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Feb 3 2011
arisaka-kurume

Actress Kurume Arisaka (31) got married on Wednesday to a 33-year-old businessman who owns a dining bar, after a year and a half of dating. Her agency announced the happy news, saying that she plans to hold her wedding ceremony in October of this year.
The couple started living together in a Tokyo apartment last November, and the man proposed to her on Christmas when they visited the temple Tanjo-ji in Chiba. Like many others, they decided to register their marriage on February 2 due to it being an auspicious …

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Business, Products, Technology, Video Games »

Feb 2 2011
sony-new-psp

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCE) had a press conference along with the announcements of the "Next Generation Portable (NGP)," a successor to its PlayStation Portable portable game console, and the "PlayStation Suite (PS Suite)" service, Jan 27, 2011, in Tokyo.
"We would like to introduce the new world that the PlayStation is about to realize," SCE President and Group CEO Kazuo Hirai said.
At the conference, he explained the features of and business strategies for the NGP and the PS Suite.
The NGP is a so-called “full-featured” portable game console, which is equipped …

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News, Places in Japan, Places of Interest in Tokyo, Pop Culture, Travel »

Feb 1 2011
pandas

A pair of giant pandas to be leased from China will arrive at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo in February, sources said Saturday.
The giant pandas will be the zoo’s first since Ling-Ling, a male panda, died in April 2008, and follows a deal between the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and China to borrow the popular animals for 10 years.
One of the pandas is a male named Bili, and the other is a female called Xiannu.
Read the rest of the story: Ueno Zoo to get pandas in February.

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Books, News »

Jan 25 2011
Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

A 99-year-old woman writing about love, dreams and hanging on to hope has touched the hearts of Japanese worn out by years of a lagging economy, propelling her self-published poetry book onto bestseller lists.
Toyo Shibata’s success with her first anthology, titled "Don’t be Too Frustrated," is all the more surprising because she only picked up her pen at the age of 92.
"I’m alive to this age thanks to support from my families, friends, care-givers and doctors and am transforming my gratitude into poetry to tell them, ‘Thank you. I’m really …

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Movies/TV, Pop Culture »

Jan 23 2011
Takuya- Kimura

Broadcaster TBS has announced that SMAP’s Takuya Kimura (38) will star in a new drama series next fall, tentatively titled "Nankyoku Tairiku ~Kami no Ryouiki ni Idonda Otoko to Inu no Monogatari~." The show is being produced in commemoration of TBS’s 60th anniversary, and it is said that it will have the biggest budget of any TBS drama series in history.
The series will focus on Japan’s first Antarctic research expedition team, which consisted of 11 members and 19 Sakhalin Huskies. The team stayed at the Showa Base in Antarctica …

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Business, Pop Culture, Products »

Jan 22 2011
ultraman-zero

Interested in a part-time job that pays 2.5 million yen ($30,500) per hour for delivering a pizza to a remote island by plane?
Too good to be true?
Yes and no. While the job offer was right on the money, it was only a one-time deal, or rather, a one-pizza delivery. Job security was clearly not on the menu.
But no one cared about the downside, and thousands applied for the job. And that was the point–the campaign generated massive publicity for the pizza company.
While companies have long employed quirky advertising tactics and …

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Movies/TV, Science, Technology »

Jan 20 2011
Itokawa

Distributor Toei announced its 2011 movie lineup on Wednesday. One of the highlights of the event was the announcement of a film with the working title "Shouwakusei Tansaki Hayabusa: Harukanaru Kikan," based on the space probe Hayabusa that returned to Earth last year.
Launched on May 9, 2003, Hayabusa was an unmanned probe sent to collect samples from the asteroid Itokawa. After traveling 6 billion kilometers over 7 years, Hayabusa successfully returned to Earth on June 13, 2010.
The movie will focus on the probe’s project team and their families. …

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Blue Goals Spot, Music, Science, Thinking Green »

Jan 20 2011
Sting

Sting wants to help save dolphins still being brutally slaughtered in Japan, but says the best way is by starting a debate, not by forcing foreign opinion.
The British music star met backstage at a Tokyo concert hall Wednesday with Ric O’Barry, the star of the "The Cove," the Academy Award-winning documentary that depicts the dolphin hunt in the town of Taiji in southwestern Japan.
The two have been friends since the Sundance Film Festival two years ago, where "The Cove" had its first major showing.
The film, directed by Louie Psihoyos, shows …

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Music, Pop Culture »

Jan 16 2011
akanishi

Jin Akanishi (26) kicked off his Japan tour on Friday with the first of three concerts at the Saitama Super Arena. On the same day, it was revealed at a press conference that he is releasing a solo single in Japan this March, and he plans to release his debut U.S. album this summer.
Akanishi’s single "Eternal," scheduled for March 2, will be his first release since signing a global contract with Warner Music Japan. The single’s B-side will be his song "Murasaki."
Currently, the singer is working on his …

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Events, Movies/TV, News, People in Japan, Pop Culture »

Jan 14 2011
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Actor Shido Nakamura (38) could be headed for another marriage. This week’s issue of FRIDAY reports that he is dating a 27-year-old office worker, and the two were photographed buying a ring. Nakamura personally confirmed in front of reporters last night that he is dating, and the tone of his statements seemed to indicate that the relationship is serious.
Nakamura and actress Yuko Takeuchi (30) married in 2005 and had a child together, but they divorced in 2008.
According to FRIDAY, Nakamura’s girlfriend was a reader model in several fashion …

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