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Japan News

Companies Causing a Wave of Change in Japanese Agriculture

Japanese Farmer Planting Rice

Amid growing concern about food safety and the nation’s low food self-sufficiency ratio, agriculture has recently attracted a lot of attention in Japan. Here we would like to give an overview of the current situation of the nation’s food supply and agriculture, and outline some new trends and future prospects. The increasing interest in agriculture centers around three major issues: the low percentage of food self-sufficiency, the deterioration of farming communities, and food safety concerns.

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• Tuesday June 23, 2009 • Add Comment [1]

Modern Japanese Architecture

Comme de Garçons Shop, Aoyama, Tokyo

After introducing sites about traditional Japanese architecture last week, hereby a list of sites about modern architecture in Japan. Although there are many excellent Japanese architects, it is surprisingly difficult to find good sites in English. For example, even though Tadao Ando is one of Japan’s best known architects at this point in history, his most obvious domains are all taken by cybersquatters.

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• Thursday June 18, 2009 • Add Comment

Harajuku Shoot

Lolita fans

I went shooting again in Tokyo’s Harajuku. The rain limited the opportunities somewhat, but I still found some cool people.

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• Wednesday June 17, 2009 • Add Comment

Japanese Reaction to Flu Was Way Too Sensational

Japanese Businessmen Wearing Masks

I wrote an article about the Japanese reaction to the H1N1 Flu for Dutch media. Hereby an English translation.

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• Saturday June 13, 2009 • Add Comment

Japan Awash in Great Deals on Luxury Hotels

Busena Terrace Beach Resort Okinawa

Now may be a good time to take a trip in Japan. Asahi Shimbun reports that luxury hotels in Japan are slashing prices to fill rooms. For example, an overnight stay at the Peninsula Tokyo can cost as low as 38,000 yen, while a room at the Ritz-Carlton Osaka is priced at 25,000 yen. Many discounts are half of the normal rates.

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• Saturday June 13, 2009 • Add Comment

Five Cities to Preserve Historical Townscapes

Traditional Roofs

Five Japanese cities are about to embark on a new form of town development that aims to preserve their traditional townscapes. The five are Kameyama (Mie Prefecture), Hikone (Shiga Prefecture), Takayama (Gifu Prefecture), Kanazawa (Ishikawa Prefecture) and Hagi (Yamaguchi Prefecture). The projects result from a new law enforced last November to provide financial and legal support to municipalities’ efforts to preserve historic landscapes in specific quarters.

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• Thursday June 11, 2009 • Add Comment [2]

Positive Energy: Comme at 40

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons is marking its 40th anniversary by bringing out a guerrilla-style, temporary brand called “Black” that epitomizes the style, the inventiveness and the originality of its founder.

Rei Kawakubo created black as the color of fashion’s rebel yell. She might have pronounced later, in her enigmatic way, that “red is the new black” and made that vivid color — checkered or regal — part of her repertoire.

But the Japanese designer did not just put women in black like a flock of crows flying across the brash 1980s. More significantly she, in the words of the innovative fashion retailer Carla Sozzani, “interpreted a change of mind in women and opened up a whole vision of femininity.”

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The New York Times • Wednesday June 10, 2009 • Add Comment