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Japan News

Japanese Toy Travels Back in Time

Bandai Showa Ginza Diorama

The past few years, Japan has embarked on a nostalgic trip back to the Showa Era (1926-1989). People conveniently forget the terrors and destruction of war, debilitating poverty, discrimination of minorities and the high crime rates of this period, and instead focus on an imagined utopia. Most of the nostalgia has expressed itself in books and movies, but toys are increasingly traveling back in time as well.

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• Thursday February 12, 2009 • Add Comment

Military Prostitution and the U.S. Military in Asia

US Helicopter

Where there are soldiers, there are women who exist for them. This is practically a cliché. History is filled with examples of women as war booty and “camp followers,” their bodies being used for service labor of various kinds, including sex. Contrary to common assumptions in the West, prostitution is not “part of Asian culture.” Just about every culture under the sun has some version of it during times of war and times of peace.

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Katharine H.S. Moon • Wednesday February 11, 2009 • Add Comment [6]

Will Japanese Men Start Giving Chocolate on Valentine's Day?

Gyaku Choco

Since the custom of giving chocolate on Valentine’s Day was first promoted in Japan in the 1960s, it has always been the women who have been doing the giving. Usually to men they are clearly not in love with, like a boss or a male colleague. Men get their chance to return the favor on the later invented White Day, held on March 14th. Now confectionery giant Morinaga believes that men are ready to initiate the gift exchange.

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• Sunday February 1, 2009 • Add Comment [2]

Turkish Salvage Team Starts Operations in Wakayama

Ertugrul salvage divers

A Turkish salvage team has begun the second round of extensive salvage of the Turkish frigate Ertuğrul. The warship was shipwrecked in 1890 off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture, resulting in the loss of 533 sailors. The tragic event turned into the foundation of Japanese-Turkish friendship. Turkey will hold an exhibition of the recovered items as part of Japan Year events planned for 2010, the 120th anniversary of the disastrous shipwreck.

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• Friday January 30, 2009 • Add Comment

Japanese Manga Museum Attracts Half a Million Visitors

It is frightfully quiet in the former elementary school in the historical town of Kyoto. Yet the corridors and former classrooms are crowded with people. Some one hundred men and women from young to old, sit, stand and lay reading manga. This is the Kyoto International Manga Museum and it is incredibly popular. Only two years old, the museum has already welcomed half a million visitors.

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• Friday January 30, 2009 • Add Comment

Japans mangamuseum trekt half miljoen bezoekers

Het is bijna muisstil in de voormalige lagere school in de historische stad Kyoto. Toch zitten de gangen en voormalige lokalen vol. Zo’n kleine honderd mannen en vrouwen van jong tot oud zitten, staan en liggen manga —Japanse stripverhalen— te lezen. Dit is het Internationale Manga-museum in de Japanse stad Kyoto, en het is razend populair. Nog geen twee jaar oud, heeft het reeds een half miljoen bezoekers getrokken.

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• Friday January 30, 2009 • Reageer [1]

Enryo

enryo - constraint

Enryo (遠慮) is one of the most quintessential Japanese concepts. Japanese dictionary Kōjien provides the definition “restraining speech/actions towards people” (人に対して言語・行動を控え目にすること). Enryo is central to the image of Japan as a passive society, where people work to avoid conflict through self-restraint. Enryo means not using your mobile phone on the train, not throwing out all of your trash in one big bag, and recently, not lighting up that cigarette wherever you want.

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Neojaponisme • Wednesday January 28, 2009 • Add Comment