Tokyo Disneyland turns 30!

Apr 12, 2013

Tokyo Disneyland turns 30!

by Kaori Shoji

Tokyo Disneyland (or “TDL” as it’s known to the Japanese) turns 30 on April 15, but like George Clooney, or heck, even the famed Mouse himself, age hasn’t withered it a bit. TDL means different things to the Japanese, but if you sift through ...

Pop tourism gains traction

| Apr 10, 2013

Pop tourism gains traction

by Roland Kelts

Pre-flight shopping at Narita airport a couple of weeks ago, I passed a mannequin sporting a light-blue necktie and a turquoise wig with pig tails dangling down to its mini skirt. The vision spoke volumes: It was Hatsune Miku, of course, Japan’s holographic, animated ...

Fujiwara chases a scoop in news-themed thriller

Jan 17, 2013

Fujiwara chases a scoop in news-themed thriller

by Tomohiro Osaki

There aren’t many celebrities who would make good journalists, but something tells me Norika Fujiwara is one. She’s well-traveled, socially active and not constrained by the mechanisms of public-relations strategies. In the new WOWOW mini-series “Onna to Otoko no Nettai” (which is rendered in ...

Jan 17, 2013

Audie Bock interviews Oshima at Cannes

by Audie Bock

The award for “Best Direction” at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival actually caps the achievement of a decade for Japan’s Nagisa Oshima. His latest film, “Ai no Borei (Empire of Passion),” a ghostly story of doomed love, saw its world premiere as Japan’s official ...

Endure New Year's on TV with the rest of Japan

Dec 28, 2012

Endure New Year's on TV with the rest of Japan

by Philip Brasor

Last year, NHK’s annual New Year’s Eve song contest, “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (7:15-11:45 p.m.), enjoyed its first ratings boost in more than a decade. As the most hallowed tradition in Japanese broadcasting, the program offered some needed end-of-year holiday solace for a nation still ...

Actress Mizukawa tackles 'violent, turbulent' character

Apr 20, 2012

Actress Mizukawa tackles 'violent, turbulent' character

by Tomoko Otake

Despite being holed up in a Tokyo hotel room for a press junket, 28-year-old actress Asami Mizukawa is surprisingly upbeat. However, she gives an unusual response when asked about the new TV mini-series she is starring in. “If you’re looking for (light) entertainment, I’m ...

Japan prepares to commemorate Tohoku tragedy

Mar 9, 2012

Japan prepares to commemorate Tohoku tragedy

by Philip Brasor

This Sunday is the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the coastline of northeastern Japan and killed more than 15,000 people. In January, the central government announced that it would hold a memorial service on March 11 at the National Theater, ...

New Japan Pro-Wrestling hits 40

| Dec 23, 2011

New Japan Pro-Wrestling hits 40

by Fintan Monaghan

High-impact slams, chokeholds and daredevil feats of athleticism aren’t the usual way to celebrate a 40th birthday, but that’s how New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) will be spending its big day. The promotion company was founded by square-jawed wrestling legend Antonio Inoki in June 1972. ...