April 2013
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Apr 28, 2013

Singer Matsutoya among 723 spring decoration recipients

Popular singer-songwriter Yumi Matsutoya is among 723 people and 13 groups honored in this year’s spring decorations, the government announced Sunday. Matsutoya, 59, ballet dancer Tetsuya Kumakawa, 41, theater director Tamiya Kuriyama, 60, and Kinshi Nozawa, 55, who plays shamisen in traditional “Joruri” puppet ...

Apr 28, 2013

Number of elderly workers in 2012 soared to new record high

The number of workers aged 60 or above averaged 11.92 million in 2012, setting a record high for the sixth straight year, according to recently released government data. The average number of elderly employees last year increased by 170,000 from 2011, accounting for 19.0 ...

Apr 28, 2013

Suspected North Korean body found floating off Niigata

A near skeletal male body that authorities suspect originated in North Korea was found floating off the coast of Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture, on Saturday afternoon, police said. The clothing on the body, found at around 3:30 p.m. by a man walking along the shore, ...

Re-creating the life of a 17th-century concubine

Apr 28, 2013

Re-creating the life of a 17th-century concubine

by Mark Schilling

As G.G. Rowley notes in the preface to her lovingly researched, elegantly written study of Imperial concubine Nakanoin Nakako, the history of her subject's period, the late 16th and early 17th centuries, "has traditionally been written as the history of men."

Nico Nico Douga becomes reality for two days

Apr 28, 2013

Nico Nico Douga becomes reality for two days

by Kazuaki Nagata

Dwango Co. kicked off a two-day event Saturday that aims to turn the online world of video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga into physical reality. The first day of the annual Nico Nico Chokaigi event hosted by the video-sharing giant drew a variety of people ...

Daytime in Kin Town's nocturnal city

Apr 28, 2013

Daytime in Kin Town's nocturnal city

by Stephen Mansfield

The three drunken U.S. Marines who stumbled into my motorbike headlamps were clearly combat-trained, as their agility in shifting from advanced inebriation to performing a nimble leap onto the sidewalk suggested seriously attuned reflexes.

Search on for missing climber after Nagano avalanche

Apr 28, 2013

Search on for missing climber after Nagano avalanche

One person is missing after an avalanche hit a group of climbers on Mount Shirouma in Nagano Prefecture on Saturday, police said. The missing climber is believed to be a woman in her 50s from Gifu Prefecture, they said. Of the group of six, ...

| Apr 28, 2013

Disaster long lurked amid Japan's isolation

by Michael Hoffman

“The evolution of political thought in this relatively isolated island nation during the period in question is unique to the point of being somewhat freakish.” This gives a reader pause. Freakish? The judgment is historian Hiroshi Watanabe’s in “A History of Japanese Political Thought, ...

Apr 28, 2013

Conference crown still up for grabs in East

by Ed Odeven

The Niigata Albirex BB moved closer to a possible Eastern Conference regular-season title by beating the visiting Sendai 89ers 98-79 on Saturday night. Niigata (35-16) is one game ahead of the Iwate Big Bulls, Yokohama B-Corsairs and Toyama Grouses, all of whom have 34-17 ...