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Non-Alcoholic Beer Popular with Kids in Japan

Date: 2005 August 05 07:35 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

According to Japan Today a new drink called "KidsBeer" which is aimed at children is becoming increasingly popular in Japan with kids and is posting monthly shipments of 75,000 bottles, according to its maker Tomomasu Co.

The beverage which sells for around 380 Yen per a 330-milliliter bottle makes use of the Latin American Plant Guarana as an ingredient. The company said that the beverage is coloured brown to make it look even more like beer.

Souce: Japan Today

Japan University Forms New Manga Department

Date: 2005 July 05 17:54 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

Going to school to learn about art just got a whole lot cooler. At least in Japan it has. Anime News Network has announced that the first ever Manga Department will begin next spring in 2006 at Kyoto Seika University in Japan. The school's already existing manga art courses will be merged together to form the new department. 200 students will have the option to take classes that not only include how to produce manga, but also animation courses as well. No details have yet been provided on exactly what classes will be available.

Souce: Anime News Network

Nippon Animation Co Ordered to Pay Loyalties to Voice Actors

Date: 2005 June 29 06:54 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

According to the Mainichi Daily News on Tuesday the Supreme Court ordered Japan's largest animation production company to pay royalties to voice actors and actresses for the sales of videotapes of animated films in which they acted.

Read More... | Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Adult Videos To Appear on PSP

Date: 2005 June 19 15:28 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

The Mainichi Daily News are reporting Sony Computer Entertainment have been put in an awkward position due to a Tokyo adult video maker announcing that it intends to produce adult video discs in UMD format, which can be played on Sony's Playstation Portable.

"This is not desirable, but we don't have the right to stop sales (of the adult videos)," a Sony Computer Entertainment representative said.

On a seperate note last month Geneon announced they would release anime on the PSP.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Tokyo Added to Live 8 charity concerts

Date: 2005 June 18 07:36 | Posted By:

Category > Events

Bob Geldof announced on Friday that Tokyo had been added to the list of cities taking part in the live8 charity concerts taking place around the world. The Irish Singer also said "Three weeks ago Europe agreed, unbelievably, to double aid, throwing the ball back to the Yanks, the Japanese and the Canadians".

Tokyo was added together with other two cities: Toronto and Johannesburg, for the July 2 concerts.
Geldof said the latest additions were arranged to put pressure on the Japanese and Canadian governments to increase assistance to Africa.

Souce: Japan Today

Japan and France Team Up To Develop Supersonic Jet

Date: 2005 June 16 12:45 | Posted By:

Category > Technology

BBC News are covering a story about the Japanese and French plans to produce a successor to Concorde the renowned supersonic jet plane. Both countries unveiled the plan at the Paris airshow and stated that the 300 seat plane would reduce flight times between New York and Tokyo to six hours! This new aircraft will also be more refined than Concorde producing less noise.

Souce: BBC News

Washington post brands Akihabara Geek Ghetto

Date: 2005 June 10 09:47 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

The Washington post has an article about Akihabara, which brands it a Geek Ghetto and describes the maid café’s outfits as ‘French maid-meets-Pokemon outfits of adult manga’ another paragraphs states ‘That, along with the child pornography aspect of some adult manga, has led to allegations that some nerds are pedophiles.’ It also goes on to link Japans Geek culture with social problems in Japan.

Souce: Washington Post

Humanoid Robot at Japanese Expo

Date: 2005 June 09 16:39 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

A humanoid robot HRP-2 beats a drum during a robot exhibition at the Aichi World Expo site, at Nagakute on Thursday. Thanks to new software, HRP-2 came one step closer to be a working humanoid robot.

Lined up in a row of booths, more than 60 robots were on display at the Prototype Robot Exhibition. The robots are designed to become part of everyday lives, helping the sick, rescuing disaster victims and entertaining families.

Souce: Mainichi

Japanese Lessons offered on Virgin Atlantic Flight

Date: 2005 June 05 05:08 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

According to Japan Today, British Airline Virgin Atlantic will be offering Japanese Language Lessons on its London-to-Tokyo flights. Univerb Publishing House of Sweden developed the course and it will be offered as the airline’s in-flight entertainment system.
"Passengers can learn basic phrases or brush up on fluent conversation," said Katie Marks,
Programming coordinator for Virgin's onboard media, adding that Cantonese and Mandarin will also be added later this year.

Souce: Japan Today

Movix Kyoto: Massive multiplex movie theater opens

Date: 2005 June 01 15:12 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

According to Anime News Service, on the 23rd April Shochiku celebrated its 110th anniversary and saw the opening of Movix Kyoto, which covers 7 stories, 12 screens and 2,563 seats. The massive complex will host Kyoto’s first DLP screen as well as TAD sound. This is the largest multiplex movie theater in western Japan. Tickets for the movies can be bought online or via mobile phones and all screens offer Dolby Surround EX, stadium seating and Movix original highback seating. Movix Kyoto will offer big screen digital presentations of Kabuki Plays which were called "Cinema Kabuki".

Souce: Anime news service

Su Doku Newspaper Wars

Date: 2005 May 10 18:09 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC's Newsnight show, have just run a TV version of this BBC News article about Su Doku. The article basically explains that a news paper war has broken out in the UK over the Japanese number puzzle Su Doku, an addicting game that can be solved using logic, so those with a phobia of mathematics can play! The game is becoming so popular it's actually now a selling point on newspapers front pages. Su Doku can be computer generated, so if you want to play take a look at Sudoku.com.

Souce: BBC News

Women-only Train Carriages Roll Out In Tokyo

Date: 2005 May 09 18:04 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Following on from our story about perverts groping women on trains in Japan, according to theMainichi Daily News several private rail companies have come up with a solution, Women only carriages. They were introduced across the Tokyo Metropolitan area on Monday. So far the scheme seems popular with both men and women, as women feel safer and (most) men feel they won't get wrongly accused of groping any female passengers.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Scissors, Paper, Stone Wins $20 Million Contract

Date: 2005 May 07 07:49 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Picture this, you're the director of Japanese electronics corporation Maspro Denkoh, you've got a $20 million collection of Picassos and Van Goghs that you want to sell, but can't decide if the contract should go to Sotheby's or Christie's to auction them. So what do you do? Get a represtentive from each prestigious auction house to visit and explain the benefits of using their auction service? Why no! You get them to play scissors, paper, stone! BBC News has the details of this hilarious incident and also the result.

The winner actually planned ahead by asking staff's two 11 year old daughters for tips! ^_-

Souce: BBC News

Bandai/Namco Merger

Date: 2005 May 03 07:45 | Posted By:

Category > Gaming

Bandai Co. Ltd has made a deal to buy Videogame maker Namco Ltd for about 175.3 billion Yen (app $1.7 billion) in cash and stock .

Read More... | Souce: Anime News Network

The Recent Phenomenon Of 'Sexy' Japanese Otaku

Date: 2005 April 29 14:40 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

The UK Times newspaper this week carried a two page article of at Bridget-Jones style blogger Artesia, who has written a document of her relationship with an Otaku man which has fascinated the Japanese and has asked serious questions about the conflict between old-world Japanese beliefs and the massive Otaku culture.

Read More... | Souce: The Timesonline.co.uk

Everyone Wants The Totoro House

Date: 2005 April 12 15:29 | Posted By:

Category > Production > Studio Ghibli

According to the Daily Yomiuri On-Line the Totoro House at the Aichi World Expo 2005 has many local Japanese governments staking their claim to the property.

Many local authorities are keen to get Satsuki's and Mei's 1950's style house from the anime classic Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) moved to their prefecture, not only will it prove a big hit with locals, but it will surely make a major tourist attraction too. The house is already one of the most popular features at the Expo and has been covered on Otaku News before. The Youmiuri article has more details such as "The wooden house was built using joints, not nails, and the glass used in the windows is not new, as the panes were all salvaged from old buildings."

The Otaku News Crew are currently considering collecting signatures so they'll let us live in it! ^_^

Souce: Daily Yomiuri On-Line

Dress Down Work Days For Japanese Prime Minister

Date: 2005 March 31 17:15 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News are covering a story on the Junichiro Koizumi - the Japanese Prime Minister's effort to save energy this summer, by not wearing a jacket and tie he hopes to set an example and in turn cut down on air conditioning costs.

Souce: BBC News

Idols Everywhere!

Date: 2005 March 31 16:58 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Japan Today have just published an article that explains the inner workings of the Japanese Idol industry. This fascinating read highlights the fact that the Japanese industry is the reverse of the "western" industry, where Japanese Idols are hired and trained by agencies who give them a percentage of their earnings. It mentions a selection of agencies each with their own speciality in the market place. Interestingly enough agencies also teach their employees something that many western celebrities should have lessons in "things like how to hold their alcohol, how to spend money wisely".

Souce: Japan Today

The State of Japanese Comedy On TV

Date: 2005 March 30 17:36 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Michael Naishtut has written a good article for Japan Today that focuses on the lack of decent comedy on Japanese TV. It also covers the different types of genres commonly associated with Japanese comedy and forms good introduction to anyone wanting to learn about such things.

Souce: Japan Today

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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