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Shibuya's crowds stir image of the 'real Tokyo'

Shibuya's crowds stir image of the 'real Tokyo'
Asahi - May 26, 2010

As many as 900,000 pedestrians are estimated to cross the "scramble" X-crossing in front of JR Shibuya Station in central Tokyo each day.

To Tokyoites, it is likely nothing more than a busy intersection. But many foreign tourists regard it as a symbol of modern Japan.

In fact, some people go so far as to say that unless one experiences the rush of crossing this intersection, a tourist cannot claim to have experienced the "real Tokyo." Typically, tourists go to the second floor of a building on the corner of the intersection to snap photos of the crowds crossing the street. ...

(Must be seen to be believed: Crowds swarm the X-crossing near JR Shibuya Station in Tokyo.)

The many faces of Takeshi Kitano dazzle Paris
Asahi - May 25, 2010
(A giant sewing machine dominates the first floor of Takeshi Kitano's exhibition in Paris.)

PARIS--Welcome to the imaginarium of artist Takeshi Kitano, aka Beat Takeshi: an exhibition of works from the amusing to the bizarre, where you'll find yourself both giggling and recoiling in horror, perhaps at the same time.

"Beat Takeshi Kitano: Gosse de Peintre" (The Painter's Kid) focuses on Kitano's versatile modes of expression, from pointed satire and frustration to violence, while also revealing his childlike naivete and ample humor.

Film academy to become a full-fledged university
Asahi - May 25, 2010

The nation's first four-year university specializing in filmmaking is expected to open around next April.

The Japan Academy of Moving Images, based in Kawasaki, will be converted into a full-fledged university if the education ministry approves the application from its operator, Kanagawa Eizo Gakuen.

It will be the realization of a dream held by Shohei Imamura, the late film director who set up the academy's predecessor in Yokohama in 1975. ...

Rule of the jungle for animal bands
Asahi - May 24, 2010
(These animal rubber bands, originally designed in Japan, are all the rage among U.S. school kids.)

NEW YORK--Colorful animal-shaped rubber bands, originally designed by a Japanese industrial designer, have become all the rage among U.S. school children, with a growing number of schools banning the cute yet distracting items.

Animal rubber bands, developed by h concept Co. based in Tokyo's Taito Ward, were introduced to the United States at a novelty gift trade fair in 2002 and soon found their way into museum shops such as the MoMA Store at New York's Museum of Modern Art. ...

Dragon Quest 9 earns world record
Asahi - May 22, 2010

The popular electronic role-playing game Dragon Quest 9 for Nintendo's DS console has been recognized by Guinness World Records as having the world's "most popular ad-hoc wireless game feature."

The distributor, Square Enix Holdings Co., said Thursday the game had earned the distinction for its "passer-by communication" feature, which enables strangers to share in-game tools and information through their consoles, simply by passing each other in the street. ...

Traveling wind-chime peddler rings in the summer
Asahi - May 21, 2010

THERE'S a certain sound that let's you know summer is really here: the tinkling of dozens of furin glass wind chimes brought into earshot on the shoulder of the traveling seller.

In Tokyo's Ginza district, and more recently Roppongi, that man has been Akira Nakayama.

At 66, he's one of Tokyo's last peripatetic chime peddlers, having been in business for 36 years. ...

By T.S. on May 31, 2010
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tag : Cool Japan News



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Author:T. SATOH