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Oct 23 2011
river-movie

Acclaimed filmmaker Hiroki Ryuichi (“Keibetsu,” “Yomei Ikkagetsu no Hanayome”) is taking on a challenging subject for his next movie, “RIVER.” It will be the first theatrical film to deal with the 2008 incident known as the “Akihabara massacre,” in which a man drove a truck into a pedestrian crowd and proceeded to stab several people, leaving a total of 7 dead and 10 injured.
The movie stars actress Renbutsu Misako (20) as a young woman named Hikari whose boyfriend Kenji, an electronics otaku, was killed in the incident. Suffering from the …

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Music »

Oct 23 2011
ayaka

Singer Ayaka 23, who went on hiatus in 2009 after being diagnosed with Graves’ disease, has announced that she is launching a new independent label and resuming activities before the end of this year. She has plans for a new release in early 2012, though it is not yet known whether it will be a single or an album.
In April 2009, Ayaka and actor Mizushima Hiro 27 announced that they had married and that Ayaka was suffering from Graves’ disease. She suspended her musical activities at the end of that …

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Books »

Oct 22 2011
murakami

I prepared for my first-ever trip to Japan, this summer, almost entirely by immersing myself in the work of Haruki Murakami. This turned out to be a horrible idea. Under the influence of Murakami, I arrived in Tokyo expecting Barcelona or Paris or Berlin — a cosmopolitan world capital whose straight-talking citizens were fluent not only in English but also in all the nooks and crannies of Western culture: jazz, theater, literature, sitcoms, film noir, opera, rock ’n’ roll. But this, as really anyone else in the world could have …

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Fashion, Only in Japan, Pop Culture »

Oct 22 2011
moe-teeth

AMERICANS are expected to spend nearly $110 billion on dental care in 2012, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, with much of it to straighten, whiten and repair less-than-perfect teeth.
Meanwhile, in Japan, a new fashion has women paying to have their straight teeth purposefully disarranged.A result of tooth-crowding commonly derided in the United States as “snaggleteeth” or “fangs,” the look is called “yaeba” in Japanese or “double tooth.”
Japanese men are said to find this attractive: blogs are devoted to yaeba, celebrities display it proudly, …

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Events, News, Pop Culture, Travel »

Oct 21 2011
audrey-heburn-tussauds

A three-month exhibition organized by London’s Madame Tussauds wax museum opened in Tokyo in late September, featuring life-size figures of celebrities including Hollywood stars.
Madame Tussauds is considering opening a branch museum in Tokyo in two years if the current event through Jan. 4 is successful.
The "Madam Tussauds Tokyo" exhibition at Decks Tokyo Beach commercial complex in the Odaiba waterfront area comprises around 20 waxworks that visitors are free to touch.
Read the rest of the story: Exhibition of Tussauds wax figures opens in Tokyo.

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Business, Only in Japan, Pop Culture »

Oct 16 2011
idol-training

Next month, music producer Tsunku will launch a new idol cafe in Akihabara, known as “Akihabara Backstage Pass.” The shop will be set up at the Akiba Cultures Zone building, about a 3-minute walk away from AKB48’s theater at the Don Quijote building.
The concept behind Akihabara Backstage Pass is that the store’s female employees are aspiring idols and singers, who are nurturing their careers while working at the cafe. Through their interactions with the cafe’s customers, they hope to mature into full-grown idols. With that concept, the cafe is being …

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Business, Events, Life in Japan, News, Opinion, Politics, Pop Culture, Videos from Japan »

Oct 16 2011
occupy-tokyo

The Occupy Wall Street protests spreading across the United States landed in Tokyo on Saturday, as hundreds of people gathered to protest against corporate greed and social inequality.
In addition to decrying the widening wealth gap between the nation’s haves and have-nots, demonstrators spoke out on a variety of unrelated topics ranging from nuclear power to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a free-trade pact promoted by the U.S.
Marching behind a large "Occupy Tokyo" banner, about 300 protesters proceeded to the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co., owner of the radiation-leaking Fukushima No. …

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Fashion, Life in Japan, Pop Culture, Products »

Oct 16 2011
nuke-dog-suit

DOG coats that repel nuclear radiation are in high demand in Japan as the nation seeks to protect its pets in the aftermath of the countrys nuclear disaster.They come in a range of styles and colours, they repel water and radiation — and anxious Japanese are buying them as fast as they can be manufactured.The Japanese spent 1.38 trillion yen $17.9 billion on their pets last year, but the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant has convinced many that dog clothing is a question not just of fashion, but …

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Business, Technology, Video Games, Videos from Japan »

Oct 13 2011
sony-playstation-3-credit-card-hacker-attack

Sony said Wednesday intruders staged a massive attempt to access user accounts on its PlayStation Network and other online entertainment services in the second major attack on its flagship gaming site this year.
The Tokyo-based company temporarily locked about 93,000 accounts whose IDs and passwords were successfully ascertained by the blitz. Sony sent email notifications and password reset procedures to affected customers on the PlayStation Network, Sony Entertainment Network and Sony Online Entertainment services.
Credit card numbers linked to the compromised accounts are not at risk, Sony said. It has "taken steps …

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Fashion, Movies/TV, Pop Culture »

Oct 13 2011
Kiritani-Mirei

The Sports Hochi newspaper reported yesterday that model and actress Kiritani Mirei (21) and actor Kasahara Hideyuki (28) seem to be in a romantic relationship. Sources say that they became close during the summer of last year when they both appeared in the drama series “Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku,” and that they have been dating for about a year now.
Another person close to the couple says that this past summer was tough for the couple, because their filming schedules left them little time together, but they overcame …

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