of fallen soldiers who participate in the recovery efforts. The recruiting of volunteers to work on the island is effectively a relaxation of access restrictions. (Yomiuri)
Dec 26Japan's sexy izakayas battle deflation
The arrival of a Hooters outlet to Tokyo earlier this year caused many tabloids to associate the move with kurofune, or black ships, a term often used for a non-Japanese person or entity who holds a threatening marketing position, but Shukan Taishu reports that Japan is no slouch when it comes to dining in a sleazy atmosphere. With the economy still in a tailspin, the weekly tabloid explains that it is important to understand that customers are still tight with their spending. "Restaurant businesses in Japan typically provide a wide variety of choices," says a reporter from the economic section of a national newspaper. "But offering good-tasting dishes alone is not enough to attract customers. With deflation ongoing, price competition is very tense, and services need to be designed such that they go beyond what has been in the past." (Tokyo Reporter)
Dec 26CM of the week: Softbank
In their latest spot for the mobile communications provider SoftBank, which will be all over the airwaves this New Year break, all five members of SMAP, dressed in black outfits, are seen emerging from a well-appointed room in a cargo container to the strains of Grand Funk's hard-rock version of Goffin-King's "The Loco- Motion." On the beat, they stride onto a loading dock and step on strategically positioned pedals, thus launching the container high into the air. (Japan Times )
Dec 26The great Meiji bazaar: remodeling Tokyo
When the prime minister, Count Hirobumi Ito, hosted his great masquerade ball in 1885, the venue selected for the occasion was the Rokumeikan in Hibiya, close by the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo. It was really the only choice for such an extravaganza, despite being a somewhat controversial symbol of Westernization in some quarters. Designed by Englishman Josiah Conder (1852-1920) and completed in 1883, the symmetrical brick and masonry facades of the Rokumeikan (Deer-cry Hall) were a fine example of Meiji Era (1868-1912) syncreticism. (Japan Times)
Dec 26Minivan plunges into Fukuoka pond after collision, killing seven
A minivan carrying an infant and eight teenagers collided with a car and fell into a pond in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, late Friday night, killing the infant, five of the teens and the driver of the car, police said Saturday. The infant, a boy around 6 months old, was rescued from the pond but was in a coma and died Saturday afternoon, they said. (Japan Times )
Dec 26Popular octopus dumpling stand finds new home after illegally occupying Osaka road
Popular octopus dumpling stand "Otako," which moved from its spot in the Dotonbori district last week just before the city was set to forcibly move the shop that illegally stood on part of a public road, has reopened just a stone's throw away from its old site. On the morning of Dec. 25, Otako resumed its business in a space that it has rented from a souvenir shop that opened on the same day on the first floor of a building standing some 10 meters away from the stand's previous location, attracting lines of customers. (Mainichi )
Dec 26K-pop girl idols draw young Japanese with Net blitz, boy band boom
Thanks to the Internet and an early fascination with South Korea's boy bands, young Japanese girls and women are shifting in droves to the latest pop idol sensation -- Korean girl groups. Rio Nagasaki, a 15-year-old junior high school student, is among a growing number of fans smitten by South Korean pop music -- dubbed "K-pop" -- performed by artists of about her own age. Since the summer, KARA and Girls' Generation have made forays into the Japanese market. Their singles have ranked in Japan's Oricon music charts, their concerts were jam-packed, and they are being featured in fashion magazines and on TV. (Mainichi)
Dec 26Exploring historic Nagasaki
The gate in front of me once opened to the world. Steps - now long gone - formerly led down from there to a quay in Nagasaki's sheltered harbor where, in centuries past, visiting trading ships tied up. It was here that European mariners - many malnourished and sick from the four-month voyage to the Far East - would unload their provisions and catch their first glimpse of a country that was shrouded in mystery in their homelands. For many, this was all they ever got to see - the small, artificial island of Dejima off the coast of Nagasaki. (Japan Times)
Dec 25Imperial Household Agency announces 10 poems for New Year reading
The Imperial Household Agency has announced the names of 10 people whose poems will be recited at the annual New Year poetry reading at the Imperial Palace on Jan. 14. The 10 poems were chosen from among 20,802 submissions made by the general public, including those in the United States, Brazil, Canada and 23 other countries and regions. Thirty-seven poems were written in Braille. The theme of the 2011 poetry reading is "ha" (leaf). (Mainichi)

By JS on Dec 6, 2010

tag : Japanese Society



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