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Kimono Makes A Come Back

Date: 2005 February 22 16:49 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

According to Japan Today some traditions just can't be beaten, and it appears that the kimono is making a come back in Japan, with kimono lovers regularly gathering at Ginza (Tokyo's luxury shopping district), to share their joy of Japanese clothes.

Apparently kimonos have almost disappeared from normal life because they are seen as impractical and expensive when compared to western style clothes. Fans of kimonos enjoy feeling relaxed, different and enjoy expressing their individuality through their outfits.

Souce: Japan Today

Stock Market Linked To Sazae-san Viewing Figures

Date: 2005 February 17 14:52 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > TV

The Anime News Network have translated an interesting if not bizarre story from Yahoo News Japan, that correlates the Japanese stock market and Sazae-san. Basically as the stock values go up the TV series' ratings go down, and as the stock goes down the ratings go up. There is some logic behind this though, when stock market goes down, household's don't go out on a Sunday and stay at home eating dinner while watching Sazae-san.

Souce: The Anime News Network

Ramen Theme Complexes

Date: 2005 February 16 15:15 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Japan Today are running a rather interesting story about Ramen theme complexes which are groups of Ramen restaurants that band together in order to beat the intense competition of the restaurant industry.

Souce: Japan Today

Japan's Dumbest Criminals of 2004

Date: 2005 January 16 11:49 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

The Mainichi Daily News have put up a story covering Japan's Dumbest Criminals of 2004. Highlights include a thief who went back to police to claim a knapsack he'd left at the scene of his robbery and gunman asking for directions from the police while tracking down a Tokyo loanshark.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

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

US Game Pirates Arrested.

Date: 2004 December 12 18:20 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Reuters are reporting on arrests of Game pirates in Washington D.C., for selling modified games consoles which are able to play pirated video games, the machines in question already had 15 games copied across. This is an interesting story, because it is not clear in the article if the modifications have been done for "backup purposes", or just for the sake of piracy. It should also be noted that Anime News Network mention that the retailer in question had been boycotted in the past at Otakon 2000 because they were selling bootleg anime.

Souce: Yahoo! News

Shocking Shojo Manga

Date: 2004 December 12 17:53 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

Mainichi Interactive's Wai Wai, is reporting the current trend of shojo manga (aimed at teenage girls) controversially publishing more erotic and shocking material. Many Japanese parents are concerned, the write up points out that more shocking things can be found on the internet and reminds readers that many girls are not influenced by manga.

Souce: Mainichi Interactive

An Interview With The Reading Agency

Date: 2004 December 07 18:15 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

Following our previous news items about the educational value of manga in the UK, that appear in both the Times Education Supplement and the Daily Mail, we've managed to get an interview with the organisation that created the campaign designed to get kids reading using manga - The Reading Agency.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

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

Sukebe Success is Bad News for Japanese Commuters

Date: 2004 November 24 15:54 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

The Times On-line are currently running a story about how a year-long national campaign against bottom-pinching in Japan has failed. Apparently Japanese perverts (or sukebe) are getting more devious despite harsh penalties which can be as extreme as a maximum of seven years' imprisonment. However most Japanese women are too embarrassed to report the report the crime and most courts are a generally lenient to the gropers.

A survey reported that up to 64 percent of women in their twenties and thirties had been molested on public transport. Solutions include separate Women only carriages.

Souce: The Times On-Line

Mail On Sunday Portray Manga In A Bad Light

Date: 2004 November 21 21:08 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

Following on from our report about The Educational Value of Manga In The UK, British News Paper The Mail On Sunday have just written an article about the topic titled "Child murder, incest and rape... is this really how our schools should be encouraging boys to read?", this is in stark contrast to previous articles we have reported on in other publications that portray anime and manga in a more positive light. When dealing with the Daily Mail and Mail Sunday our readers outside of the UK should note an Ian Hislop quote where he says that to the Daily Mail even Yoghurt is scary (I can't find the exact quote right now).

Read More... | Souce: The Mail On Sunday

Educational Value of Manga In The UK

Date: 2004 November 16 18:33 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

The Times Education Supplement (a Times newspaper for teachers and people working in the education sector) are running a story about the educational value of manga, interestingly enough they make the same common misconceptions about manga - "Mangas depict wide-eyed heroes, often in varying states of undress". The Reading Agency, an organisation that promotes literacy, is encouraging schools to buy Manga comics, it seems they want to get as many children to get into reading by introducing them to manga. They've compiled a list of 150 recommended Manga titles, deemed suitable for teenagers and are sending them to all libraries and schools. The Otaku News crew imagine that this will help TokyoPop UK's already very healthy sales figures! ^_-

Souce: TES

Pop Divas Create Tourist Attraction

Date: 2004 November 14 17:24 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

You can't beat The Daily Mainichi's Daily News' WaiWai Section for strange headlines. But this headline - Gay neighbors bummed out by
dangers of walking on wild side
surely deserves a prize. The article focuses on the problems currently faced at Tokyo's gay quarter in the Shinjuki 2-Chome district. Apparently it has become a tourist spot were people visit to observe the local gay and lesbian population unwinding. This recent phenomenon of tourists visiting is attributed to some of Japan's biggest pop divas such as Ayumi Hamasaki who is a regular at gay bars, mainly to avoid her fanbase. The article also mentions that with an increase in tourism it has also led to an increase in crime.

Souce: Daily Mainichi\'s Daily News

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

New Eurostar Rail Link To Use Bullet Trains

Date: 2004 October 27 18:31 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

The BBC are reporting that the new Eurostar rail link will be using trains built by Japanese bullet train manufacturer Hitachi. The new trains due to roll out in 2009 will run at 140mph, 46mph slower than the fastest Japanese bullet trains currently in Japan. The Otaku News crew hope that they don't get delayed by leaves on the line like conventional trains in the UK.

Souce: BBC

US Army Troops Get Anime Goodies

Date: 2004 October 18 17:54 | Posted By:

Category > Press Releases

In one of the more unusual press releases we received this week eigoMANGA have announced that they are sending anime and manga care packs to U.S. Army Troops destined for Iraq.

Apparently there is an anime club formed by the Army troops in Colorado Springs base called "A.N.I.M.E. Club". Independent media and publishing company eigoManga are asking for local otaku to donate anime and manga gifts to the anime fans in the US army.

Read More... | Souce: eigoMANGA

Yakuza Caught Trying To Film Litigant Using Hidden Camera

Date: 2004 September 19 09:49 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

The Mainichi Daily News are running an interesting story about a Yakuza (Japanese mafia) caught trying to film a litigant in a police station.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Two Earth quakes hit Japan within hours

Date: 2004 September 06 13:32 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Two earthquakes hit western Japan on Sunday the first a magnitude of 6.9 followed five hours later by a factor 7.3 earthquake.

Read More... | Souce: CNN

Otaku Boost Japanese Economy!

Date: 2004 September 03 19:15 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Canadian website Globe Technology.com are running an interesting article about Otaku boosting the Japanese economy, apart from cosplaying they "... have also done something else: created a big-money market that analysts are calling the 'mania' economy".

Apparently according to the Nomura Research Institute, Japanese otaku fork out $2.35-billion (USD) a year on manga, anime, computer games and merchandise.

Souce: GlobeTechnology.com

Japanese FTC probes big 5 record firms for 'off-key' phone-song sales

Date: 2004 August 29 16:47 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

The Asahi Shimbun are currently running a story about mobile phone ring tones.

The Japanese Fair Trade Commission have searched the offices of Japan's five major record companies and other firms suspected of monopolizing sales of hit songs as ring tones for mobile phones.

Souce: Asahi.com

Japan creates world's biggest bank

Date: 2004 August 12 14:48 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

CNN are reporting that Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group are to take over the troubled UFJ Holdings bank. This will create the world's biggest bank.

Souce: CNN.com

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

DNA Tests for Pork in Japan!

Date: 2004 May 29 17:14 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

In Japan "kurobuta" - the English rare breed of Berkshire pigs are prized for their meat. The BBC are running a story about Sygen a company that breeds and sells these pigs for a Japanese market. Due to fraud, they've had to use DNA testing to prove the authenticity of the meat on the shelves.

Souce: BBC News

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