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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Yamaya Imported Goods

やまや

Yamaya is a nationwide chain of stores specializing in imported wines, beers and foodstuffs.

Yamaya Imported Goods, Kyoto

Yamaya also stocks a range of Japanese craft beers along with its imported brands.

Most big cities in Japan will have a Yamada store, visit their website below to find a branch near you.

Yamaya

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Workman

ワークマン

Workman is a nationwide chain of stores in Japan selling everything for manual laborers, especially those employed in Japan's massive construction industry.

Workman Store, Nisshin, Aichi


Goods on sale include a huge variety of tabi boots and tabi socks, haramaki, uniforms, safety helmets, tools, guntai work gloves and those great Japanese torches that look like lightsabers from Star Wars.

Tabi boots from Japan at GoodsFromJapan

Workman
Stores are open from 7am-8pm.

If you wish to purchase anything from Workman, after checking their catalog from the "Workman" link above, to send overseas please contact us at GoodsFromJapan.com

We would love to be of service.

Workman sign


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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Yutorito Line Nagoya

ゆとりーとライン

The Yutorito Line or officially the Guideway Bus Shidami Line, in the north-east of Nagoya, is a guided bus route running on a 6.5km viaduct in downtown Nagoya later becoming a normal bus near Ryusenji Temple and Obata Ryokuchi Koen.

Yutorito Line bus Nagoya

The Yutorito Line bus runs from Ozone, Nagoya Dome or Sunabashi stations all on the Meijo Line of the Nagoya subway and ends at Kozoji. The line is a joint operation between Nagoya Guideway Bus, which operates the viaduct and stations and Nagoya Municipal Bus.

Yutorito Line bus, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan


The fare for the elevated section out to Obata Ryokuchi is 240 yen.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Nameless Theatre presents Treasure Island

ネームレス・シアターからの宝島


 This October, prepare for an invasion of pirates, plunder and mayhem as Nameless Theatre brings a theatrical adaptation of Robert Lewis Stevenson's Treasure Island to Nagoya .

Following the hugely successful run of Romeo and Juliet in May, this beloved adventure story will be staged at the Electric Cultural Center in Fushimi, Nagoya, from October 11th to 13th.

Treasure Island will bring together a large volunteer team of actors, artists and stage technicians to create a truly collaborative international arts event.


Mixing swashbuckling action with themes of friendship, loyalty and coming-of-age, Treasure Island is as immensely popular now as when it was first published in 1883. Its global popularity led to a thrilling live adaptation for the stage in 2007 by playwright Ken Ludwig. Described as "a delightful surprise" by The Independent, and "streamlined and exciting entertainment" by Variety, this family orientated adventure is a new direction for Nameless Theatre, a company best known for its love of Shakespeare.

"Treasure Island certainly isn't as dark as our previous productions of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet,” says Artistic Director Carl Bradley. “But I think the themes in the play will resonate with the audience just as strongly. It's an exciting, fast paced show, but it also has a lot of depth and some unexpectedly emotional moments. In this way I think it will really appeal to audiences both young and old. We have assembled a terrific team comprised of members from all over the world including Japan, Brazil, England and Australia. I think we've created a vibrant, multicultural environment for this show that is incredibly unique. It's going to be a really exciting production."


That large cast features many familiar faces from Nagoya's community theatre scene, such as Jessica A Robison, Ritchie Croan and Louise Kawai. Returning to the stage from their debut performances in Romeo and Juliet will be community leaders Harry Sullivan and Matthew Fraser.


Performances:
Friday, October 11th, at 6:30pm
Saturday, October 12th, at 2pm and 6:30pm
Sunday, October 13th, at 2pm and 6pm

Venue:
Electric Cultural Center, Fushimi, Nagoya
Google Map to Electric Cultural Center Fushimi

Tickets (on sale now)
General admission tickets are ¥4,000 in advance (¥4,500 at the door), and student tickets are ¥3,000 (¥3,500 at the door).

Tickets are available online at namelesstheatre.org, by purchasing directly through cast and crew, or at the Aichi Arts Center Playguide in B2 of the Aichi Arts Center in Sakae.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Japan News This Week August 25 2013

今週の日本

Japan News. Ex-Prime Minister Fukuda urges Japan, S. Korea to quell nationalism
The Asahi Shimbun


Tepco radioactive flow raises alarm over seafood safety

The Japan Times


Japan's New Military Buildup Seen as Response to North Korea, China

Yahoo News


Japanese animator under fire for film tribute to warplane designer

The Guardian


Fukushima inspectors 'careless', Japan agency says, as nuclear crisis grows

Reuters


Fukushima leak is 'much worse than we were led to believe'

The BBC


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Statistics

400 millimeters of rain fell on Shimane Prefecture on Saturday breaking all previous records for the prefecture.

Japan Meteorological Agency

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Kumamoto JR Station

熊本駅

Kumamoto JR station in the Nishi-ku area of the city is the main point of rail access into the city. The Kumamoto Loop Bus and the tram stops outside Kumamoto Station and there are buses to Kumamoto Airport.

Kumamoto JR Station, Kyushu, Japan


Kumamoto Station is on both the Kyushu Shinkansen from Hakata Station to Kagoshima and the Kagoshima Main Line from Kagoshima to Mojiko in Kitakyushu. Kumamoto Station is also a terminal station of the Hohi Main Line, which connects Kumamoto with Oita along the east coast of Kyushu.

Kumamoto Station has East & West exits. There are car hire outlets and a number of hotels around Kumamoto Station including the Kumamoto Station Hotel, the JR Kyushu Hotel Kumamoto and the Hotel New Otani Kumamoto.

Kumamoto Station
3-15-1, Kasuga
Nishi-ku
860-0047
Tel: 096 352 3743
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kumamoto Loop Bus

The Kumamoto Castle Loop bus, Shiromegurin, starts from Kumamoto JR station and then heads to the castle where it does a loop around the extensive grounds before heading downtown and then back to the station.

Kumamoto Loop Bus, Kyushu, Japan


Many of the most popular tourist sites in the central area are reachable by it. It stops at the Kotsu bus station, Kumamoto Castle parking area, the Children's Culture Center, the Prefectural Art Museum, the Municipal Museum, Hosokawa Residence, Traditional Crafts Center, and the Art Museum Chibajo Annex. Downtown it stops near the Contemporary Art Museum and Lafcadio Hearn House.

A single ride is 130 yen for adults and 70 yen for children. A one day pass is 300 yen and 150 yen.

If you plan on going further afield there is a new city-wide public transport pass at 500 yen for one day or 800 yen for 2 days.

The 2 days do not have to be consecutive. This pass covers all the trams in Kumamoto as well as all the city buses including the Shiromegurin and also JR trains within the prescribed area.

The Kumamoto Port Shuttle Bus in not included in the pass, though if you take a regular bus to the port the pass covers part of the fare.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Pink Cow restaurant: California in Roppongi

ザ・ピンク・カウ



The Pink Cow is a restaurant in Roppongi that has been a feature of Tokyo's main nightlife district for over a decade. And in an area where places come and go very quickly, ten years is very respectable.

Housed in spacious premises just below street level - and with open access to street level, the Pink Cow has occupied several spots in Roppongi over its history, only enhancing its legendary status as a stayer.



The Pink Cow is owned by a native of California, and offers that California vibe blending  the chilled and the exuberant in a casual atmosphere of openness and hospitality.

I was at the Pink Cow with friends last Friday, and took in a stageshow of elegant and ebullient Peruvian dance by a charming couple: a younger man with an older woman, over a delicious meal prepared by the Pink Cow's chef, who has five-star hotel experience - and for no more than 2,000 yen per person.

I didn't have any, but the Pink Cow even accepts Bitcoins! How California is that?


The Pink Cow has a variety of different theme events, meals and happy hours that can be checked out, along with its location, on the Pink Cow website.




Pink Cow hours: 5pm-late; last food order at 10:30pm
but with lunch 11:30am-3:30pm on Wed, Thu, Fri only (and special occasions)

5-5-1 Roppongi
Roi Bulding B1F
Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shimabara Ferry

島原ー熊本フェリー

Shimabara with its castle and old samurai district, buke yashiki, is easily accessible on a day trip from Kumamoto city, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.

Kumamoto Ferry Port


Kumamoto Port is located about 12km from Kumamoto Station and is reachable by a shuttle bus that starts from the Kotsu Bus terminal, making one stop in front of Kumamoto Station and then non stop to the port.

The bus fare is 480 yen. There are more frequent regular city buses that go to the port but take 5 minutes longer..


There are two ferries running across to Shimabara from Kumamoto Port, the Ocean Arrow takes 30 minutes and costs 800 yen one way with a slight reduction if you buy a return ticket, and the slower Kyusho Ferry taking one hour and costing 680 yen one way.

Kumamoto-Shimabara Ferry Kyushu


This ferry in the video makes the short crossing from Kumamoto to Shimabara and back in Kyushu. The crossing takes one hour on the cheaper, slower boat run by Kyusho Ferry (Tel: 096 329 6111) or 30 minutes on the more expensive quicker boat operated by Kumamoto Ferry (Tel: 0957 63 8008).

Kumamoto-Shimabara Ferry Kyushu Japan


Shimabara Port is about 3 kilometers from Shimabara Castle. There are a few buses that go to the castle, but more frequent buses go to the station which is a 10 minute walk from the castle. 5 minutes from the port is a station of the Shimabara Line which connects to Shimabara Station.

Shimabara Port, Kumamoto-Shimabara Ferry


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Monday, August 19, 2013

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto

Magic Art Museum: Light Art is Fun for Everyone is the title of the exhibition currently showing at the Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto (CAMK) in Kumamoto city.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto

 If your idea of an art gallery is one of hushed awe and meditative absorption of aesthetics then you would be in for a surprise as the atmosphere is more akin to a fairground with flashing lights and running kids.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto


As the title suggests, all the artwork involve light and almost all of them are kinetic, interactive, or both, with the artworks reacting in sometimes surprising ways to the viewers presence, movement, and touch.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto


The show is a lot of fun, and not just for kids, there was quite a line of adults waiting to participate in the piece by Daito Manabe & Satoru Higa:- you sit down on a chair and on the wall in front of you is projected your video image, a computer then “paints” on your face in a mask-like, graffiti, cartoon style.... wave your hand in front of your face and a new design appears.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto


Fortunately there is an attendant on hand to make sure you only spend a minute or two and don't hold up those waiting.

Other artists include Hisato Ogata, Tomohiro Akagawa, Ryota Kuwakubo, Taro Suzuki, plaplax, Hiroyuki Moriwaki and Kazuna Miyamoto. The show runs until September 8th and the last week of the show when kids are back in school is likely to be a little quieter.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto


Entrance is 1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for older children, and 300 yen for younger kids. Open from 10 to 8, closed on Tuesdays and over the new year period.

 Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto is located on the second floor of a commercial building on the north side of the main street that runs west from the castle between Tori-cho Suji and Sudoucho tram stops.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto


Entrance is free although special exhibitions have an entry fee. As well as galleries there is a tea room, shop, children's studio and workshop and a rather fine library.

The library and foyer include light-based artworks including one by American James Turrell.

Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto (CAMK)
2-3 Kamitori-cho, Chuo-ku
Kumamoto City
860-0845
Tel: 96 278 7500

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Japan News This Week August 18 2013

今週の日本

Japan News. PM Abe makes no mention of Asia's Pacific War dead in memorial speech
The Asahi Shimbun


Woman dies following Kyoto fireworks festival disaster

The Japan Times


Japanese nationalists sail close to islands in dispute with China

Yahoo News


Japan's economic growth slower than expected

The Guardian


Japan July exports expected to jump on weak yen

Reuters


Schools remove famed manga due to ‘brutal’ portrayal of Japanese troops

The Asahi Shimbun


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Statistics

In the second quarter of this year, April-June 2013, while overall average income of Japanese workers' households rose 0.9% year-on-year, expenditures rose 1.3%.

Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Yui Rail Naha

沖縄都市モノレール

Unlike the Japanese main islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku, Okinawa has no rail network. Naha, the prefectural capital of Okinawa does have the Yui Rail (ゆいレール) a monorail system, which runs 13km through 15 stations from Naha Airport to Shuri, near Shuri Castle.

Yui Rail Naha Okinawa Ryukyu Japan


The Yui Rail opened in 2003 and the whole network can be ridden in less than 30 minutes. A single ticket costs 290 yen.
The elevated track is raised from 8 to 20 meters above ground with trains traveling at a top speed of 65 km per hour. The route will be expanded from Shuri Station to Uranishi by 2019.

Stations on the Yui rail route are: Naha-kuko, Akamine, Oroku, Onoyama-koen, Tsubogawa, Asahibashi, Kencho-mae, Miebashi, Makishi, Asato Omoromachi, Furujima, Shiritsu-byoin-mae, Gibo and Shuri.

Yui Rail Naha Okinawa Ryukyu Japan


Asahibashi Station and Makishi Station are the nearest stops to Kokusai Dori, Naha's main drag. Shuri is a 20 minute walk from Shuri Castle.

One-day (600 yen) and two-day passes (1000 yen) are available with discounts on admission to various attractions in Naha, including Shikinaen Garden, the Prefectural Museum, the Former Navy Underground Headquarters, Shuri Castle and the Tamaudun Mausoleum.

Yui Rail Naha Okinawa Ryukyu Japan


Naha is also served by an extensive bus network radiating out from Naha bus station at Asahibashi Station on Kokusai Dori. The flat fare is 220 yen.

Yui Rail
Naha Airport Station
Tel: 098 859 6601


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hotel New Tamaya

Hotel New Tamaya, Usuki, Oita Prefecture

The New Tamaya is no longer so new, and the décor may be somewhat faded, but it is perfectly clean and very convenient. It is located just 50 meters from JR Usuki Station, and a ten minute walk from the ferry port or the castle park.

Hotel New Tamaya, Usuki, Oita Prefecture, Japan


There is a convenience store nearby. There are a variety of room sizes including both western-style and tatami/Japanese style and a restaurant, so an assortment of meal plans are available. Prices start from just 3,500 yen.

I paid 4,300 yen and for that I got a western-style room with en-suite bathroom, TV, fridge, kettle, and internet access.

Around the lobby there are several hand written notices in English so the hotel is trying to be foreigner-friendly.

Oaza Kaizoe, Usuki, Oita Prefecture 875-0042, Japan
Tel: 0972 63 2898 2573-24

View, Hotel New Tamaya, Usuki, Oita Prefecture


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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Walk Around Kyushu Day 14 Usuki

A Walk Around Kyushu Day 14, Saturday February 23rd Around Usuki

Today is just going to be a half day as I am finishing this leg of my walk and heading home by train at lunchtime. I just have one temple to visit, Kozanji, up on the mountain overlooking Usuki, and as it is once again a beautiful sunny day I've worked out a circular route that will take me to the temple and back to the station via almost all of the tourist attractions and shrines that Usuki has to offer.

I head first to the ruins of Usuki Castle. This was the domain of the Otomo, and the daimyo was a Christian and so the town was a busy cosmopolitan port with trade ships from Portugal and China.

It was here in Usuki in 1600 that the first Dutch ship landed in Japan, carrying the Englishman William Adams. I climb up to the castle through a tunnel of vermilion torii, to the Inari Shrine.

There is another shrine in the castle grounds, but, like most castle ruins in Japan, little else remains except a view over the town. Next stop was the Inaba Residence, though it doesn't open until 8.30am so I have a little wait.

The Inaba were the rulers of the area in the Edo Period. In the Meiji Period they moved to Tokyo but built this villa as their second home. It was worth the wait. Though it is quite modern it is built traditionally and it has nice grounds. Lots of good photos with the early morning light especially as I beat the tourist buses.

Tatami, Usuki temple, Kyushu, Japan


I continue heading west, visiting a couple more shrines and temples until I reach the river and then head upstream until I cross the railway line which encloses the town. It's a narrow, shady mountain road up to the temple and it's nice to be in the quiet again.

I am glad also that I don't have my heavy pack with me. The temple itself is quite pleasant, set in an opening in the forest. Outcroppings of exposed rock around the temple buildings are covered in statues wearing vermilion bibs.

Vermilion bibs, Usuki temple, Kyushu, Japan


Heading downhill is always more pleasant than up!..... I get back to the town and on my way to the station I go via the Nioza Historical Street, an old stone road lined with Edo Period temples and buildings.

Apparently this is the centerpiece of Usuki's tourist attractions but I find it disappointing. Tsuwano, Omori, Kitsuki, are all far more interesting.

So ends this second leg of my walk. In the past 6 days I've walked across most of Oita Prefecture and really enjoyed it. A rough estimate is I have covered 370 kilometers, though with all the side trips I make its probably more. On my next leg in March I hope to cross most of Miyazaki.

Jake Davies

A Walk Around Kyushu 13

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Obon Festival 2013



Matsuri stalls at bonodori The annual Obon period in August sees a mass exodus from Japan's towns and cities as people return to their hometowns to gather with their relatives.

Offices, universities and other businesses in Japan often shut during the Obon period.

At Obon (Festival of Souls), the dead, the ancestors, are honored. Family graves are spruced up and many communities hold the Obon dance known as Bon Odori - sometimes massive festivals such as the Awa Odori in Tokushima.

The Obon holidays this year will run from August 13-15 with some companies remaining closed to the 16th or reopening on the 18th.

Local kagura group at Obon


 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Awa Odori Tokushima 2013

阿波踊り

The Awa Odori Festival in Tokushima is another huge August dance festival held in Shikoku and is another major festival this month along with Aomori's Nebuta and the Neputa matsuri in Hirosaki.

The Awa Odori takes place over the Obon period of August 12-15 and is marked by mass ranks (ren) of dancers, dancing through the streets of the city accompanied by music from drums, flutes, shamisen and bells. The festival dates back to 1587 and the completion of Tokushima Castle, when residents of the town were rewarded with free sake doled out by feudal lord Hachisuka Iemasa (1558-1638) and danced with an unsteady gait through the streets.

Awa Odori, Tokushima
A particular verse associated with Awa Odori is: Odoru aho ni, Miru ahou Onaji aho nara, Odorana son, son ("The dancing fool and the watching fool are both foolish. So why not get up and dance?").

There are dances during the day called nagashi and more lively dances at night known as zomeki.

The Awa Odori dance steps are fixed and vary for the two sexes. A visit to the Awa Odori Kaikan (Tel: 611 1611) in Tokushima will fill the visitor in on all he or she needs to know about the dance as well as the steps for each dance.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Japan News This Week 11 August 2013

今週の日本

Japan News. Japan Stepping In to Help Clean Up Atomic Plant

New York Times

Japan marks 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki

BBC

Toxic Fukushima fallout threatens fishermen's livelihoods

Guardian

6,721 teachers across Japan used corporal punishment

Japan Times

Japan’s Remedial Language Education and Citizenship: The Second Language Classroom as an Ethnic Project

Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News

Statistics

Japan's debt has hit the 1 quadrillion yen mark. According to the Finance Ministry, government debt is now 1.01 quadrillion yen, which is an increase of 17.03 trillion over the amount three months earlier. That translates as 7.92 million yen (USD$ 79,200) per person.

Source: Yomiuri Shinbun

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer Sonic Festival 2013

This year's Summer Sonic Rock Festival begins today.

Summer Sonic Festival 2013 Japan


Summer Sonic 2013 takes place from August 10-11 Saturday and Sunday in Tokyo and Osaka and will feature acts including Metallica, Linkin Park, Cyndi Lauper, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stereophonics, Beady Eye featuring Liam Gallagher, Muse, The Pillows and The Black Horn. Sonic Mania kicked off at Makuhari Messe yesterday.

The Tokyo venue is Makuhari Messe and QVC Marine Field (Kaihin-Makuhari Station on the Keiyo Line), while the Osaka leg of the festival is held at Maishima Summer Sonic (Cosmo Square Station; then shuttle bus).

Full details and ticket prices can be found on the Summer Sonic website. Tickets have sold out for the Tokyo leg but are available in Osaka where a 1 day ticket is 13,000 yen and a 2 day ticket is 23,000 yen.

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Friday, August 09, 2013

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Anniversary 2013

長崎, 原子爆弾

Nagasaki Peace Memorial

Today, August 9th is the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, the second city in Japan after Hiroshima, three days earlier to be devastated by a nuclear bomb dropped by the American Air Force.

The intended target was Kitakyushu to the north of Nagasaki but the target was changed due to prevailing cloud cover.

The day will be marked by solemn memorial services in the port city on the western coast of Kyushu, including an annual address by the Mayor of Nagasaki as he delivers a Peace Declaration to the World. Last year US Ambassador John Roos was in attendance as well as representatives from over 40 nations.

A prayer is held at 11.02am, the exact time of the bombing and the mayor of Nasgasaki will repeat his pleas for a nuclear-free Japan.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Hiroshima Atom Bomb Anniversary 2013

広島

The atomic dome in HiroshimaToday, August 6th is the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and two years on from Japan's latest, on-going nuclear disaster in Fukushima on March 11, 2011.

Ceremonies take place in Hiroshima Peace Park as usual and throughout Japan to remember the approximately 140,000 victims of Japan's first but not only nuclear disaster.

The attack on Nagasaki occurred three days later on 9th August, 1945. Around 50,000 people are expected to attend the event in Hiroshima. Former US Ambassador John Roos was the first US Ambassador to attend the event in 2010.


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Monday, August 05, 2013

Sawari Daikoku - a Japanese god you touch

 さわり大黒

Sawari Daikoku (Touching Daikoku) by Masayuki Nagare, Marunouchi Tokyo.

 On the side of Eitai-dori Street in Tokyo's Marunouchi central business district is a shiny black modern statue of the Japanese Shinto deity, Daikoku god of wealth. This statue is known as Sawari Daikoku, or "Touching Daikoku" after the tradition of touching a statue of Daikoku in order to become rich.

Sawari Daikoku was carved in 1973 by the self-taught sculptor Masayuki Nagare (born 1923). Nagare was born in Nagasaki prefecture, entered the literature department of Tokyo's Ritsumeikan University in 1942, but dropped out. At the end of the war, in 1945, he had been drafted into the army and was the pilot of a Zero fighter.

Following the end of the war, Nagare traveled the world, and taught himself to sculpt.

Sawari Side view of Sawari Daikoku (Touching Daikoku) by Masayuki Nagare, Marunouchi Tokyo.

The "Touching Daikoku" can be seen in front of the Marunouchi Eiraku Building, near Otemachi-ekimae intersection. The statue's patches of extraordinary gloss are from forty years of being stroked by hands eager for more.


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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Japan News This Week 4 August 2013

今週の日本

Japan News. In Okinawa, Talk of Break From Japan Turns Serious

New York Times

Toyota raises annual profit forecast

BBC

Japan should follow Nazi route on revising constitution, minister says

Guardian

Nagoya commuters get their cycle on

Japan Times

Abe, Big Data and Bad Dreams: Japan’s ICT Future?

Japan Focus

'Abenomics' Serving Up The Same Old Medicine In Japan?

NPR

Last Week's Japan News

Statistics

Almost thirty percent of Japanese firms have females executives. 23% moreover allow employees to take child care leave until the child is three years old.

According to a Keidenran poll, including external directors, 107 companies (30.7%) have at least one female executive
.
Source: Yomiuri Shinbun

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Friday, August 02, 2013

Hirosaki Neputa Festival 2013

ねぷた祭り

Hirosaki hosts its Neputa Festival while the similar Nebuta Festival takes place in nearby Aomori city.

Hirosaki Neputa drum


Hirosaki's Neputa Festival features a nightly procession of around sixty illuminated lantern floats featuring legendary stories depicted in the design of the fan-shaped floats, accompanied by traditional drum and flute music and dancing.

There are two courses for the floats: the Dotemachi and Ekimae Course. Dotemachi is a 15-20 minute walk from Hirosaki Station while the Ekimae Course is right at the station.

Hirosaki Neputa, Aomori


Neputa float, Hirosaki

The Neputa matsuri in Hirosaki runs from August 1-7 annually.

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Aomori Nebuta Festival 2013

ねぶた祭り

The 2013 Aomori Nebuta matsuri takes place this year in Aomori from August 1 until August 7.

The festival eve starts at 6pm on August 1 and lasts until 9pm. There is a special stage at Aoi Umi Park and fireworks at Asamushi Spa.

Nebuta Festival


From August 2-6 are night time parades of the incredible illuminated floats from 7pm-9pm with the concluding day time parade on August 7 from 1-3pm. 20-30 floats participate according to the day.

The festival concludes with a boat parade in Aomori Bay when seven floats are loaded on to boats and a massive fireworks display from 7-9pm.

Nebuta Festival, Aomori, Tohoku


The nebuta floats are large wire frames (previously they were constructed from bamboo) covered with Japanese washi paper, which have been beautifully painted. The images depicted range from fierce samurai warriors, historical figures and sometimes more contemporary icons. The floats are illuminated from within by light bulbs which have replaced the previously used candles, which were a fire hazard.

Nebuta Festival, Aomori, Japan
.

Prizes are awarded to the best floats and onlookers are encouraged to purchase or hire a haneto costume and join in the chayashi dances.


Nebuta Festival Official Site

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