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Japan Advised To Promote Gross National Cool

Date: 2004 December 14 15:54 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

In a rather amusing news story covered by the AFP on Yahoo! News, experts advised the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to promote "Gross National Cool" as a tool of foreign policy! The experts from the Japan Forum on International Relations believe that Japan's full range of admired cultural resources ranging from the Japanese sense of beauty, to today's movies and anime should be used to promote Japanese interests abroad.

Spirited Away's Oscar win gets a mention, as does the crisis in Japan's education system with students slipping in international league tables. What's also interesting is the fact that South Korean drama Winter Sonata has generated 1.1 billion dollars in revenue for South Korea due to increased Tourism, Otaku News has already covered a story on Bae Yong-Jun the popular actor from the show.

Souce: Yahoo! News

Goodbye Godzilla

Date: 2004 December 12 18:05 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Scotland on Sunday have a write up entitled Godzilla takes final bow, which reports on everyone's favourite rubbersuited monster's final feature film.

Souce: Scotland on Sunday

Densha Otoko (Trainman) Japanese Best Seller

Date: 2004 November 25 18:04 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Here at Otaku News we know that our readers are cultured and intelligent individuals, which is why you've probably already heard about Densha Otoko (Trainman) a new Japanese best seller, based on a series of bulletin board posts board after the protagonist, a young Japanese man "Trainman" rescues a woman "Miss Hermes" from a pushy drunk on the train.

The collection of e-mails and bulletin board postings with emoticons, slang forms and such forms the book which spans over 360 pages. The story is more of an on-line diary where Trainman asks for and receives advice from fellow geeks on how to approach "Miss Hermes". Densha Otoko has sold over 260,000 copies in three weeks.

The Japan Times Online and ZDNet UK both have good write ups on the book and the internet culture surrounding it. Following on from bottom pinching perverts it's certainly nice to hear that there are still heroes on the trains!

Souce: The Japan Times On-line

Daily Yomiuri Roundup

Date: 2004 October 28 16:24 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

With all the Japanese news currently focusing on the aftermath of the earthquake that hit the Niigata prefecture, I thought it would be nice to cover some more positive things (there's nothing like escaping from reality).

It's about time some of you have a look at The Daily Yomiuri Website, they are running some nice stories about the following:

- A Russian diplomat who has written a book about a Sumo Wrestling.
- National Science Museum in Tokyo has lots of displays for foreigners.
- An Interesting Story about English as a Foreign Language

Also for the more enlightened otaku, have you ever wondered what a Japanese fish market looks like? The Yomiuri Website has lovely photos of every day Japanese life if you have the time to browse.

For the artist in you the newspaper have started to accept entries to their International Cartoon Contest.

Souce: Daily Yomiuri

Samurai History Papers - Quarterly Newsletter

Date: 2004 October 16 16:03 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

We've just got details in from Ridgeback Press, apparently they will be launching Samurai History Papers, a quarterly newsletter from Romulus Hillsborough (whose research on the history of the Meiji Restoration spans over twenty years). It focuses on the facts behind many samurai anime series, such as the Shinsengumi (central to Peacemaker Kurogane and Rurouni Kenshin).

Read More... | Souce: Ridgeback Press

Wrong About Japan

Date: 2004 October 10 09:49 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

The Scotsman.com has an interesting article about Peter Carey's new book Wrong About Japan, the article covers lots of ground including how different generations perceive Japan (Shinto Shrines, Tea Ceremonies Kabuki and video games, neon lights etc...).

Souce: The Scotsman.com

V&A Exhibit - Encounters: The Meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800

Date: 2004 October 03 16:54 | Posted By:

Category > Events

I've just found out that the Victoria and Albert Museum in London are running an Exhibition called Encounters: The Meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800. It will have some great Japanese items, including:

- a six panel gold leafed paper screen
- an elaborate painting with gold on silk
- armour from the shogun Tokugawa Hidetada
- a Portable Christian Altar
- Two Dutchmen and two courtesans Hanging scroll
- Food Box (surely they mean bento box?)

Many items are being shown for the first time, so we recommend a visit.

Read More... | Souce: V&A Encounters Website

Japanese Swords in the British Museum

Date: 2004 September 26 17:46 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Fans of sharp pointy things will want to pay a visit to the British Museum in London, from 30th September 2004 until 17th February 2005 they have the "Cutting Edge: Japanese Swords in the British Museum" exhibition, which focuses on history of swords in Japan, including Koto (old swords), Shinto (new swords) and Shinshinto (new-new Swords). The British Museum is always a great place to visit, so we suggest you visit this exhibition while you can, especially since Japanese swords are really works of art.

For a more details visit the British Museum's Department of Asia Exhibitions page.

Souce: British Museum - Department of Asia Exhibitions

Japanese Films at The 12th Raindance Festival

Date: 2004 September 26 17:16 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

London cinema otaku as always are in for a treat with the 12th Raindance Film Festival, which is dedicated to fostering and promoting independent film in the UK and around the world. For fans of Japan, check out their Way Out East strand, they'll be showing films like:

- After The Apocalypse
- Antenna
- Arakey
- Dead End Run
- Doppelganger
- Lunch Box
- Marebito
- Ramblers

If South Korean flicks are more your thing, check out Arahan and Oldboy. If you're into Chinese gothic shockers then go for Night Corridor.

Souce: Raindance Film Festival

Akita Kanto performance at the Thames Festival

Date: 2004 September 11 17:30 | Posted By:

Category > Events

London otaku better get themselves to the the Thames Festival which "closes busy streets and transforms the river, parks and open spaces with a rich programme of new creative commissions, a riverside bazaar and night market, family oriented activities, street theatre, music, and more."

This year artistes balancing Kanto poles will be demonstraiting their skills in London while accompanied by traditional Japanese music of the taiko drum, bamboo flute and bell. On the 18th September they will be supported by taiko drummers from Gyosei International College.

Read More... | Souce: Thames Festival Website

Learn Japanese by Reading Manga

Date: 2004 August 28 10:21 | Posted By:

Category > Press Releases

Washington Otaku will be pleased to know that the Japanese Language Center will be running a course that focuses on learning Japanese by reading manga!

Read More... | Souce: Japanese Language Center

10th Anniversary Origami Tanteidan International Convention

Date: 2004 August 23 16:31 | Posted By:

Category > Events

The good folks at Slashdot have highlighted an Origami Convention at Toyo University in Japan.

Check out the Guardian article, Joseph Wu's site, and also previous convention photos.

Souce: Slashdot

Actor Bae Yong-jun forth most talked about product in Japan

Date: 2004 August 05 17:22 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

According to a recent survey by advertising firm Denstu, Korean actor Bae Yong-jun is the forth most talked about product in Japan. He was beaten by Athens Olympic and DVD recorders (both sharing the number one slot), with Kansu health food products in third.

Souce: Digital Chosunilbo

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