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SOCIETY > Culture

Japan’s kanji of the year, ‘mitsu,’ reflects gloom of 2020 pandemic

Seihan Mori, chief priest of Kyoto’s Kiyomizudera temple, paints a giant version of the kanji of the year, “mitsu,” at the temple on Dec. 14. (Pool)     By Rikako Takai, staff writer   KYOTO–Japan has chosen “mitsu” as the kanji of the year, widely cited as part of a social distancing slogan, in a fitting acknowledgement of how the….Read more

  • December 14, 2020
  • , The Asahi Shimbun , 6:03 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Vox Populi: UNESCO to soon add ‘kayabuki’ to list of intangible cultural heritage

True to its moniker, Kayabuki no Sato (Village of thatched roof homes) in Nantan, Kyoto Prefecture, is dotted with old thatched-roof farmhouses that glow gold when the sun is out, and gradually change in color from brown to black after sundown.   I visited the Miyamacho district in Nantan to interview Yuki Tomita, 25, a young woman who moved out….Read more

  • December 10, 2020
  • , The Asahi Shimbun , 1:23 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Japan’s Muslim communities face local opposition to creating Islamic burial sites

OITA — The number of Muslims in Japan has reached 230,000 people, and while Halal and other parts of their culture and customs have become more widespread in the country, there is an issue of great concern to the Muslim community — there are almost no graves for them to be buried in as befits their beliefs.   In Oita….Read more

  • October 28, 2020
  • , The Mainichi
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Editorial: UNESCO listing can show world value of Japan’s traditional architectural techniques

This is good news to encourage people to whom invaluable techniques have been passed down in order to preserve Japan’s ancient architecture.   A UNESCO advisory body that conducts preliminary screenings has recommended that Japanese traditional architectural craftsmanship be registered on the international body’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. A decision on the registration is expected to be officially decided in….Read more

  • November 19, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 12:49 p.m.
  • English Press

INTERNATIONAL

UNESCO set to list 17 traditional artisan skills for cultural heritage

By Hikari Maruyama, staff writer   A UNESCO advisory panel has recommended that Japanese traditional architectural artisanship should be added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the Agency for Cultural Affairs announced Nov. 17.   An inter-governmental committee will make a final decision at a meeting in France scheduled in mid-December, the agency said.   The agency had proposed 17….Read more

  • November 17, 2020
  • , The Asahi Shimbun , 5:05 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Crown Prince’s rise to 1st in line to throne proclaimed

Tokyo, Nov. 8 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Crown Prince Akishino’s rise to first in line to the throne was proclaimed in ceremonies at Tokyo’s Imperial Palace on Sunday, the last in a series of rites linked to Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement in May last year.     The Emperor proclaimed his 54-year-old younger brother’s ascent at the palace’s “Matsu-no-Ma” state room in the core….Read more

POLITICS

Japanese public opinion divided over U.S. election

The U.S. presidential election has spurred many Japanese to take sides as either “pro-Trump” or “pro-Biden” on social networking sites (SNS). Heated words have been posted on SNS: “#I resolutely stand by President Trump!” or “#Mr. Biden must become next U.S. president!” The two camps have engaged in a heated war of words, with each side being zealous in its….Read more

  • November 5, 2020
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 20
  • JMH Translation

SOCIETY > Culture

‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’: understanding the appeal of the blockbuster movie

In just 10 days since its release on October 16, the film has managed to gather ¥10 billion JPY ($95.7 million USD) in box office sales.    The immense hit by Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away, took 25 days ーmore than double the time — to achieve the same box office sales.   As of November 2, the Kimetsu no Yaiba box office revenue has….Read more

  • November 3, 2020
  • , Japan Forward , 4:55 p.m.
  • English Press

SOCIETY > Culture

Ex-EU leader among 141 foreigners to be decorated in Japan

Former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is among 141 foreigners recognized in this year’s autumn decorations for their contributions to relations with Japan, the government said Tuesday.   Juncker, 65, served as the head of the European Commission between 2014 and 2019, as well as prime minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013. He will be bestowed with….Read more

  • November 3, 2020
  • , Asahi , Kyodo News , 5:07 a.m.
  • JMH Translation

SOCIETY > Culture

Govt plans online support of Japanese cultural arts

The government is actively supporting the distribution online of videos of Japanese traditional arts, theatrical performances and concerts. Its aim is to help art and entertainment organizations whose live performances have been canceled or postponed amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, and establish new overseas distribution channels for Japanese cultural arts.   Kabuki and music concerts are among the….Read more

  • August 9, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 4:13 p.m.
  • English Press
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