| Nov 17, 2016

Symposium aims to unite business, academia

The KKE Vision 2016 symposium, organized by Kozo Keikaku Engineering (KKE) Inc., an engineering consulting firm based in Tokyo, was held on Oct. 26 at the Toranomon Hills Forum on the fifth floor of the Toranomon Hills complex. The KKE Vision symposium was first ...

Koenji's Awa Odori festival celebrates 60 years

Aug 25, 2016

Koenji's Awa Odori festival celebrates 60 years

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For the past few weeks, visitors and residents in Koenji have been haunted by a song — a plaintive, pentatonic melody that seems to circle endlessly, never quite resolving. You can hear it playing over speakers on the station platform just before the train ...

Anime discovers a rural outpost

| Jul 16, 2016

Anime discovers a rural outpost

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For the past few years, the beginning of July has found me on a flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles to attend Anime Expo (AX), the largest annual North American convention devoted to Japanese popular culture, and its related industry-only event, Project Anime (PA). ...

In search of Japan's essential summer festivals

Jun 23, 2016

In search of Japan's essential summer festivals

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With July just around the corner, Japan is gearing up for another sultry summer. Since the sizzling-hot days only last until early September, people make the most of the season by getting outside — that includes going to film festivals, art and fashion events ...

Drawing on the past of Osamu Tezuka

| Jun 18, 2016

Drawing on the past of Osamu Tezuka

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In 1977, American author and translator Frederik L. Schodt and three friends formed a manga-translation group in Tokyo, with the then-quixotic dream of introducing Japanese comics to a global readership. Schodt had arrived in Japan in 1965, courtesy of a father in the United ...

Viz's 30 years pack a punch in the U.S.

| May 14, 2016

Viz's 30 years pack a punch in the U.S.

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This summer, Viz Media, LLC, North America’s first-ever distributor of Japanese popular culture, turns 30. Founded in 1986 by the intrepid Seiji Horibuchi, who has since moved on to other projects, the company is now housed in the so-called Twitter building in downtown San ...

In pictures: The pageantry of horseback archery

Apr 18, 2016

In pictures: The pageantry of horseback archery

Yabusame — traditional archer on horseback — started in the Kamakura Period (1185–1333) as a way to appease the gods for prosperity and hone the Zen-like focus of samurai warriors. The eventual arrival of firearms eventually to the decline of archery as a military ...

Anime biz sings the praises of shows

| Apr 16, 2016

Anime biz sings the praises of shows

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The first time I attended AnimeJapan, the industry’s annual spring showcase in Odaiba, Tokyo, it was called the Tokyo International Anime Fair. Members of the public couldn’t enter during the first two days, amateur cosplay (costume play) was prohibited, and while there were some ...

From Cool Britannia to True Britannia

| Mar 19, 2016

From Cool Britannia to True Britannia

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In Japan, Western culture usually means American products: hot dogs, hamburgers, Starbucks and Krispy Kreme donuts, and recent boutique outlets like Blue Bottle Coffee and the Dominique Ansel bakery — not to mention the nearly 50,000 United States military personnel still stationed across the ...