Okayama girl, 5, honored for knowledge of 'yokai' monsters

National Feb 15, 2016

Okayama girl, 5, honored for knowledge of 'yokai' monsters

by Satoshi Higa

Five-year-old Mana Umemoto has become the youngest person ever to receive the title Doctor of Yokai Monsters. Umemoto, from Bizen, Okayama Prefecture, has passed the beginners' level exam that tests knowledge of the yokai creatures of Japanese folklore. These are spiritual beings that inhabit tales ...

Modernity and magical realism in rural Japan

Books / Reviews Jul 11, 2015

Modernity and magical realism in rural Japan

by James Hadfield

Tokyo may still be thriving, but in Japan's rural hinterlands, the country has already plunged into a state of advanced senescence. At the start of Kazuki Sakuraba's "Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas," the book's narrator surveys her hometown and struggles to reconcile ...

Tottori's golden sandbox and fog-shrouded mountains

Travel Jan 17, 2015

Tottori's golden sandbox and fog-shrouded mountains

by Davey Young

The region north of the Chugoku mountains in western Honshu is known as San'in — "the shadow of the mountain." In Tottori Prefecture, these craggy mountains give way to stretches of fertile farmland that butt up against the icy Sea of Japan. The erratic ...

Endangered beetles put on block

National Sep 26, 2013

Endangered beetles put on block

Specimens of an endangered species of insect captured in Tottori Prefecture were put up for sale on an Internet auction site, prefectural officials said Thursday. The entries for two diving beetles were removed from the website as soon as officials warned the seller that "such ...