NAGORO, Japan (Reuters) – Tsukimi Ayano made her first scarecrow 13 years ago to frighten off birds pecking at seeds in her garden. The life-sized straw doll resembled her father, so she made more. And then couldn’t stop.
Today, the tiny village of Nagoro in southern Japan is teeming with Ayano’s hand-sewn creations, frozen in time for a tableau that captures the motions of everyday life.
AOSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – An army of feral cats rules a remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one.
Originally introduced to the mile-long island of Aoshima to deal with mice that plagued fishermen’s boats, the cats stayed on – and multiplied.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan fired their national coach Javier Aguirre on Tuesday because of fears the Mexican’s alleged involvement in an ongoing match-fixing case could effect the team’s bid to qualify for the next World Cup.
Although Aguirre has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name after being embroiled in a Spanish anti-corruption investigation, the Japan Football Association (JFA) said they did not want any distractions for the team.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet approved changes on Friday to a 66-year-old law that bans late-night dancing in clubs, a decision that will help businesses cash in on an expected influx of tourists ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Dancing at public venues is illegal in Japan and is only permitted until midnight under a special license, in a holdover from a 1948 law to stamp out prostitution linked to dance halls.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Search and recovery efforts for at least two dozen victims of Japan’s worst volcanic eruption in decades were called off on Tuesday due to worries about rising volcanic activity, including the chance of another steam explosion.
Hundreds of military searchers had been preparing to enter Mount Ontake by foot and helicopter to resume recovery of at least 24 people caught in a deadly rain of ash and stone after the peak erupted without warning on Saturday when it was crowded with hikers, including children.
TOKYO, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Eri Suzuki is serious about her
goal in life – working in a theme park as a character mascot,
one of those oversized, fuzzy creatures that dance and cavort
So she came to the Choko Group mascot school in Tokyo for
instruction in the myriad tricks of the trade, such as how to
move in giant feet and a furry animal head.
YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – China’s leader in-waiting, Xi Jinping, will have no choice but to embark on political reforms to leave a lasting mark the way the current leadership has done with economic reforms, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Monday.
Xi, currently vice president, is expected to take over from President Hu Jintao as Communist Party head at a congress opening in Beijing on Thursday and will then become president in March in a generational leadership change.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Hatsune Miku has a following that would make most Japanese pop stars green with envy, with thousands of fans at every concert and a big international following.
She never misses a beat, fluffs a line or messes up a step. But then she doesn’t really exist.
TOKYO (Reuters) – When the tsunami roared through his northern Japanese hometown of Ofunato last March, sushi chef Sanichi Niinuma managed to escape with his life, but his shop was battered and badly damaged by the raging waters.
In the aftermath of the disaster, which killed over 400 in the city, the 47-year-old Niinuma went as far as starting to rebuild his shop — only to be told by the city that the area was off limits since the land had sunk and power and sewage systems were destroyed.
RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan (Reuters) – Very little was left standing in the Japanese city of Rikuzentakata after a huge tsunami tore through nearly a year ago. Even the centuries-old pine forest by the sea that had long been a symbol of the city was obliterated.
But amidst the destruction that killed about one in 12 of the city’s residents, one lonely pine tree out of more than 60,000 has clung to life along the ravaged coast. It came to embody residents’ hopes for renewal.