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Browsing Category: > Culture

Joanna Lumley Catwoman in Japan

Date: 2009 September 6th Sunday [8:47] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

UK based fans of felines of should tune into ITV 1 on Sunday 6th and 13th of September 2009 at 7pm to catch Joanna Lumley Catwoman. The actress turns "cat detective" and travels around the world, one of her stops is Japan, where she'll meet a Japanese cat fashion designer (we also suspect a mention of Hello Kitty).

The world's largest cat festival in Belgium, should also prove interesting, as we've heard rumours in the past about Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service making the odd appearance there.

Source: ITV

Bunny Cafes in Japan

Date: 2009 August 30th Sunday [11:42] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News have an interesting article about the current trend in Japan of Bunny Cafes. The article focuses on one in Nagoya, which allows visitors to pet cute rabbits, eat rabbit themed food (nothing with carrots in, just cute pictures of bunnies on). Guests can even bring their own pet bunnies to socialise.

Source: BBC News

Japan Matsuri Festival in London September 2009

Date: 2009 August 27th Thursday [14:35] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based readers should head over to Spitalfields on Saturday September 19th 2009 for the Japan Matsuri. A Matsuri is a festival with lots of stalls, food, fun and games along with plenty to see and do. It's set to run from 10am to 8pm.

A few readers might remember that this is not the first Matsuri in London. The last major one was at Hyde Park on 19th and 20th May 2001! As they don't happen as often as we like we strongly suggest you get to this one for all the festivities.

Read More... | Source: Japan Matsuri

Dogu Ceramic Figures at the British Museum from September 2009

Date: 2009 August 23rd Sunday [11:15] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

London based fans of ancient Japanese art, that has influenced anime, manga and video games should head over to the British Museum.

From 10th September 2009 to 22 November 2009 they'll be hosting an exhibition on The power of dogu: ceramic figures from ancient Japan. The exhibition is free to get into. No tickets are required, you can just walk into the museum and walk over to Room 91 to see this great bit of cultural history.

Read More... | Source: British Museum

Emotion is all in the Eyes for East Asian People

Date: 2009 August 22nd Saturday [13:28] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News have published the details of a study by a team from Glasgow University. The study showed that different cultures read different facial expressions differently.

They discovered that East Asian participants in the study focused mainly on the eyes, but those from the west read the whole face.

"The paper states that the Eastern participants used a culturally specific decoding strategy that was inadequate to reliably distinguish the universal facial expressions of fear and disgust.

It concluded that information from the eyes is often ambiguous and confusing in these expressions, with consequences for cross-cultural communication and globalisation."

The researchers also cited the difference between western emoticons - :-) and Eastern emoticons - ^_^.

Source: BBC News

BBC News Stroll around Akihabara

Date: 2009 July 9th Thursday [8:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News have just published an interesting article about their stroll in Akihabara the otaku heartland.

The article introduces readers to the area, then they go on a tour around the district. They cover the hardware hacking scene in the area, focusing on the component shops. This is then followed by a mention of the surveillance equipment available. It then concludes with the homemade software culture, the article calls it unlicensed software, but we think they mean doujin software.

"This underground amateur culture has always been a big part of Akihabara and 'otaku' culture, back from home made comic books, now moving into homemade hardware and software."

Source: BBC News

British fans of Manba

Date: 2009 July 4th Saturday [7:59] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News have discovered the Manba scene in the UK. The article titled Japan's fashion rebellion goes West, features two fans of the Japanese fashion, along with a video of them Para-para dancing and a separate video interview.

"British teenagers like 18-year-olds Eilish and Declan got caught up in manba after an interest in Japanese culture led them to start researching on the internet, where they came across the style."

They've discovered how to apply the make-up by watching videos on YouTube, and use Japanese social networking site Mixi to keep up with Japanese people who are also into manba fashion. The article also mentions they meet up with other mamba fans in London's Chinatown.

Source: BBC News

Shinto Shrine Blesses Gadgets

Date: 2009 June 29th Monday [4:13] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Technology

Wired are currently running a feature article about the technology blessings at the Kanda Shrine near Akihabara in Tokyo. For a small fee (800 Yen, which is about 5GBP or 8 USD) you can get good luck charms that look like microchips to protect your favourite gadget, or for 5,000 Yen (about 30 GBP / 50 USD) you can get a private blessing ceremony.

Apparently the Shinto shrine started doing IT blessings when Windows XP went on sale in Japan. The local otaku started to snap up the protection talismans to prevent system crashes, and from then on the requests started flooding in. Apart from gadgets the shrine will even bless blogs and ISP services!

Update: Spike reminds me that we covered this story last year, before it was covered on Wired.

Source: Wired

Hiromi Plays Jazz at the London Barbican

Date: 2009 June 12th Friday [14:27] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based fans of Jazz will want to head over to Barbican on Friday 10th July 7.30pm see Hiromi, Yaron Herman Trio, Tineke Postma Quartet featuring Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington perform some jazz.

Read More... | Source: London Barbican

Sashiko Quilting in London June 2009

Date: 2009 June 11th Thursday [16:33] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of traditional Japanese quilting in London should head over to The Japan Foundation on Tuesday 30th June 2009. Michele walker will be exploring the world of Sashiko.

Read More... | Source: The Japan Foundation

Japanese Art Festival in Richmond July 2009

Date: 2009 May 31st Sunday [10:51] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

UK readers who are able to get to Richmond in Surrey, should keep the weekend of the11th and 12th July 2009 free. As they'll be a Japanese Art Festival at Richmond Adult Community College. Entry to the event is free. They'll be stuff to do for anime and manga fans, long with people with an interest in Japanese culture.

They're also looking for gophers, so please do get in touch with them if you can help out.

Source: Japanese Art Festival

Ryuichi Sakamoto:Playing the Piano 2009 Europe

Date: 2009 May 30th Saturday [7:45] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

We've discovered the details of Ryuichi Sakamoto's European Tour. You may have heard the musician's music in many films.

He'll be in the UK from end of November to the beginning of December 2009. As always with these events we advise in booking early to avoid disappointment.

If you want to keep up to date with Ryuichi Sakamoto, you can also follow him on Twitter.

Read More... | Source: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ideas from a Japanese Garden

Date: 2009 April 6th Monday [17:37] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of Japanese inspired art will want to visit the Barbican in London on Wednesday 22nd April 2009 on 6:45pm to see Ideas from a Japanese Garden. Where Marc Treib, Professor of Architecture Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley and author of A Guide to the Gardens of Kyoto, examines key ideas behind historical garden design in Japan, and considers their potential relevance to art in the West. Admission is free.

Read More... | Source: Barbican

Interview with Helen McCarthy

Date: 2009 April 5th Sunday [16:42] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Anime

Audio interview with Japanese culture expert Helen McCarthy in conjunction with Irish Film Institute.

Read More... | Source: Eeeper's Choice Podcast / Otaku News

Volunteers needed for Japanese Charity Film Festival in London

Date: 2009 March 31st Tuesday [14:44] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

We've got a request from our chums asking for some help with Japanese charity and their Film Festival in the National Gallery, London.

They need help promoting the event and at the event itself. The kind of people they are looking to help appear to be our readership. ^_-

They want volunteers on or before 15th-17th April 2009.

Read More... | Source: National Gallery

English National Gallery to host Japanese Film Festival

Date: 2009 March 31st Tuesday [13:13] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Anime > Film

The National Gallery in London is to host a Japanese Film Festival (including Barefoot Gen) in aid of Japan Care for the Elderly from 15-17 April.

Read More... | Source: National Gallery London

Hiroki Azuma's OTAKU: Japan's Database Animals book

Date: 2009 March 26th Thursday [17:36] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

We've been sent the details of Hiroki Azuma's best selling book OTAKU: Japan's Database Animals. The English translation of the book is due out this April.

Update: We've also got a review of OTAKU: Japan's Database Animals.

[Pre-order Paper Back on Amazon.com]
[Pre-order Paper Back on Amazon.co.uk]

[Pre-order Hardcover on Amazon.com]
[Pre-order Hardback on Amazon.co.uk]

Read More... | Source: University of Minnesota Press

Japan wins top country at Wanderlust awards

Date: 2009 March 23rd Monday [16:43] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Travel Magazine Wanderlust have just announced their annual travel awards. Japan won top country.

Wanderlust readers were:
"... mesmerised by its man-made attractions: Tokyo's 'fluorescent skyscapes', its indoor rollercoasters, hi-tech loos and hotels boasting 'unbelievable levels of service and comfort'."

Readers also were moved by the "country’s ancient culture and underlying serenity".

The article reads like everything an otaku already knows about Japan. ^_^

Source: Wanderlust

BBC Four Japan Season

Date: 2009 March 15th Sunday [16:16] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

We really should scour the Radio Times more often. UK fans of Japanese culture will be very pleased to see that BBC Four are currently running a Japanese Culture Season.

Read More... | Source: BBC Four

An interview with Andrew Driver

Date: 2009 February 13th Friday [17:19] | Posted By: Eeeper
Category: > Anime

In April 2009, Alma Books will publish an English translation of Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel Paprika. The basis of Satoshi Kon's award-winning animated film of the same name, the English translation was handled for Alma by Andrew Driver. Otaku News can now present an interview with Mr. Driver which he graciously agreed to do with Eeeper on behalf of Otaku News in which he talks about his work on the novel.

Read More... | Source: Otaku News

Snow Monkeys of Japan

Date: 2009 February 13th Friday [14:10] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > TV

UK TV viewers may want to tune into BBC 2 on Friday 13th February at 8pm to catch the Natural World Documentary on the Snow Monkeys of Japan. The film focuses on 3 groups of monkeys. The urban scavengers, the mountain dwellers and the famous snow monkeys of Japan. The snow monkeys are known for their love of the local natural hot-springs.

Source: BBC 2

Japanese Maid Show March 1st in NYC

Date: 2009 February 10th Tuesday [15:42] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

We've received a press release that'll interest our readers in New York City, or who can get to the big apple on March 1st 2009. Top Tunes will be hosting a Japanese Maid Show.

Read More... | Source: Reni's Blog

Japanese Art Festival in Richmond Reminder

Date: 2009 February 10th Tuesday [15:28] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Just a quick reminder to our readers in the UK who can get to Richmond Surrey. They've released more details about the free Japanese Art Festival which starts on midday Saturday 28th February and is set to run until Sunday 1st March 2009.

Guests include anime expert Helen McCarthy, talented artist Sonia Leong and Akemi Solloway who is a lecturer on both traditional and modern Japanese culture.

Read More... | Source: Japanese Art Festival

The Artistic Bento of AnnaTheRed

Date: 2009 February 5th Thursday [8:57] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Cuisine

Wired are running and interesting story about AnnaTheRed’s Bento Creations. Wired have published an interview with her and also put a gallery of her work on-line. More can also be seen on her Flickr page.

The food looks divine and is made for her lucky boyfriend. Themes for her bento include Totoro, Katamari, Wall-E, Link (from Zelda), Smash Bros, Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service.

Source: Wired

Phoenix Wright: The Musical

Date: 2009 January 19th Monday [17:54] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Japan Probe have an interesting story about Phoenix Wright: The Musical. Performed by an all-female musical theatre group Takarazuka Revue. All the roles in the musical are played by females, including Phoenix himself.

The article states that the main demographic for the Takarazuka Revue is mostly women, split between college age and over 60s. The show opens in Japan on February 5th 2009.

Source: Japan Probe

Tokyo City Promotion 2009 in London

Date: 2009 January 16th Friday [9:10] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London anime fans are a in for a real treat on Saturday 31st January 2009, where a special Tokyo Day will be running. Organised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Day is set to be packed with tons for otaku to see and do.

The event will be held at Lawrence Hall at the Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre.

Admission is free. It's set to run from 10am to 8pm.

Read More... | Source: Tokyo City Promotion 2009

Cat Cafes in Tokyo

Date: 2009 January 14th Wednesday [8:58] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News have an amusing story about the current trend in Akihabara - Cat Cafes. The article mentions Ja La La Cafe, where clients pay by the hour for the company of cats petting and photographing them. We've heard of these pet rental places before. Most Japanese apartments don't allow pets, and for many jet setting business people pet ownership isn't practical, so the pet cafes have sprung up as a result.

Read More... | Source: BBC News

Mixi Nengajou New Years Cards

Date: 2008 December 31st Wednesday [11:45] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

A keen eyed Otaku News reader has sent us details a clever idea used by Mixi, the Japanese Social Networking Site. The Mixi Nengajou site allows you to send Japanese New Year Cards to other Mixi users, even if you don't know their postal address. The site is a spin off from Mixi and uses the receivers registered address to send the real world post card. If the user does not have a registered address, it will ask them to do so in order to received a card.

With over 400 designs to chose from (including anime and manga designs), the idea seems like a sure fire winner. It'll be interesting to see if any other similar Social Network Sites in the west pick up similar ideas.

Source: Asiajin

K-20 Japan's Answer to Super Heroes

Date: 2008 December 29th Monday [16:52] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Super Heroes aren't something that springs to mind when you think of Japanese pop culture. The Japan Times has an interesting article about a new movie K-20 and it's take on super heroes. The article also suggests reasons why the super hero genre isn't that popular in Japanese pop culture -
"One reason, perhaps, is that in a group-oriented society, human superheroes may seem arrogant - or even offensive."

Source: Japan Times

Japanese Art Festival in Richmond

Date: 2008 December 14th Sunday [12:03] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Anime fans who can get to Richmond, Surrey in the UK, will want to keep Saturday 28th February and Sunday 1st March 2009 free for the Japanese Art Festival. The event is organised by Akemi Solloway, and will be at the Richmond Adult Community College. It's set to have art, cultural activities and fun, including a Manga and Anime Art Exhibition.

They're also looking for volunteers to help out too, so sign up if you can!

Source: Japanese Art Festival

The ascent of manga: Japan's hottest export goes global

Date: 2008 December 4th Thursday [12:15] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Manga

The Independent are running a great article about the global reach of manga and how it has influenced British artists.

Helen McCarthy, Sweatdrop Studios, Emma Vieceli, Sonia Leong, the Manga Bible and Manga Shakespeare all get a mention in the article.

Source: The Independent

The Akiba: A Manga Guide to the Akihabara

Date: 2008 November 7th Friday [13:04] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Press Releases

We've been sent a press release for a new book that sounds perfect for otaku paying a trip to Tokyo. The Akiba: A Manga Guide to the Akihabara (published by Japan Publications Trading), is an interesting blend of manga and travel guide.

Update: We've reviewed The Akiba: A Manga Guide to the Akihabara

Read More... | Source: Japan Publications Trading

Japanese Cars at the Science Museum in London

Date: 2008 October 19th Sunday [12:55] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

Fans of design, cars, science or just cool Japanese stuff in general will want to pay a visit to the Japan Car exhibition at the Science Museum in London, from 29th November 2008 until 19th April 2009.

The exhibition is set to focus on size, environment and "moving urban cells". It will also display cars along other elements of Japanese culture, including bonsai, art and design.

Read More... | Source: Science Museum

Japanese Cultural Workshop in London

Date: 2008 September 5th Friday [17:48] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

London based fans of Japanese culture will want to head to Orbital Manga in-between Leicester Square and Covent Garden where they'll be having a Japanese Cultural Workshop by Akemi Solloway. The event is scheduled for Saturday 20th September 2008, with two sessions starting at Midday until 2pm, and then 2:30pm until 4:30pm.

Read More... | Source: Orbital Manga

Kami-shibai - Japanese Paper Theatre in the UK

Date: 2008 August 12th Tuesday [16:50] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

We've received some interesting details about a very special Kami-shibai showing in the UK. The paper theatre performances from Japan used to entertain children in an age before television. This is form of story telling had a direct influence on the evolution of manga.

Fans in the UK should keep their September free to attend at least one of these extremely rare events:

Friday 19 September: Chester Beatty Library, Dublin www.cbl.ie
Saturday 20 September: Urbis, Manchester www.urbis.org.uk
Sunday 21 September: Liverpool Biennial 08 at "Atelier Bow Wow" www.biennial.com/content/LiverpoolBiennial2008MADEUP/Artists1.aspx
Monday 22 September: Japan Foundation Language Centre, London workshop for Japanese language teachers
Tuesday 23 September: Barbican Centre, London, as part of "Osamu Tezuka 80th Anniversary Season (18 - 23 Sept 2008)" www.barbican.org.uk/ilm/series.asp?id=600

As always with popular events we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Source: Japan UK 150

London Manga and Anime Art Exhibition

Date: 2008 August 1st Friday [16:22] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

We've got some details from an Otaku News reader about Manga and Anime Art Exhibition in London, which will run from August to November 2008. The exhibition will be held at at Westminster Reference Library and St John's Wood Library. It's a great opportunity to exhibit work by new an established artists. Highlights include talks by Akemi Solloway on How Manga and Anime's costume is connected with Japanese traditional Culture, plus traditional Japanese dancing, music, and origami.

Read More... | Source: Akemi Solloway

British Theme for Fuji Rock Festival 2008

Date: 2008 July 27th Sunday [16:53] | Posted By: Joe
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).

Source: BBC News

London Barbican Osamu Tezuka Season

Date: 2008 July 17th Thursday [15:37] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Anime > Film

We've received some exciting news from the London Barbican about a special Osamu Tezuka Season they'll be running from Thursday 18th to Wednesday 24th of September 2008.

The season is curated by anime expert Helen McCarthy (who's written tons of good books and articles on anime and manga). The line is up a great showcase of Tezuka's work, with The Film Is Alive: Osamu Tezuka Filmography looking especially interesting, as it we're certain Helen will bring an informative take on the panel with the event.

Osamu Tezuka is the granddaddy of anime and manga, without doubt the most influential and inspiration artist, as always with these events we suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Source: Barbican

Celebrity Japanese bloggers

Date: 2008 July 7th Monday [3:31] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Websites

Wired are currently running an interesting story about celebrity Japanese bloggers. The article states "They're good-looking, they're geeky and they love to blog". It then has a profile of each blogger along with a photo.

Source: Wired

PiQ To Stop

Date: 2008 June 17th Tuesday [17:31] | Posted By: LittleWoodenBoy
Category: > Culture

PiQ's July issue to be its last.

Read More... | Source: Anime News Network

Manga Jiman '150'- Japanese Embassy in UK launch manga competition

Date: 2008 June 16th Monday [6:28] | Posted By: Azure
Category: > Culture

Time to get drawing! The Japanese embassy in the UK has launched another manga contest. This time on the theme of '150'. Entrants must be over fourteen and live in the U.K, the manga must be between six and eight pages. The closing date is the 26 September.
Prizes are as follows:
The amazing First Prize is two (2) return air tickets to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways!

The Second Prize is a fabulous TOSHIBA laptop computer.

Third Prize is a superb RICOH digital camera.

Source: Embassy of Japan (UK)

The art of sword making

Date: 2008 April 28th Monday [15:04] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

The Japan Times On-line have an excellent article about master swordsmith Yoshindo Yoshihara, who has been designated "Mukei Bunkazai (Important Intangible Cultural Property)," by the Japanese government.

The article is packed with interesting facts about sword making, including that all swords sold in Japan have to be to be registered with the Agency For Cultural Affairs, and that they're only allowed to make and sell 4 swords a month - 2 katana (classed as swords 60cm or longer) and 2 wakizashi, (short swords 30 to 60cm long) or tanto (30 cm long or less).

Source: The Japan Times

Japanese Etiquette Guide for Westerners

Date: 2008 April 3rd Thursday [14:28] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

Although it's an old article, we thought it's worth pointing to. The Telegraph have an interesting article about Japanese etiquette for Westerners. As a foreigner to Japanese culture, it seems that gaijin can get away with a few things, such as talking in the wrong tone to someone superior, or pretending not to understand cold-callers and similar salespeople. However it seems that as soon as you get married to a Japanese person, all these rights are revoked, as the article mentions a western lady who married a Japanese man, and now is given less slack than a normal gaijin would.

Source: The Telegraph

Conan the Buddhist Bowwow

Date: 2008 March 31st Monday [16:50] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News are currently running a story about Conan, a lovable dog at Jigenin temple on Okinawa island.

The little Chihuahua sits on his hind legs, raises his paws and puts them together as if praying, copying the Buddhist priest at the temple. Apparently it only took him a few days to imitate the motions of praying. The temple now gets 30% more visitors as a result of little Conan joining in the prayers.

Source: BBC News

Yamato Drummers new show UK premiere

Date: 2008 February 7th Thursday [5:37] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Events

The Yamato Drummers of Japan will be performing the UK premiere of their new show Shin-on in London from Wednesday 19th to Sunday 30th of March. Fans of the traditional Taiko drumming will certainly be in for a treat, and if you haven't seen such a performance before, this is a rare chance to see such a special show. Performances will be in the Peacock Theatre, and as always with popular events, we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Source: Peacock Theatre

Imagine FX magazine goes manga style

Date: 2008 January 21st Monday [23:07] | Posted By: Voxie
Category: > Art

This month's dose of Imagine FX will be manga flavoured, featuring articles on anime as well as manga workshops and manga Q & A. With the booming of amateur manga coming from the UK right now, it can only be a good thing!

I would personally recommend Imagine FX magazine to any CG artist or illustrator. It is beautifully presented, with detailed articles and a wide, varied selection of artists. They have featured articles on manga/anime based artwork and software before, so it was inevitable a whole issue would be released. It is a welcome joy!

Source: Imagine FX

Virtual Idol Proves to be big in Japan

Date: 2007 December 11th Tuesday [16:27] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Gaming

The Mainichi Daily News have published an interesting story about some new software that allows users to create their own songs and have them performed by a virtual idol singer. This sounds a bit like a real world example of Sharon Apple to us!

The software Vocaloid 2 Hatsune Miku uses computer-generated vocals mixed with an actual human voice (supplied by voice actress Saki Fujita). It can be configured to perform any song and has proved to be a big hit with people wanting to create their own virtual idol generated songs.

The article states that the software is especially popular with the middle aged, even though it's priced at 16,000 yen (145 USD / 72 GBP) to appeal to the teen market.

Source: Mainichi Daily News

Inemuri a Japanese word to add to your vocabulary

Date: 2007 November 29th Thursday [17:48] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Culture

BBC News are running a story about sleep deprivation and different strategies for coping with it. The article covers the Japanese concept of inemuri, which translates as "to be asleep while present", the idea is you can fall asleep in without getting into trouble, such as at meetings. Apparently it's viewed as a positive thing, and suggests to those around you that the tiredness is from exhaustion from working too hard and sacrificing sleep at night. Naturally some people fake this to give the impression that they're working really hard.

Source: BBC News

Tokyo Top city for good food

Date: 2007 November 20th Tuesday [13:34] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Cuisine

BBC News have just published a story which states that Tokyo has the finest cuisine in the world. The Michelin guide, famous for awarding the coveted Michelin stars has devoted it's first ever edition to an Asian city. Tokyo was awarded a total of 191 stars, which is nearly twice as many as Paris and more than 3 times New York's total.

The article ironically states that 3 of the top 8 restaurants in Tokyo serve French food.

Source: BBC News

Cosplay pubs all the rage in Japan

Date: 2007 November 12th Monday [17:57] | Posted By: Joe
Category: > Freaky Things

The Mainichi Daily News has an interesting article about the latest trend in Japan, Cosplay pubs, where staff dress up in cosplay (and sometimes customers too). The costumes vary from venue to venue and don't seem to be anime themed. The article concludes that it's a great way for office workers to unwind and isn't "as geekish as the maidcafes the otaku like to go to".

Source: Mainichi Daily News

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