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British Theme for Fuji Rock Festival 2008

Date: 2008 July 27 16:53 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

BBC News have an interesting article about this years Fuji Rock Festival, which has a British theme, to celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Japan.

With Union Flags flying everywhere, the article states that many are wearing British themed outfits.
"British acts including The Courteeners, Hard-Fi, Primal Scream and headliners Underworld shared the main stage with Japanese performers on Saturday."

The article also highlights that the Fuji Rock Festival was inspired by Glastonbury.
"We call it the Fuji experience. It is like Glastonbury, but has been perfected in that Japanese way," says the festival's international organiser, Johnnie Fingers (also known as the founding member of The Boomtown Rats).

Souce: BBC News

New Non Photographic Law is a bit vague

Date: 2008 May 29 18:12 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Some anime and manga fans in the UK might have heard about the new proposals which would ban obscene images of children. The proposals mainly cover drawings and computer-generated images, however due to certain parts of the proposals being a bit vague, it's not exactly certain what images are classed as obscene. The mainstream press are keen to wrongly cite manga as one such example.

Read More... | Souce: BBC News

Akira gets bad press

Date: 2008 January 21 22:06 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

A Sun article on the case regarding Meredith Kercher's death last November points out that suspect Raffaele Sollecito has the words "AKIRAFUGA" as his computer's password.

"The court was told the password for his computer is AKIRAFUGA. Akira is a character in violent sado-masochistic Manga comics.

Fuga is Italian for flee. One Akira story relates how the 'hero' ran after trying to rape students.

Sollecito was remanded in custody. "

I think some further analagy is needed on the term "akira" here...

Read More... | Souce: The Sun Online

More Nova News

Date: 2007 November 23 12:39 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Following on from the stories about Japan's English Language School Nova being bankrupt, The Times, are running a story by a Nova employee about the situation, even if you're not interested in Nova, but are considering teaching English in Japan it's worth reading, as it gives insight into what to expect when teaching English to a broad array of Japanese people as Oliver Clarke explains - "... no topic seemed taboo as I was frequently regaled with tales of extra-marital office affairs, bowel movements and alcohol-induced vomiting, despite my best efforts to steer the conversations towards shopping or pets..."

The article ends explaining that Nova employees are still waiting to find out what the situation is, as Japanese staff haven't been paid since July, and 4,000 non-Japanese instructors have not been paid since October.

Souce: The Times

It's over for Nova?

Date: 2007 October 26 05:00 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

BBC News are running at story about Nova, Japan's largest chain of foreign language schools. Apparently the company is in financial crisis and has filed for court protection from creditors. 2,000 Japanese staff have not been paid since July and 4,000 non-Japanese instructors have not been paid their October salary, according to union officials. Nova has also closed all of it's schools.

The firm primarily offers English classes, being the largest foreign language school in Japan, Nova were always keen to recruit English speaking graduates eager for adventures in Japan and frequently attend graduate fairs. English Language schools are often used by otaku as a sort of gap year experience, many have extended their stay from just a year to a couple of years, and some even joining the company permanently making their chosen career path. Nova also advertised their lessons heavily in Japan and even had a mascot, the Nova Usagi, a cute pink rabbit who was enthusiastic about learning English.

For our readers who want to go to Japan for a year, we don't think the English language school market has collapsed, Nova lost a court case that had ruled it had misled customers in adverts about it's services, as a result student enrolment dropped, and Nova accumulated huge debts. There are other English language schools in Japan (we wonder if their enrolment has increased instead of Nova's), and failing that there are also a few government schemes for foreign nationals to participate in.

Souce: BBC News

British rural tea-rooms seek geisha girls

Date: 2007 July 12 17:03 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

BBC News are currently running an interesting story about the quest for geisha in Cumbria. The Lake District is a popular destination with Japanese tourists. So much so that Cumbria Tourism has translated a map of tea-serving places off the beaten track into Japanese and even hosting a Green Tea Day on 19th July 2007. Cafes on the tea trail are advertising for geishas to help with intricacies of the tea ceremony. Experts are also required to help translate the more trickier recipe names like "tarty tarn drizzle" into Japanese.

Fully-trained geisha are rare and apparently would charge up to £7,000 (more than $13,000 USD) to fly across from Japan. So the tourist association is hoping some more local experts can help out. Which is why I'm really posting this story on Otaku News. I know of our readers would be able to help. Any experts when it comes to tea etiquette in Japan should contact Cumbria Tourism. I'm sure a few translators could come in handy too. ^_-

Souce: BBC News

National Office for Vocation use manga to promote vocations

Date: 2007 April 26 17:12 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Following on from our story about the Manga Bible, it seems that many religions want to remain accessible to a wider audience, according to the Catholic News Agency manga will be used to promote vocations in the UK.

The article states: "We have chosen the Manga cartoons for the 2007 campaign, because we hope it will appeal to young people under twenty as well as people in their thirties," Fr. Paul Embery, Director of the National Office for Vocation, explained to the Italian Religious Service.

A new website has been launched too - www.calledtoday.com which features artwork in a manga style and tells the stories of various people dedicated to the church.

Souce: Catholic News Agency

Manga events at the Bristol Comics Expo

Date: 2007 April 11 13:34 | Posted By:

Category > Events

Following on from our earlier story about the Bristol Comics Expo (on 12th and 13th of May 2007), we've got some more details regarding their coverage of manga stuff. They'll have:

- Tokyo Pop
- Sweatdrop Studios
- Selfmadehero
- Yishan Li
- Umisen-Yamasen
- Siku
- Boychild Books
- Ilya
- Misako Rocks

They've bundled everyone together into a Manga Ally too, as always it's good to see Sweatdrop attending these events.

Read More... | Souce: Bristol Comics Expo

UK MP fears reduction of British children's TV

Date: 2007 March 19 15:30 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > TV

The Guardian are reporting on British Conservative MP John Whittingdale's recent speech at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers conference. Mr Whittingdale is the chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee. He's rather worried about a children's TV and the impact of pulling food advertising from children's TV - "[It will] have a damaging effect on children's broadcasting that will lead to money going out of it, the effect will be fewer children's programmes produced in this country except for the BBC," the main concern he stresses is increase in imported Children's TV - "There will be a growth of the likes of Japanese anime cartoons and American animated content which is something we are concerned about and may need to be addressed as part of challenge of maintaining public service plurality."

So in a nut shell he's worried that there won't be enough British produced children's TV, as ITV has been reducing it's children's output. The Otaku News crew want more TV greats like Danger Mouse. ^_^

Souce: The Guardian

Oriental City under threat?

Date: 2006 November 22 13:33 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

Many readers of this site will be familiar with Oriental City in Colindale, North London (formally known as Yohan Plaza) a purpose built shopping centre which contains in all manner of East Asian shops, restaurants as well as a Sega arcade.

The complex's new owner Development Securities, is planning to redevelop the site, offering current tenants alternative accommodation whilst it does so. Current tenants argue that the development will disrupt the community adding that plans to allow space for a DIY superstore would destroy Oriental City's distinctive feel.

Souce: The Independent

Japanorama Returns

Date: 2006 September 04 03:57 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > TV

Keen readers of TV guides may have spotted the return of Japanorama, Jonathan Ross' TV show focusing on the more cool and bizarre side of Japanese culture. The previous season was well worth watching, and this latest instalment promises to be just as entertaining and informative.

UK Viewers (with freeview/cable/satellite) can catch Japanorama on BBC Three starting Thursday 7th September at 11pm, this weeks episode Ross explores the meaning of kakoii, Japanese for cool.

Souce: BBC Three

Britain Goes Sodoku Mad

Date: 2006 January 10 15:09 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Amusingly Crisscross are currently running an article about Britain's current Sodoku Craze, it briefly covers the history of the numbers game and how The Times started the Sodoku wars in the national newspapers.

Souce: Crisscross

Is KyuuCON a Scam?

Date: 2005 August 25 17:36 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

After posting the press release from KyuuCon yesterday, it's been brought to our attention by various members of UK anime fandom that there is something fishy about KyuuCON. Firstly it appears that the venue mentioned the Plymouth Pavillions has not heard of KyuuCON or the organisers in question. The second major alarm bell is where the payments are going, into a personal bank account and not a building society account/non-profit account in the conventions name.

What's also interesting is their sudden change of heart, and the way they've just moved everything back a year. Plus this thread brought to our attention at the AyaCon Forum. At this current moment in time, based on what we have heard, we believe that KyuuCON is either very poorly organised or a cash grabbing scam, either way, we suggest you avoid KyuuCON for now.

Read More... | Souce: Anime Fandom

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

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

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

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

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

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