The 'washi' paper trail: from the tree to its many purposes

Jan 7, 2017

The 'washi' paper trail: from the tree to its many purposes

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Stepping off the bus at the Gakko-iriguchi stop in Higashi-Chichibu Village in Saitama Prefecture, the first things to strike the eye are high-flying clusters of balloons, suspended like colorful dirigibles. Here, the workshops and exhibition spaces of Washi-no-Sato, a well-known papermaking center tucked into ...

Out of the ordinary comes a new art festival

Sep 20, 2016

Out of the ordinary comes a new art festival

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I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that Japan has three “most beautiful” places. It’s a tradition, or a received wisdom, if you like, to rank the triad of the land bridge Ama-no Hashidate, the rocky islands of Matsushima and the sacred torii in ...

All teen suspects in Saitama slaying deny murderous intent

Aug 29, 2016

All teen suspects in Saitama slaying deny murderous intent

All five teenagers arrested last week for allegedly killing a 16-year-old boy in Saitama Prefecture have denied murderous intent while admitting that they physically assaulted him, according to investigative sources. But because their statements have been inconsistent since they were arrested, investigators are still ...

Commuters fight back against groping

Jul 30, 2016

Commuters fight back against groping

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Takako Tonooka’s life at high school did not start out the way she had anticipated. On the very first day she attended class, she was groped on the train — and that was only the beginning of her nightmare. For a year and a ...

Jul 8, 2016

Indefinite prison term sought for babysitter over boy's death

Prosecutors on Friday demanded an indefinite prison term for a former male babysitter accused of murdering a 2-year-old boy in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture, in March 2014. During closing statements, prosecutors told Yokoyama District Court that the defendant, Yuji Motte, 28, had a strong intent ...