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  • Abe and Modi are Already BFFs, but a Rising China is Making Them Even Closer

    Izakaya Politics
    Stephen Stapczynski
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:19 pm
    Modi and Abe meeting in 2012. In the first week of September, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting up with his best buddy, Shinzo Abe. I have written a little about Abe’s other bromance with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, but I think that his relationship with Modi is the strongest of any international leader. And with a rising China on the horizon, I expect the meeting between Abe and Modi in September will lead to a number of substantive outcomes, like the signing of a civil nuclear agreement, an expansion of defense cooperation, and further economic integration. Even though…
  • Fujitsu Introduces the ETERNUS TR Series of Storage Designed for Large-Scale Virtualization Environments

    JCN Newswire
    27 Aug 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Fujitsu today announced the introduction of the FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS TR series, a storage system designed especially for use in large-scale virtualization environments.
  • After STAP scandal, Riken plots its future

    Japan News
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:57 pm
    With recent revelations of misconduct involving its research on so-called STAP cells, stem cell researcher Haruko Obokata and her employer, Riken Institute, have come under intense scrutiny and criticism.
  • Japan OKs use of smartphones, tablets during plane takeoffs, landings

    News On Japan
    1 Sep 2014 | 11:53 pm
    Japan on Monday relaxed a ban on the use of electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets in flight, following similar moves by the United States and the European Union. (Japan Today)
  • Nigeria to get Japanese drug for Ebola treatment

    Osaka News
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Nigeria will soon get a Japanese drug to treat Ebola, the country's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Monday. The drug named Favipiravir and developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings in ...
 
 
 
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    Joi Ito's Web

  • Kitchen counter bio hacking

    Joi
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:09 pm
    I first heard about Synbiota at SXSWi this year, when they won an Accelerator Award. According to the announcement, "Synbiota is a virtual collaboration site that connects scientists, researchers, universities and others from around the world to solve complex problems using genetic engineering." That week they announced the world's first Massive Open Online Science (MOOS) event. Called #ScienceHack, hundreds of researchers from around the globe (some as clueless as us!) would use a new "wetware" kit to produce prohibitively expensive medicine at a fraction of the price. A month later I got…
  • Shenzhen trip report - visiting the world's manufacturing ecosystem

    Joi
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:04 pm
    Last year, a group of Media Lab students visited Shenzhen with, bunnie, an old friend and my hardware guru. He's probably best known for hacking the Xbox, the chumby, an open source networked hardware appliance, and for helping so many people with their hardware, firmware and software designs. bunnie is "our man in Shenzhen" and understands the ecosystem of suppliers and factories in China better than anyone I know. With his help, my students saw and experienced a ecosystem that we all benefit from, but mostly don't see or even realize exists. I have been living vicariously through the…
  • My answers to six questions

    Joi
    4 Feb 2014 | 8:42 pm
    Recent Media Lab grad Drew Harry and co-founder Frances Yun have launched a site called Six Questions. I recently participated and answered my six questions. Here they are.
  • Designing Around Little Minds

    Joi
    2 Oct 2013 | 1:13 pm
    Andy Rubin - Photo by Joi Ito In designing user interfaces, we aim to empower the "user" to understand and control the system at hand. Output via screens and speakers, with input from a keyboard, a touch screen or gestures. Between them, the "user" is understood to be our conscious "mind" - the logical bit of our brain that thinks it's in charge. This "mind" is actually not nearly as "in charge" as it thinks it is. In fact, our larger and often much more wise mind - the emotional, sub-conscious, parallel-processing, pattern recognizing part of our nervous system even manipulates and deceives…
  • The Creativity Compass

    Joi
    30 Jul 2013 | 1:24 pm
    I think this framework first came up in a conversation with John Maeda. The original observation was that artist and scientists tend to work well together, and designers and engineers work well together, but that scientists and engineers don't work as well together, and likewise, neither do artists and designers. Engineers and designers tend to focus on utility and understand the world through observation and gathering the constraints of a problem to come up with a solution. Artists and scientists, on the other hand are inspired by nature or math, and they create through pure inner creativity…
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    An Eternal Thought in the Mind of Godzilla

  • Dracula Summer

    Patrick Macias
    1 Sep 2014 | 2:27 pm
    Umbrella walking in crowded Shibuya side street, of course everything is ragged and falling apart, so the umbrella is already broken and plastic tips protecting sharp edges are missing which is unfortunate because in a tight spot where there is no more room to maneuver, the metal points scrape the eyeballs of a office lady passing by, turning at least one into bloody jelly leaking everywhere, mingling on the street with rain water, soy sauce, urine, and boss coffee all of it collected as evidence of a serious crime – but it was an accident – that can never be properly explained as rights…
  • Hearing all apple town pride

    Patrick Macias
    29 Aug 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Constant rain, constant drizzle, heading down tiny corridors between buildings, inverted red triangles on the windows showing the way of decent. A scene where we sit in a new restaurant on the second floor of a building that has seemingly always been there, interior painstakingly designed to look decidedly postwar. Deliberately uncomfortable, staff girls wearing pink Crocs to offset the difference. Fake dirt, fake nostalgia. This used to be a row of offices where agents of the Government of Darkness faked work and toil and did much more harm that way than if they had set out for something…
  • Tokyo Wars: 8/28 - 9/30

    Patrick Macias
    11 Aug 2014 | 1:18 pm
  • Anison and Harajuku Collide at "Heavy Pop" Club Event

    Patrick Macias
    6 Aug 2014 | 3:26 pm
    Fun fact: I barely go out at all when I’m here in San Francisco. I like my Xbox and HDTV waaaaay too much. But when in Tokyo – which is where I spent most of June this summer – I’m continually running around, bugging people if they “know of any events”, and hightailing it to whatever weird scene or place makes itself available. Case in point: Heavy Pop Vol. 16, a head spinning mix of crazy outfits, Anison delights, packed with assorted jpop and techno highlights. Heavy Pop, organized by Ray Ochiai, is a regular club party event with strong ties to the Harajuku scene. To wit: a…
  • Anison Disco event at Shibuya WOMB / アニソンディスコ @渋谷WOMB 6.28.14

    Patrick Macias
    31 Jul 2014 | 3:02 pm
    Glowstick trails… anime themes at warp speed bpms… legions of cosplayers dancing and laughing in the dark… My heads-spinning summer of Anison (otaku-speak for “anime songs”) began last month in Tokyo with a visit to a club event called AniLOVE!!, which you can read about here.   And it was at AniLOVE!! that the gang there suggested that we check out another regular anison event that’s been active in Japan for nearly 4 years now… Anison Disco, a name which conjured up images of big afros, funky platform heels, and wide lapel shirts. While there was a giant…
 
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    Japan Economy Watch

  • Abenomics - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    Edward Hugh
    14 Aug 2014 | 8:05 am
    If this week's economics news is positive then that is good.  But if it's bad then that's even better, since there is more potential for it to improve next week, and if it doesn't, well that's doubly better since there will be  even more reason for central banks to step in and push up asset prices. Maybe all this sounds peculiar, even perverse, but it would seem to be how many people working in
  • Japan Inflation At A 32 Year High?

    Edward Hugh
    29 Jun 2014 | 12:23 pm
    Just in case anyone was in any doubt last weeks newspaper  headlines blared it out for us loud and clear - Japanese inflation is back, and has even hit levels last seen in 1982. (Click on image below for better viewing). In fact consumer prices in Japan rose at an annual rate of 3.4% in May according to the Bank of Japan's preferred measure, driven higher from one month to another by the
  • Will Japan Re-enter Deflation in April 2015?

    Edward Hugh
    20 Jun 2014 | 3:20 am
    Reading the most recent statements from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda or Finance Minister Taro Aso you would get the impression that the days of deflation are now well and truly numbered in Japan. Martin Schulz, economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, goes even further. “Deflation is over in Japan,” he told Bloomberg Television First Up’s Angie Lau . Even Japan’s industrial
  • The Growing Mess Which Will Be Left Behind By The Abenomics Experiment

    Edward Hugh
    2 Mar 2014 | 3:30 am
    According to wikipedia, "overdetermination is a phenomenon whereby a single observed effect is determined by multiple causes at once, any one of which alone might be enough to account for ("determine") the effect.That is, there are more causes present than are necessary to generate the effect".  In this strictly technical sense Japan's deflation problem is overdetermined - there are multiple
  • The Real Experiment That Is Being Carried Out In Japan

    Edward Hugh
    13 May 2013 | 9:06 am
    The future never resembles the past - as we well know. But, generally speaking, our imagination and our knowledge are too weak to tell us what particular changes to expect. We do not know what the future holds. Nevertheless, as living and moving beings, we are forced to act. - John Maynard Keynes Discussions of the population problem have always had the capacity to stir up public sentiment much
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    Culture Japan - Your portal to Japan - Posts

  • CJ Night Jakarta 2014

    danny
    13 Aug 2014 | 10:18 pm
    Photos from last years CJ Night Jakarta which we will be doing again this year - same venue (Jakarta Design Centre, Lotus Room) on Mon 18th from 6 - 9PM. I'll be at AFAID for all 3 days and hope to see you there. If I'm not at my booth then I will most likely be on stage MC'ing. If we don't manage to catch up with each other at AFAID, we can certainly do so at CJ Night. CJ Night is a place for like minded comrades to mingle and get to know each other. I love spending time with readers and will be doing the usual signing and photo sessions and hunting for talent too ^o^ Also feel free to bring…
  • AFAID 14 Merchandise

    danny
    11 Aug 2014 | 12:35 am
    Its that time of year again - Asia's biggest anime event AFA (AFAID) returns to Indonesia for the 3rd consecutive time this weekend 15 - 17th August. There will be a ton of seiyuu, anime producers/directors and a huge hall full of exhibitors which includes us ^o^ This first photo is of the Culture Japan booth at AFAID which got rather crowded at times ^^;Here's a quick overview of what we have available this year for AFA Indonesia! Prices are all in IDR and includes tax.4 designs of T-shirts will be available, 3 of which are new in Indonesia. Prices go down the more you buy. Save up to…
  • Uchimizu 2014

    danny
    8 Aug 2014 | 12:59 am
    Uchimizu [打ち水] - the tradition where water is sprinkled over the roads is not only done to cool down the temperature but to also subdue dust from flying about. Every year there is an uchimizu event held in Akihabara and this year's one took place last weekend. Usually there is a maid theme but this year it was all Yukata. Following are photos from the event. All are HD 1920px x 1080px so you can use em as wallpaper too.If you want to see what it was like with the maids then check out the first Uchimizu post I done - it was a while ago though so the photos are kinda small ><Find…
  • Kancolle Anime

    danny
    4 Aug 2014 | 5:27 pm
    You've been playing the game and buying the figures - now you can watch the anime too - but will have to wait until early next year. Until then you can check out the trailer which was released yesterday. This post contains a video, click here to view. If the video was eaten, try this Youtube search query.Kantai Collection [艦隊これくしょん -艦これ-], also known as "Kancolle", is an upcoming anime based on the Kantai Collection online social card game. The anime will be directed by Kusakawa Keizou [草川 啓造] (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series, Campione!) with series…
  • Kyoto Traditional Hotel

    danny
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:10 pm
    Before I start - want to let you know about the new HD template which this post uses. You can add annotations as usual from the link in the bottom right of the photo. If you dont want to see annotations then just move your mouse to the scroll bar or menu bar at top of page. All photos are HD but resize with the browser and should make good wallpapers for many of you. Dont scroll on the map or you will just zoom in and out. Will talk more about these changes in a separate post soon. If you are travelling to Kyoto then I presume you are after more of the traditional sights of Japan in which…
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    japan running news

  • Kawauchi Gets Fifth Course Record of Year in Perth

    Brett Larner
    30 Aug 2014 | 11:06 pm
    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by Chevron City to Surf for Activ. by Brett Larner In his last marathon before focusing his energies on the Oct. 3
  • Nojiri and Tsuji Win Hokkaido Marathon

    Brett Larner
    30 Aug 2014 | 10:20 pm
    by Brett Larner Taking on increased importance as the Japanese Federation focuses on hot weather racing in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men's and women's marathons, the Hokkaido Marathon featured one of its deepest men's fields in memory.  The women's field was smaller but featured at least three good up-and-coming talents.  Getting the better of them all in the mid-20s temperatures
  • Sakai and Yano Lead Sunday's Hokkaido Marathon

    Brett Larner
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:17 pm
    by Brett Larner The fall elite marathon season gets underway this Sunday with Sapporo's Hokkaido Marathon.  Two years organizers did away with their elite fields, leaving top amateurs Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yuri Yoshizumi (Osaka Nagai AC) to win in two of the slowest winning times in event history.  Last year the elite fields returned with a small international contingent that
  • Kawauchi Looking for the Win in Asian Games Dry Run at Perth Marathon

    Brett Larner
    28 Aug 2014 | 3:28 pm
    http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/08/29/kiji/K20140829008829260.html translated by Brett Larner Incheon Asian Games men's marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) left from Narita Airport to for Perth, Australia where he will run the Aug. 31 City to Surf Marathon.  Due to a significant delay to his scheduled flight leaving Japan Kawauchi was not going to be able
  • Incheon Asian Games Unveils 15000-Person Athletes' Village

    Brett Larner
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:28 pm
    http://www.47news.jp/smp/CN/201408/CN2014082601001851.html translated by Brett Larner With one month to go until the start of track and field competition, the 2014 Incheon Asian Games athletes' village where competitors will stay during the Games was unveiled to the media on Aug. 26.  With 2200 rooms in 22 newly-built apartment buildings in Incheon, South Korea, the village is capable of
 
 
 
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    SourceForge.JP Magazine

  • 米Yahoo!、JavaScriptライブラリ「YUI」の開発を打ち切りへ

    末岡洋子
    31 Aug 2014 | 11:36 pm
     米Yahoo!のYahoo! User Interface Library(YUI)開発チームは8月30日、HTMLインターフェイス作成のためのJavaScriptライブラリ「YUI」の開発を打ち切ることを発表した。JavaScriptを取り巻く環境やトレンドの変化を考慮しての決断と説明している。 ニュース オープンソース デベロッパー 末岡洋子 関連記事性能を改善したJavaScript/CSSライブラリ「YUI 3.10.0」リリース 米Yahoo!、JavaScriptライブラリ「YUI 3.2」をリリース。タッチインターフェイス対応などを強化…
  • 「PHP 5.6」リリース、「…」を使った可変長引数をとる関数定義や2GB以上のファイルアップロードをサポート

    末岡洋子
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:05 pm
     PHP開発チームは8月26日、「PHP 5.6.0」を公開した。定数宣言などにスカラー式を使用できるconstant scalar expressionsの導入やデバッガ「phpdbg」などの新機能が含まれている。 ニュース オープンソース デベロッパー プログラミング 末岡洋子 PHP
  • 64ビットWindowsに対応した「Google Chrome 37」安定版リリース

    末岡洋子
    27 Aug 2014 | 11:09 pm
     米Googleは8月26日、Webブラウザ「Google Chrome」の最新安定版「Google Chrome 37(Chrome 37.0.2062.94)」をリリースした。50件のセキュリティ修正が加わり、安定性と性能を強化した。Linux、Mac OS X、Windowsに対応、専用のWebサイトより入手できる。Windows版は本バージョンより64ビット版も用意された。 ニュース オープンソース デベロッパー Windows Google 末岡洋子 関連記事米Googleが「Chrome 35」をリリース、JavaScript強化…
  • 汎用ビルドツール「Qt Build Suite 1.3」リリース

    末岡洋子
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:01 pm
     フィンランドDigiaのQt Projectは8月26日、汎用ビルドツール「Qt BQuild Suite 1.3.0」をリリースした。ソースコードおよびWindows向けのバイナリパッケージが公開されている。 ニュース オープンソース デベロッパー 開発ツール 末岡洋子 関連記事Javaビルドツール「Apache Ant 1.9」がリリース、Java 1.5が必須に Java/Groovyベースのビルドツール「Gradle 1.5」リリース、依存性解決機能の強化や性能改善などが行われる…
  • 科学計算処理向け動的言語「Julia 0.3」リリース

    末岡洋子
    26 Aug 2014 | 3:13 am
     科学技術計算分野向けの高水準プログラミング言語「Julia」開発チームは8月20日、「Julia 0.3」をリリースした。性能を改善したほか、ライブラリにもさまざまな強化が行われている。 ニュース オープンソース プログラミング 末岡洋子 プログラミング言語 関連記事アートやグラフィックデザイン向けのプログラミング言語「Processing 2」リリース…
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    IDEA*IDEA

  • 『Ansible入門 (全15回)』をドットインストールに追加しました #dotinstall

    taguchi
    1 Sep 2014 | 2:33 am
    前回のYAML入門は、今回の布石だったのです・・・!というのはどうでもいいですか。 さてサーバー構成管理ツールの「Ansible」についてレッスンをまとめました。Chefの構成がいろいろあれだったのですが、Ansibleは管理する側に何も必要ないところが素敵ですよね! ↑ 設定はYAMLで書いていきます。 全15回にまとめました。個人的にはローカル開発環境をAnsibleのProvisioningでまとめてみたいところ・・・!というわけで以下からどうぞ。 »…
  • 大将が英語でお寿司の食べ方を教えてくれているYouTube映像

    taguchi
    31 Aug 2014 | 6:46 am
    ↑ 6分半ほどの映像です。 » Sushi Restauranteur Teaches the Proper Way to Eat Sushi – Neatorama
  • アプリなどでよく見るサイドバーを実現するjQueryプラグイン『drawer』

    taguchi
    31 Aug 2014 | 6:44 am
    これ、探していたのでメモ的にご紹介。アプリなどで出てくるサイドバーを実現するjQueryプラグインですね。 » drawer | blivesta · drawer
  • インド初のメジャーリーガー誕生を描いた『ミリオンダラーアーム』

    taguchi
    31 Aug 2014 | 5:54 am
    ↑ 1分半ほどの予告編です。 あいかわらずそして実話だからこそ説得力のあるリアルなストーリー展開で、ぐいぐいと引き込まれていきつつ、途中で不覚にもうるっと来てしまいます。 主人公のエージェントは結果をうまく出せないながらも行動力があって目が話せませんし、最初話に奥行きを感じさせる2時間でした。 なお、インド人選手の二人と俳優さんもそっくりでしたし。実話の力ってすごいなぁ、と思った次第です。…
  • スマホでホワイトボードが共有できる『Rocketboard』が便利そうだよ

    taguchi
    31 Aug 2014 | 5:21 am
    遠隔地の参加者はRocketboardのウェブを通じてホワイトボードを閲覧可能。 音声はSkypeやらHangoutで共有するとして、ホワイトボードに特化したこういうアプリを使うのもいいですね。まだリリースされていないっぽいのですが、将来的に楽しみです。 » Rocketboard
 
 
 
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    Intercultural Twilight Zone

  • Aloha in the Aftermath of Iselle

    Tim Sullivan
    18 Aug 2014 | 1:51 pm
    The Puna district on the East side of Hawaii Island took a direct hit from Tropical Storm Iselle on August 7th. Here’s what every other street in my neighborhood looked like. In our case the power was out for five days. Got our internet back a couple days after that. And we were one of the lucky ones: we were well prepared for the worst-case scenario and, thanks to the fortuitous direction of the winds, we suffered minimal damage. Unfortunately, not so for all our neighbors. The good news is that no one died from the storm, truly amazing in light of the devastation, especially if you…
  • The “Cool Japan” They Don’t Show You on TV

    Tim Sullivan
    20 May 2014 | 12:24 am
    “Dad, your friends are so cool” said my 13-year-old son after meeting my running buddies from Japan for the first time. He said it with genuine surprise. Hard as he tried, he just couldn’t fathom the notion that anyone “cool” would ever be friends with the likes of me. This all happened about fifteen years ago when, after more than a decade of living in the U.S., I finally brought my family back to Japan for a visit. My kids had only heard stories from me about our former life in Japan. My stories obviously fell short in capturing the coolness of my friends. But…
  • Intercultural Twilight Zone Hits a Milestone

    Tim Sullivan
    19 May 2014 | 11:30 am
    The Intercultural Twilight Zone just hit a milestone: 100,000 hits. Granted, lots of those hits were bogus bots, or seekers of illicit material (boy they must’ve been disappointed when they stumbled onto my anthropological ramblings without the naked pictures), or perhaps fans of the Twilight Zone series? I didn’t set out to accumulate x number of hits when I started writing my blog in 2008. I started blogging because writing is a therapeutic outlet for me, and it’s an incredible feeling to know you’ve connected with people through words. (You know it when you get lots…
  • One Japan…Scratching the Surface

    Tim Sullivan
    17 May 2014 | 4:32 pm
    Just got an email from a lady who stumbled onto my blog. She attached a vimeo link and asked me to check it out, says she’s promoting it out of love  ;) (her boyfriend made the movie) and because “it’s really very good.” Happy to report that love wasn’t blind on this one: I think it’s better than “very good.” Anyone interested in modern Japan will love this clip, a story told with beautiful visuals, and a soundtrack to match. Thanks for sharing Jes, and well done Davey Martin! Shot in Osaka, Nagano, and Kyoto…Enjoy.
  • If I Could Turn Back the Clock & Talk to My Mom Once More

    Tim Sullivan
    11 May 2014 | 1:42 pm
    A philosophy professor told me years ago that the essence of culture is transmitted from generation to generation through mothers. Indeed the magnitude of a mother’s influence over her children runs deeper than any other influence imaginable. But motherhood is so much larger than culture. Without mothers, human life grinds to a halt and our species is gone. That’s one heavy burden to bear. And yet here we are, precisely why we celebrate the very people who shoulder the burden of humanity: our mothers. For the record, I’m not big on commercialized “Hallmark-greeting-card…
 
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    [en01]Japan for Sustainability(ニュース記事)

  • Coca-Cola Japan Providing Mineral Water Products for Kyoto University's Water Circulation Research Project

    31 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
     Copyright Coca-Cola Japan Co. All Rights Reserved. Coca-Cola Japan Co. announced on May 8, 2014, that it will provide bottled mineral water products as sample materials for a water circulation research project at Kyoto University, Japan, and that the Coca-Cola Foundation will support the forest-water investigation of Kyoto University, of which this project is a part.
  • Kochi's Challenge -- A Prefecture Tackling Depopulation (Part 1)

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:59 am
    JFS Newsletter No.144 (August 2014) Image by Keihin Nike Some Rights Reserved. On July 2, 2014, Masanao Ozaki, Governor of Kochi Prefecture, delivered a presentation entitled "Kochi's Challenge -- A Prefecture Tackling Depopulation" at a cross-industrial study meeting hosted by "e's Future Co-Creation Forum" led by Junko Edahiro, chief executive of Japan for Sustainability. His speech focused on the comprehensive efforts being implemented by this prefecture which has been experienced the nation's common problem of depopulation ahead of other prefectures. This issue of the JFS newsletter…
  • Survey Provides Update on Corporate Social Responsibility Activities of Japanese Companies

    26 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Image by Yahho. A research team with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Study Project established by the Tokyo Foundation, a non-profit independent private think tank in Japan, conducted a survey to gauge the status of enterprises' CSR activities in Japan in 2013. The survey focused on the relationship between social issues that Japan and the world are facing and the CSR activities of enterprises, and covered about 2,000 companies, including those listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, major unlisted companies, and major foreign companies operating in Japan. The…
  • Community-Led Energy Association Launched to Promote Renewable Energy

    25 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Copyright Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies All Rights Reserved. The National Local Energy Association announced on May 23, 2014, its official launch after the inaugural meeting held on the same day. The purpose of the association is to create sustainable local communities by promoting renewable energy development and energy-saving initiatives by local citizens.
  • Let's Use Rainwater! Recent Trends in Rainwater Use in Japan

    23 Aug 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Image by oseigt Some Rights Reserved. In recent years, a growing number of municipalities in Japan have been making use of rainwater. Blessed with a large amount of rainfall compared to other countries, since the post-war urban development period Japan has tended to deal with this abundance by "disposing" of rainwater. Over the years, however, this thinking has gradually shifted toward taking advantage of rainwater as a natural resource. In this article, we will introduce the recent trends in rainwater use in Japan.
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    i heart japan - Japan travel tips and info about Japan

  • World’s Most Peaceful Contries

    Travis
    19 Aug 2014 | 1:56 pm
    Japan has long been know for being a peaceful country, and I know I felt really safe pretty much everywhere I went. The Vision of Humanity website just release their 2014 index of global peace with some very interesting results. While I wasn’t surprised to see Japan listed in the top 10 at position 8, I was surprised to find Canada at position 7. Perhaps it’s just my perception, but Japan feels safer to me :) Thanks to Skeptikai for the link! Related Posts:The Amazing Voyage of OtokichiCountry Names in JapaneseEnglish Words That Don’t Appear on TestsRecommend Your Favourite…
  • Book Review: Japan’s World Heritage Sites

    Travis
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:21 am
    I’ll be honest, I’m not really aware of many World Heritage sites. I’m sure Canada has their share, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you what they are. I do know, thanks to the book Japan’s World Heritage Sites, that Japan has a ton of them. Maybe it’s a normal amount in comparison to other countries, but I do know it will take you a long time if you want to see them all :) What’s Inside If there was ever a book that you could leave out on your coffee table for people to flip through, this would probably be a great choice. The book is packed full of…
  • Learn English with Darth Vader

    Travis
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:46 am
    Here’s an interesting English/Japanese learning dictionary – The Star Wars Personal English/Japanese Dictionary. Now you can learn such helpful English phrases as “What is thy bidding, my master?” and “These are not the droids you are looking for”. Stay crazy Japan! :D Related Posts:Japanese Idiom: To Crack a StarJapanese Phrase Book ReviewBest Japanese Learning Tools – Part 1: BooksBest Japanese Learning Tools – Part 2: WebsitesThe Best Resources for Learning to Speak Japanese
  • School Girl Ninjas

    Travis
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:15 am
    Fun schoolgirl ninja/parkour that I came across. Of course it’s a hidden viral video attempt for a soft drink company, but it’s fun to see the mix of acrobatics and wire work. Related Posts:Qualifications for Teaching English in JapanJapanese Fashion: Forest GirlTeaching English In Japan – What Every Newbie Should KnowBizarre Japan – Underwear that Helps you Lose WeightJapan’s Amazing Bento Lunchboxes
  • The Four Top Tokyo Day Trips

    Travis
    9 Jul 2014 | 1:42 pm
    Photo Credit: Hendrik Schicke Just came across this article on the Forbes website on the top four day trips from Tokyo. It has a nice mix of suggestions for foodies, outdoor types, and history fans. When you visit Tokyo, give yourself time for a day trip to explore the other facets of Japan—after all, the island is made up of 47 prefectures, each with its own slew of offerings. Check it our here. Related Posts:Your Own Personal Japanese GuideDancing from all 47 PrefecturesTokyo Art Events in June 2012Top 5 Hiking Trails in JapanTop Ryokan in Tokyo
 
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    Culture Japan - Your portal to Japan - Posts

  • CJ Night Jakarta 2014

    danny
    13 Aug 2014 | 10:18 pm
    Photos from last years CJ Night Jakarta which we will be doing again this year - same venue (Jakarta Design Centre, Lotus Room) on Mon 18th from 6 - 9PM. I'll be at AFAID for all 3 days and hope to see you there. If I'm not at my booth then I will most likely be on stage MC'ing. If we don't manage to catch up with each other at AFAID, we can certainly do so at CJ Night. CJ Night is a place for like minded comrades to mingle and get to know each other. I love spending time with readers and will be doing the usual signing and photo sessions and hunting for talent too ^o^ Also feel free to bring…
  • AFAID 14 Merchandise

    danny
    11 Aug 2014 | 12:35 am
    Its that time of year again - Asia's biggest anime event AFA (AFAID) returns to Indonesia for the 3rd consecutive time this weekend 15 - 17th August. There will be a ton of seiyuu, anime producers/directors and a huge hall full of exhibitors which includes us ^o^ This first photo is of the Culture Japan booth at AFAID which got rather crowded at times ^^;Here's a quick overview of what we have available this year for AFA Indonesia! Prices are all in IDR and includes tax.4 designs of T-shirts will be available, 3 of which are new in Indonesia. Prices go down the more you buy. Save up to…
  • Uchimizu 2014

    danny
    8 Aug 2014 | 12:59 am
    Uchimizu [打ち水] - the tradition where water is sprinkled over the roads is not only done to cool down the temperature but to also subdue dust from flying about. Every year there is an uchimizu event held in Akihabara and this year's one took place last weekend. Usually there is a maid theme but this year it was all Yukata. Following are photos from the event. All are HD 1920px x 1080px so you can use em as wallpaper too.If you want to see what it was like with the maids then check out the first Uchimizu post I done - it was a while ago though so the photos are kinda small ><Find…
  • Kancolle Anime

    danny
    4 Aug 2014 | 5:27 pm
    You've been playing the game and buying the figures - now you can watch the anime too - but will have to wait until early next year. Until then you can check out the trailer which was released yesterday. This post contains a video, click here to view. If the video was eaten, try this Youtube search query.Kantai Collection [艦隊これくしょん -艦これ-], also known as "Kancolle", is an upcoming anime based on the Kantai Collection online social card game. The anime will be directed by Kusakawa Keizou [草川 啓造] (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series, Campione!) with series…
  • Kyoto Traditional Hotel

    danny
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:10 pm
    Before I start - want to let you know about the new HD template which this post uses. You can add annotations as usual from the link in the bottom right of the photo. If you dont want to see annotations then just move your mouse to the scroll bar or menu bar at top of page. All photos are HD but resize with the browser and should make good wallpapers for many of you. Dont scroll on the map or you will just zoom in and out. Will talk more about these changes in a separate post soon. If you are travelling to Kyoto then I presume you are after more of the traditional sights of Japan in which…
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    Kirainet.com - A geek in Japan

  • 10 Years in Japan

    kirai
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:34 am
    A day like today ten years ago I landed in Japan for the first time. Two of the questions I am asked the most since then are: “Why did you come to Japan?” and “Are you going to be in Japan forever?” The first question is usually asked by Japanese people that feel curious about what is so special about Japan to make somebody from so far away to come live here. The second question is usually asked by Spanish people or other foreigners that are passing by Japan and feel curious about what is keeping me attached to this place. Record of my arrival to Japan in September 2004 I always…
  • Hayao Miyazaki Will Receive An Honorary Oscar

    kirai
    31 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    The retired anime director and artist Hayao Miyazaki will receive an honorary Oscar award for his lifetime achievements. Miyazaki will become the second Japanese director to receive the award, the first one being Akira Kurosawa in 1990. Miyazaki after hearing the news said: “It is an honor to receive the award, but I believe that a person that has retired doesn’t need any awards.” Source: The Japan news.
  • Cowshed Reconverted Into An Artists Playground

    kirai
    30 Aug 2014 | 2:50 am
    The other day while wandering with our car around the east of Chiba we ended up in what looked like a cowshed or farm. However when we got nearer to the place we saw that we could enter and we found people playing music, clowns doing performances to kids and even photo exhibitions. It turns out that the place is a popular venue in the area called Gyusha Number 8, 牛舎8号 (Cowshed number 8). It is a farm reconverted to attract artists from nearby locations to the community. I love it when I find this kind of places in Japan. Places where things that apparently don’t have any common…
  • Cristiano Ronaldo Sponsors a New Facial Fitness Device

    kirai
    27 Aug 2014 | 6:18 pm
    Cristiano Ronaldo has recently become the sponsor of MTG, a Japanese company that makes fitness products. Cristiano Ronaldo appears on the TV commercials to promote one of their devices, the Facial Fitness PAO. It is a flexible device that you stick in your mouth to train your face muscles. It seems like a stupid thing but it costs ¥13,824 or around 100 EUR/130 USD! Related posts: Face Training Beauty Smile Trainer
  • Bananas Vending Machine

    kirai
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:50 am
    Dole has recently placed some vending machines with bananas in Tokyo. If you are interested in this website you can know exactly the location of the four vending machines that are working as of now. Source: Fun Japan Other posts about vending machines in Japan: Surgical Masks Vending Machine Low-tech Hamburger Vending Machine Fresh eggs vending machine New solar-powered Coca-Cola vending machines with LED lights Umbrella vending machine Vending machine with a 47 inches interface Used panties vending machines Women vending machine Porn magazines vending machine Hamburger vending machine Book…
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    Tokyo Times

  • Restaurant smiles and reflections

    Lee
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:30 pm
    In Tokyo, just like everywhere else in the world, there’s little that beats the simple pleasure of some good food with friends or family. A feeling that is clearly reflected here.
  • Tokyo fashion: Complete colour and pattern coordination

    Lee
    31 Aug 2014 | 4:30 pm
    For someone who is just about capable of wearing similar socks, this fella’s impeccably matched and colour coordinated outfit was nothing short of a meticulously planned marvel.
  • Tokyo’s oldest shoemaker?

    Lee
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Or if not the oldest, then perhaps the most old-fashioned?
  • Tokyo summer festival soaking

    Lee
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:30 pm
    People pouring buckets of ice water over themselves for charity may well be a thing at the moment, but at the Fukagawa Hachiman Matsuri in Tokyo, they have been doing something very similar for much, much longer. A simple bit of festival fun that many look forward to. Even getting all dressed up just to get a good soaking. And as such, it’s enjoyed by people of all ages, although sulking little lads are sometimes an exception.
  • Shinjuku: Saturday night and Sunday morning

    Lee
    24 Aug 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Shinjuku’s Kabukicho red light district operates around the clock, meaning those who want a drink, or a dalliance of any conceivable description, will never be disappointed. The only real restriction — apart from money of course — being the stamina of one’s chosen partner.
 
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    世論 What Japan Thinks

  • The cutest dog bums in Japan

    Ken Y-N
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:05 am
    Let’s skip the usual niceties and soon head to the details of this survey conducted by iBRIDGE’s Research Plus for goo Ranking, looking into, as it were, cute dogs’ rears. Ranking result Q: What dog breeds do you think have cute bums? (Sample size=500, multiple answer) Rank   Percentage 1 Shiba 39.0% 2 Corgi 20.6% 3 Chihuahua 19.8% 4 Pug 14.0% 5 Poodle 11.8% 6= Pomeranian 9.8% 6= French bulldog 9.8% 8 Dachshund 8.8% 9 Papillon 8.4% 10 Golden retriever 6.8% 11 Maltese 6.0% 12 Shi-tzu 5.4% 13 Beagle 5.2% 14 Yorkshire terrier 4.2% 15 Collie 3.2% 16= Bull terrier 2.6% 16=…
  • Erotic men bits, according to Japanese women

    Ken Y-N
    10 Aug 2014 | 6:49 am
    With the real summer upon us, goo Ranking took a look at what bits of men’s bodies on display in summer do women find erotic. If a female body version appears, I will of course report it, although I suspect the answers will be much more limitied… Demographics goo Rankings seems to have switched permanently to a different research company, iBRIDGE’s Research Plus, where between the 7th and 10th of July 2014 500 members of their monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was split 50:50 male and female, but no further demographics were given.
  • Japanese sleep patterns

    Ken Y-N
    4 Aug 2014 | 9:43 am
    The company Aisin Seiki recently conducted a survey into sleep. Demographics Between the 24th and 26th of June 2014 1,206 people aged between 18 and 69 (and implied to be in paid employment) completed an internet survey, although details of whether it was a closed or open survey were not reported. Detailed demographic was similarly unavailable. Further information on sleep patterns of 100 people with 100 different jobs is available, as is a sleep monitoring device which they presumably used to collect said 100 people’s data. Well, I’d hate to say how little sleep I get on…
  • Wives’ disappointments after five years of marriage

    Ken Y-N
    3 Aug 2014 | 9:04 am
    I’m still trying to get back into the swing of blogging, so here comes another stopgap from goo Ranking, looking at what changes in their husbands wives were disappointed to see after five years of marriage. Demographics goo Rankings seems to have switched permanently to a different research company, iBRIDGE’s Research Plus, where between the 27th and 30th of June 2014 500 members of their monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was split 50:50 male and female, but no further demographics were given. This question was for the females only, and…
  • Japanese’ worst drunken moments

    Ken Y-N
    20 Jul 2014 | 10:19 am
    I’m back with more nonsense from goo Ranking, taking a look at the most horrible drunken incidents they have experienced. Demographics Between the 27th and 30th of June 2014, 500 members of not the goo Research monitor group, but instead a company named iBridge, more specifically their Research Plus monitor group, completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was exactly 50:50 male and female, and rather than award 100 points to the top answer, they chose to report the results as a percentage of the total. I guess the drunken train sprawl is too commonplace to feature in…
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    Shibuya246

  • Photography in Japan 1853-1912

    Shibuya246
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:02 pm
    I was asked recently whether I would like to introduce a book detailing the history of Japanese photography from the period 1853-1912. The book is a recent publication by Tuttle Publishing which gives quite an in depth and amazing look into both the photography at the time and also the photographers behind the scenes. As may be expected the first photographers tended to be foreigners to Japan who brought with them the early camera models. Having lived in Japan for a long time, I was interested to think of what life must have been like as a foreigner back in late 1800′s pointing an…
  • Biwako Wind

    Shibuya246
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:26 am
    An afternoon out feeling the breeze at Lake Biwako Related posts: Biwako Morning A calm view of Biwako lake in the early morning... Biwako Ohashi Taking a look at the Biwako Ohashi bridge from Kome... Biwako Cycling I have been cycling around Lake Biwa in Shiga-ken for...
  • Summertime in Kyoto

    Shibuya246
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    Walking down the banks of the Kamogawa in summer is always a nice way to cool down. Sitting up on the wooden decks with a cool drink in your hand is another good way. Related posts: Kamogawa Walking As summer cools off and the Autumn breezes arrive, it’s... Summer dining on Kamogawa Summer along the Kamogawa river in Kyoto is always busy.... Kamogawa, Kyoto The Kamo river (kamogawa) runs through Kyoto, historically providing an...
  • Mountain Trail

    Shibuya246
    4 May 2014 | 7:57 pm
    Heading up the trail on Mount Kongou in Osaka Related posts: Mount Hiei This is a view of the mountain in the morning... Mount Hieizan, Sunset I took a spur of the moment trip up Mount... Ropeway, Cable car on Mount Hiei Following on from the earlier post, I wanted to show...
  • Spring Weather

    Shibuya246
    9 Apr 2014 | 11:37 pm
    Such great weather out today. It was nice to see the temperature reach 20 degrees and enjoy the sunshine. Related posts: Tokyo Weather Wonderful weather in Tokyo today. The sun was out, the... Spring weather, Autumn reflection The Spring weather seems to be hiding just around the... Spring Walk, Kyoto Gosho The Kyoto Gosho, Imperial Palace and gardens are a great...
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    Skeptikai

  • Are Japanese Teachers Less Competent than their Foreign Counterparts?

    Ryo
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:04 am
    I know what you’re thinking – how could you suggest that the average teacher in any country is incompetent? Such things depend on the way you define “competence,” and how you measure it. How could you suggest that one of … Continue reading →
  • The World’s Most Peaceful and Dangerous Countries of 2014

    Ryo
    15 Aug 2014 | 2:10 am
    Countries that are extremely peaceful and those in utter political disarray are subjects of much fascination all across the world. Luckily, the Vision of Humanity came out with their eighth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), a ranking of … Continue reading →
  • In Tokyo, Dancing is a Crime

    Ryo
    8 Aug 2014 | 12:33 am
    Police raids on clubs in Tokyo have been gradually increasing in recent years. This isn’t particularly abnormal, because in virtually every country in the world, clubs often close down (and often open later under a different name) for certain things … Continue reading →
  • Is Atheism a Religion? (Hint: No)

    Ryo
    25 Jul 2014 | 12:08 am
    Rarely do I make new articles based on my interactions with commenters, but a recent one warranted a full response. From my article “Read a Bible – Become an Atheist (In That Order)” one commenter said: Sorry, atheism is a … Continue reading →
  • The Psychology of Studying – Writing vs. Typing Your Notes

    Ryo
    13 Jul 2014 | 11:50 pm
    When it comes to studying, time is a major issue. For students with a high volume of information to study, cramming is sometimes required. For example, medical students don’t have the luxury of time to study one subject and absolutely … Continue reading →
 
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    Shibuya246

  • Photography in Japan 1853-1912

    Shibuya246
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:02 pm
    I was asked recently whether I would like to introduce a book detailing the history of Japanese photography from the period 1853-1912. The book is a recent publication by Tuttle Publishing which gives quite an in depth and amazing look into both the photography at the time and also the photographers behind the scenes. As may be expected the first photographers tended to be foreigners to Japan who brought with them the early camera models. Having lived in Japan for a long time, I was interested to think of what life must have been like as a foreigner back in late 1800′s pointing an…
  • Biwako Wind

    Shibuya246
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:26 am
    An afternoon out feeling the breeze at Lake Biwako Related posts: Biwako Morning A calm view of Biwako lake in the early morning... Biwako Ohashi Taking a look at the Biwako Ohashi bridge from Kome... Biwako Cycling I have been cycling around Lake Biwa in Shiga-ken for...
  • Summertime in Kyoto

    Shibuya246
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:30 am
    Walking down the banks of the Kamogawa in summer is always a nice way to cool down. Sitting up on the wooden decks with a cool drink in your hand is another good way. Related posts: Kamogawa Walking As summer cools off and the Autumn breezes arrive, it’s... Summer dining on Kamogawa Summer along the Kamogawa river in Kyoto is always busy.... Kamogawa, Kyoto The Kamo river (kamogawa) runs through Kyoto, historically providing an...
  • Mountain Trail

    Shibuya246
    4 May 2014 | 7:57 pm
    Heading up the trail on Mount Kongou in Osaka Related posts: Mount Hiei This is a view of the mountain in the morning... Mount Hieizan, Sunset I took a spur of the moment trip up Mount... Ropeway, Cable car on Mount Hiei Following on from the earlier post, I wanted to show...
  • Spring Weather

    Shibuya246
    9 Apr 2014 | 11:37 pm
    Such great weather out today. It was nice to see the temperature reach 20 degrees and enjoy the sunshine. Related posts: Tokyo Weather Wonderful weather in Tokyo today. The sun was out, the... Spring weather, Autumn reflection The Spring weather seems to be hiding just around the... Spring Walk, Kyoto Gosho The Kyoto Gosho, Imperial Palace and gardens are a great...
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    supermerlion

  • Lettr

    Chad
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:55 am
    Despite all of the online social changes, the long standing tradition of sending postcards to family and friends from overseas lives strong thanks to that nice feeling you get from receiving a real post card. Now, sending post cards while on holiday is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to the new internet startup Lettr. Lettr is a online custom postcard service that aims to help travellers send personalized postcards from and to anywhere in the world with as little fuss as possible. Given how much we travel, this seems like a wonderful idea, and thanks to a collaboration with Lettr,…
  • Nagano Winter 2014 Day 16

    Chad
    15 Jul 2014 | 7:35 am
    Woke up to our first morning at Yudanaka Onsen with a filling breakfast that had been prepared for us which we enjoyed thoroughly. After, we’d get ready and head out to the station to book tickets for a mountain bus up towards the ski slopes at the nearby Shiga Kogen. We’ll be spending the rest of the day at one of the many ski resorts here, which were previously used to hold the 1998 Winter Olympics. Breakfast was prepared by the time we woke up. Buses to Shiga Kogen leave once every hour from Yudanaka so we were sure to leave the inn on time. Tickets for the next bus could be…
  • Nagano Winter 2014 Day 15

    Chad
    5 Jul 2014 | 4:22 am
    We were finally headed over to Nagano today. Since the cities cease to operate during the New Year, the lot of us would be spending the holidays over at a traditional resort in the northern snow covered Japanese alps. On our 3 day itinerary was a nice onsen ryokan stay, skiing, and a visit to wtiness the famous hot spring monkeys. Been wanting to visit the Japanese alps for years after learning of the Tateyama Kurobe Snow Route, but unfortunately the snow route was only open during Spring. We had initially hoped to visit Shirakawago or Ainokura as well to stay at one of the grass…
  • Hakkeijima Winter 2014 Day 14

    Chad
    30 Jun 2014 | 1:33 am
    Today we’d visit Hakkeijima Sea Paradise for the first time. Been wanting to visit here for years, but its out of the way location at the south east corner of Yokohama meant that I’ve never found the chance. Hakkeijima is an entire theme park island which combines ride attractions with a number of aquariums, restaurants and shops. What makes Hakkeijima unique is that its completely free to enter, though you will have to purchase passes if you wish to make use of the various attractions. Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is highly popular with local families looking for an affordable place…
  • Tokyo Winter 2014 Day 13

    Chad
    20 Jun 2014 | 9:56 pm
    While many of our readers tend to have concerts already in mind when visiting Japan, for different reasons each year, we often have to leave it up to fate for events to clash on the days we happen to be there. This year, we weren’t so fortunate with concerts or theater ballots and the only event which we’d make was at the eastern suburbs of Tokyo, where Avex’s flagship idol project SUPER☆GiRLS were having a free mini-live event. In the morning, picked up the JR Tokunai Pass which gives unlimited rides on JR train lines within Tokyo for 1 day for just 730 yen. It would…
 
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    Asian Lifestyle Design

  • How Do We Teach Asian Respect to Children in Today’s World

    Jenny Hones
    19 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Today I heard that a friend of mine is going to be a new grandparent!  How exciting to welcome new life into this world! It just seems like yesterday when my husband and I were going to be new parents.   With each birth, I experienced excitement and anxiety combined with the physical discomforts of pregnancy.   Welcoming our little babies into this world has been one of the greatest joys in our life. Nobody teaches you how to become a parent.  We learn from our parents, friends, and relatives, from watching TV or the media, from reading books, and from trial and error.   We go to…
  • What to Consider When Choosing Paint Colors for Your House

    Jenny Hones
    14 Aug 2014 | 8:59 pm
    This spring, before we moved, we decided that our home was in need of a new coat of paint.  What color was I going to paint our house?  No worries.  I was all prepared with the perfect color and ready to go…. so I thought. Before color – gray beige When painting a house, you first have to decide if you want to keep the existing colors or have a completely new look.  For me, I knew that I wanted to change the main color of the house because it didn’t do justice to the house.  For others, the color of their home looks great and is a perfect match with their…
  • Our Downsizing Story – From 3,700 sq. ft. to 1,190 sq. ft.

    Jenny Hones
    5 Aug 2014 | 6:50 pm
    I must apologize for not writing for nearly three months.  It’s been a very trying three months for me. After twelve years, we have sold our home and downsized.  With three boys, our 3,700 sq. ft. suburban home was spacious with a huge deck that commanded a fabulous view of the Olympic Mountains and Seattle in the distance.  In addition, it had three garages and 500 sq. ft.  of storage.  The open kitchen was a gathering place for friends and family, and often felt like Grand Central Station when all the boys had their friends over.  Everyone helped out in the kitchen. We had…
  • Mobile Game for Learning Japanese Kanji – Kanjilicious on Kickstarter

    Jenny Hones
    8 Jul 2014 | 7:04 pm
    I am all for education and as an enthusiast for Asian culture, I truly believe that learning a language also allows one to get a better understanding of a culture. For all of you who have thought about learning Japanese kanji, but never got around to it or thought it was too difficult, have a look at this. This is a project on Kickstarter called Kanjilicious – a mobile game for learning Japanese Kanji. This won’t become a reality until they reach their funding goal and you can part of this exciting project. Although I can speak Japanese fluently, my reading and writing skills are…
  • Are High Ceilings Better than Low Ceilings?

    Jenny Hones
    9 May 2014 | 3:15 pm
    High ceilings bring about a sense of grandeur.  Ballrooms, theaters, arenas, cathedrals, and castles all come to mind.  These are all public spaces but how do high ceilings feel in a residential setting?  How do you feel in a home with a tall ceiling?  Are you impressed?  Do you feel cold? Many people rave about high ceilings, thinking that they are always better than low ceilings.   Loft spaces with 12′ ceilings and higher may look cool and expansive, but from a design perspective, it’s not easy to work with.  As in all design, it just depends on the situation.  Often…
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    GaijinPot

  • Top Jobs in Japan for Week 36 – 2014

    GaijinPot Blog
    31 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Check back every Tuesday as we look through the database of jobs in Japan that have been posted to GaijinPot and pick out the ones that we think are the most interesting. Apply directly to these companies by creating a profile on GaijinPot. Leapforce At Home Independent Agent ¥2,000 / Hour Worldwide Telecommunication Japanese: Fluent Leapforce is looking for highly educated individuals for an exciting work from home opportunity. Applicants must be self motivated and internet savvy. This is an opportunity to evaluate and improve the results for one of the world’s largest internet search…
  • GPod 22: Fiddling Across Japan With Leona Tokutake

    Anthony Joh
    31 Aug 2014 | 6:29 am
    On this episode of the GPod, Anthony Joh talks to musician Leona Tokutake about her latest CD, ‘Love and Peace, Leona’. Starting as a young child, Leona was trained in classical violin before she made her way to America and discovered her passion for Bluegrass music. Leona is a fiddler from Tokyo Japan and now makes her home in Johnson City, Tennessee where she is a musical entertainer and instructor. Leona has performed both in Japan and the United States as an instrumentalist and vocalist. She is also a global advocate for promoting and preserving Bluegrass and Traditional…
  • The Act Of Gift Giving In Japan

    Yumi Nakata
    30 Aug 2014 | 10:27 pm
    On a recent trip back to Japan to visit my family, I was able to see a childhood friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in over 10 years. She brought her daughter with her to my parents house and as we were enjoying tea she gave me a nicely wrapped gift and said “つまらない もの だけど..” which can be translated as, “this is a trivial gift..(but please accept it)”. Gift giving is an important part of Japanese culture and it is customary to bring a gift when visiting someone’s house. As Japanese culture emphasizes the virtue of humility, people often…
  • Teacher’s Survival Kit For Teaching Children

    Aaron Bell
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Teaching children can be a tough business. We must deal with tears, boredom, frustration, behavioral issues and the odd tantrum, and that’s before we’ve even started the class. With all of the things that can go wrong, it’s useful to have a survival kit in case a class needs rescuing. When a lesson veers away from the textbook, the following items are, for eikaiwa style lessons, very helpful. 1) A set of alphabet cards. Phonics cards with a letter sound on one side and an illustrative picture on the other are the classroom equivalent of a Swiss army knife. Straight alphabet…
  • Summer Sky: The Four Types of Japanese Fireworks

    Lynn Allmon
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:00 pm
    From July to September, fireworks light up the sky over at least part of Japan nightly. From waterfalls of color to cheerful smiley faces, these fireworks, called hanabi (花火) in Japanese, come in a dazzling number of varieties. After watching an hour long display with dozens of different types of fireworks, you may start to see the similarities between certain kinds of fireworks. As explained on the HanabiNavi website, Japanese fireworks can generally be divided into four basic categories: warimono, pokamono, hanwarimono, and katamono. Warimono (割物) Photo by yuko Warimono are the…
 
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    Izakaya Politics

  • LDP Will Ride On Current Fukushima Governor’s Coattails, Even Though This Election Probably Doesn’t Matter

    Stephen Stapczynski
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:07 pm
    Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato Showing Off New Secret Handshake with IAEA Director Yukiya Amano After 3/11, Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato wasted no time by lashing out at Tepco and rejecting a personal apology from President Masataka Shimizu. To this day Sato demands that all nuclear reactors in the prefecture be dismantled, including the four that are still intact at the Fukushima Daini plant, located miles south of the damaged Daiichi reactors. Just like the people in his district, the Fukushima disaster forced him to change his stance toward nuclear energy. In 2010, he was reelected by…
  • Historical and Territorial Disputes are Keeping Japan and South Korea from Greater Economic Integration

    Stephen Stapczynski
    22 Aug 2014 | 9:55 am
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an ill-timed “Your Mama” joke, derailing recent high level bilateral talks. Saying that Japan and South Korea have strained relations would be an understatement. Despite them both being developed, democratic East Asian nations with world renowned high-tech industries, historic- and regional-fueled disputes have derailed efforts by both governments to better integrate the two economies . Strains in Japan-South Korean relations have put a large roadblock in front of building stronger economic ties. Trade between South Korea and Japan is declining, and…
  • Japan’s Drop in GDP is Temporary and Won’t Delay 2015 Tax Hike

    Stephen Stapczynski
    14 Aug 2014 | 8:42 pm
    Abe Ain’t Stopping Dat Consumption Tax Hike In the April – July quarter, the government estimates that the gross domestic product (GDP) shrank about 6.8% on an annualized basis – the biggest drop since the March 2011 triple disaster. The drop is primarily tied to the consumption tax increasing from 5% to 8% on April 1st. This contraction was expected and shouldn’t be seen as a surprise. Some people are wondering whether the sharp decline will carry over into the next quarter and affect Abe’s plan to increase the sales tax in 2015. However, there are already signs that the…
  • Abe Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon

    Stephen Stapczynski
    12 Aug 2014 | 1:41 pm
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe singing “I Will Survive” at his favorite karaoke spot. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s popularity at home is “tanking,” according to just about everyone outside of Japan (See: The Washington Post, Business Week, The Economist, Foreign Affairs, and Quartz). In July, Abe’s approval ratings fell to a record low, and it is likely due to his decision to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow for collective self-defense (CSD). There is also a good chance that Abe’s lackluster growth strategy revisions and desire to restart nuclear reactors…
  • Abe and Modi are Already BFFs, but a Rising China is Making Them Even Closer

    Stephen Stapczynski
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:19 pm
    Modi and Abe meeting in 2012. In the first week of September, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting up with his best buddy, Shinzo Abe. I have written a little about Abe’s other bromance with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, but I think that his relationship with Modi is the strongest of any international leader. And with a rising China on the horizon, I expect the meeting between Abe and Modi in September will lead to a number of substantive outcomes, like the signing of a civil nuclear agreement, an expansion of defense cooperation, and further economic integration. Even though…
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    90 days in Kyoto

  • Onigawara – Japanese roof tiles at Toji-in temple in Kyoto

    Jenny Feuerpeil
    24 Aug 2014 | 5:19 pm
    When I left the temple, I saw a lot of Japanese roof tiles (kawara 瓦), ornamental end pieces and ogre tiles called onigawara (鬼瓦) arranged on the ground under a tree. The temple just underwent major restoration work and the tiles were probably stored/exhibited there. The first thing that caught my eye was a row of neatly arranged roof end tiles with a typical Japanese ornament. These symbols are called Kamon (家紋) – emblems used by a family, a temple or an individual, much like a family crest in the western world. This one is made up of three comma shapes that move clockwise…
  • Grumpy Dumpty – Daruma paintings at Toji-in (等持院) in Kyoto

    Jenny Feuerpeil
    1 Aug 2014 | 4:15 pm
    The first thing you see when after you take off your shoes at Toji-in temple is a huge daruma painting at the end of a long wooden corridor. The comical rendition of a seemingly grumpy Bhodidharma, with eyes wide open, surprises and and reliefs some of the heavy, solemn atmosphere one expects when entering a temple. The high contrast of white, red and black certainly made an impression on my the first time I visited the temple in 2012. This time, I was looking forward to see the Daruma again. The Japanese call the legendary Buddhist monk Daruma (達磨 or だるま) after the Indian short…
  • Day 1 – Simple flower arrangement at Toji-in (等持院)

    Jenny Feuerpeil
    30 Jul 2014 | 7:58 pm
    A simple flower arrangement in a reception room near the entrance of Toji-in temple (等持院)
  • Day 1 – Texture

    Jenny Feuerpeil
    28 Jul 2014 | 6:40 pm
    Japanese work days start early – very early. By 7:15 usually all the trucks have left the company and are on the way to the genba (現場 – another word that is not easily translated – it means scene, site, the place where stuff happens – in other terms: construction site for gardens). I arrived at 8 and missed Oyakata (親方 – the master), but his wife welcomed me and begged me in for tea. After introducing myself and answering questions about my life, I was told that one of the company’s employees would pick me up around noon. Oyakata’s wife…
  • Day Zero – The Kyoto adventure begins (with the help of time travel)

    Jenny Feuerpeil
    25 Jul 2014 | 12:41 pm
    After you returned from a vacation, have you ever let your packed suitcase sit for a few days? I do that all the time. I do it so I can enjoy the lingering fragrance of a foreign country a bit longer. If I just unpacked the suitcase immediately, it would feel as if the journey never happened, right? Well, it’s been four weeks since I returned from my 90 days in Japan. I unpacked my suitcase by now, but haven’t touched the more valuable souvenirs yet: the pictures and diaries. Upon my arrival in SF, I decided not to sort my photos or read my notes for a while. I wanted to let…
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