Japanese folklore meets anime in Kyoto

| Jan 21, 2017

Japanese folklore meets anime in Kyoto

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The colors were jarring. Beneath the vermillion torii gates of Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine and surrounded by the olive broadleaves of Tadasu Forest was a pool of furry, bright yellow ponchos, decorated with the brown facial features, rounded ears and bulbous oblong tails of the ...

The top entertainment stories of 2016

Dec 30, 2016

The top entertainment stories of 2016

The Japan Times newsroom selected these culture stories as the most important of 2016. 1. Nothing lasts forever: After conflicting reports dominated tabloids, J-pop act SMAP finally announced a breakup planned for New Year’s Eve. Regardless of whether it was in-fighting or exhaustion that ...

Centenarian calligrapher continues innovation

Dec 1, 2016

Centenarian calligrapher continues innovation

It is a remarkable sight to see artist Toko Shinoda in her studio, wielding her calligraphy brush, one out of hundreds surrounding her, with nothing short of indefatigable self-assuredness. And even more remarkable is that Shinoda is on the verge of turning 104 years ...

| 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 ...