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Japan Seeks New Policy for Abduction Talks with North Korea

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, September 30, 2004 Posted: 02:19 PM JST

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has told diplomats this week to come up with new ideas for the abduction talks with North Korea. Sunday Japan and North Korea ended two days of talks without any result.


Cool Sites : Ceramics, Blog, Zen and Politics

Kjeld Duits, Sunday, September 26, 2004 Posted: 06:59 AM JST

My latest finds:

A resource center directed by the Japan Times Ceramic Scene columnist. (ENG)

Vincent Van den Storme lives in Yokohama. His weblog has some personal info, but mostly interesting news items on Japan and then and now photos. (ENG)

Japanese Politics Central
JP Central provides a searchable database on Japanese politicians. Also features information on Japanese election results and public policy debates. (ENG)

Japan Politics
Lots of links and information related to Japanese politics on this University of Berkeley page. (ENG)

Jan Jan
Serious alternative free daily online newspaper in Japan "of, by and for the people". (JPN)

Zen Gardens
History and design of Zen gardens in Kyoto. (ENG)

ELT Events Calendar
Database of conferences, workshops and seminars for foreign language teachers in Japan. (ENG)

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links.

Keywords: cool_sites society culture

Blogwise Lists 168 Blogs In Japan

Kjeld Duits, Saturday, September 25, 2004 Posted: 12:18 PM JST

iKjeld.com was added to the Blogwise blog directory today. Blogwise lists close to 30,000 blogs worldwide, of which 168 in Japan. Worth a visit if you are into blogs or Japan.

Keywords: internet_news

Exclusive Interview with Victoria Abbott Riccardi

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, September 23, 2004 Posted: 04:26 PM JST

Victoria A. Riccardi is the author of Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto (published May 2004). "Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto" has been extremely well-received by the critics. Publishers Weekly calls it a "delightful and ususual culinary memoir". Frances Mayes, author of "Under the Tuscan Sun", says that he "relished every page." Riccardi's prose, he continues, "reflects the same spirited, nuanced, intelligent style that she discovered on a pilgrimage to the heart of Kyoto's tea kaiseki cuisine."


People : Makiko Tanaka

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, September 23, 2004 Posted: 03:59 PM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsPolitician
Date of Birth: January 14 1944

Outspoken and colorful, Makiko Tanaka is extremely popular among the Japanese; in opinion polls she was for years one of the top candidates for prime minister.


People : Junichiro Koizumi

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, September 23, 2004 Posted: 03:53 PM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsPolitician, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Date of Birth: January 8 1942
Birthplace: Yokosuka, Kanagawa Pref.

One of the most popular prime ministers Japan has ever had, Junichiro Koizumi has been recreated on t-shirts, on batches, and even as a doll.


Falling in Love with a Japanese Man

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, September 22, 2004 Posted: 10:29 AM JST

Japan Times Community Page readers share their experiences and thoughts of dating Japanese men. Lots of interesting tales here. All of them positive short stories that are fun to read and make you smile.

Tokyo Wants to Restrict Youth Sex

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, September 22, 2004 Posted: 10:13 AM JST

Japanese media report today that Tokyo's top law and order official wants to restrict school-aged children from having sex. Yutaka Takehana, Tokyo's first vice governor in charge of law and order, is quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying that this "would convey the determination of adult society" to prevent youth sex. According to his plan parents and guardians in Tokyo would be legally responsible.


Tuna from the Farm

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, September 22, 2004 Posted: 09:44 AM JST

The Bluefin tuna is huge, moves all over the Pacific Ocean and hates being told what to do. No wonder scientists seemed unable to raise this popular menu item on marine farms. The Fisheries Laboratory of Kinki University in Wakayama Prefecture's Shirahama Town has now succeeded where others have failed. It recently started shipping completely cultivated Bluefin tuna to department stores in Osaka and Nara. Each farm tuna measures about 1.1 meters in length and 17-22 kilograms in weight. They are priced at JPY 1,000 per 100 grams for medium-fat raw tuna. Kinki University first achieved the complete cultivation of Bluefin tuna in 2002, the result of 32 years of research. It is the first time that farmed tuna has been sold commercially.

Keywords: national_news food

Sushi Revolution in Japan

Kjeld Duits, Sunday, September 19, 2004 Posted: 12:41 AM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsTo people outside Japan sushi symbolizes Japanese cuisine. The delicate displays of slices of raw fish draped over small balls of vinegary rice represent Japanese simplicity and understated elegance. But until recently most Japanese ate sushi just two to three times a year. Sushi was considered a luxury food. That is suddenly changing. These days the average is once a month, and increasing. Japanese sushi restaurants are undergoing a historical revolution. A revolution that is itching to go international.


Switzerland Ready to Talk About YakuzaFunds

Kjeld Duits, Saturday, September 18, 2004 Posted: 09:18 AM JST

A Swiss law enforcement official said Thursday he is hoping for an early start for talks with Japan over the handling of 61 million Swiss francs (around 5.3 billion yen) seized in money-laundering investigations from a Swiss bank account of a Japanese crime syndicate leader, Kyodo reports today.


Studying the Anthropology of Women and Religion in Japan

Ellen Schattschneider, Saturday, September 18, 2004 Posted: 08:39 AM JST

(by Ellen Schattschneider) - As an anthropologist my research has concentrated on women and religion in Japan. But my interests in Japan actually come out of my background as an artist and textile designer, before I became an anthropologist. Many years ago, I worked with indigenous women in northern Luzon (the Philippines), documenting traditional textile designs and helping to reintroduce back strap weaving techniques into local women's cooperatives.


Samurai History Papers

Kjeld Duits, Friday, September 17, 2004 Posted: 12:00 AM JST

Ridgeback Press has published the first release of Samurai History Papers this month. SHP is a quarterly newsletter from Romulus Hillsborough, author of Ryoma and Samurai Sketches. It focuses on the history and culture of the leading men of the Meiji Restoration.


People : Yoshiko Sakurai

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, September 16, 2004 Posted: 10:12 AM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsJournalist, former news anchor.
Birthplace: Vietnam.

Born in Vietnam, Sakurai graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1969 and started her career as a journalist with the Tokyo branch of the Christian Science Monitor 1971.


Cool Sites : Weblogs on Japan

Kjeld Duits, Monday, September 13, 2004 Posted: 02:44 PM JST

I have been checking out weblogs on Japan and found quite a few good ones:

Antipixel | Blog
A web site by Jeremy Hedley, sort of live from Tokyo, Japan. (ENG)

Extraordinary Ordinary Guy In Japan
The introduction of weird and strange things in Japan. (ENG)

Contains musings on Japan, media, photography, personal life, blogging, and technology. (ENG)

Joi Ito's Web
Moblog covering many current topics. (ENG JPN)

Mikan Moblog
A photolog from Hiroshima. (ENG)

Nichi Nichi
Comments and news on Japanese politics, law, and society. (ENG)

Find more great weblogs related to Japan at Japan Links.

Keywords: cool_sites blogs society daily life

The Man of our Dreams is a Woman

Kjeld Duits, Sunday, September 12, 2004 Posted: 10:11 PM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsIn the humid heat of the Japanese Summer several hundred women patiently wait outside a building. Sweat glistens on their forehead. Many cool themselves with paper fans. A group of about sixty women stand in the shadow. They all wear a blue shirt with yellow letters.


The Cute Pink Bear with Blood on its Claws

Kjeld Duits, Saturday, September 11, 2004 Posted: 12:00 PM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsThe character Gloomy the Bear at first sight looks like a possible friend of Hello Kitty. Cute face, pink skin, simply drawn in basic colors. And then, suddenly, you notice the blood on its claws. Japanese illustrator Mori Chack's creation is the most horrible nightmare you can ever fall in love with.


Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, September 8, 2004 Posted: 09:04 AM JST

PBS Documentary PBS aired a documentary on Edo-period Japan earlier this year. I have not yet seen it myself, but it is getting excellent reviews. Richard Chamberlain narrates a piece that is full with the voices of typical Edo-period characters: the shogun, the samurai, the geisha, the poet, the peasant, the Western visitor... Chamberlain, as you will all remember, played the main character in the mini TV series 'Shogun'.


Big Brother USA

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, September 7, 2004 Posted: 03:26 PM JST

PBS Documentary The Weekly Post complains this week about Japan's "subordinate position to the US government". When a US military transportation helicopter crashed into the campus of Okinawa International University on August 13, Japanese police were basically brushed to the side and not allowed to investigate. Even US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is embarrassed by this. He calls this lack of communication "The worst moment" of the past few years. Yet, Japanese government officials and the Japanese media hardly voice any anger over this disregard of national jurisdiction.


Earthquakes Shake West Japan

Kjeld Duits, Monday, September 6, 2004 Posted: 12:57 PM JST

Last night we had two pretty heavy earthquakes, one magnitude 6.9 and the second magnitude 7.3, centered on Mie and Wakayama, but felt all over central Japan. The quake that devastated Kobe and killed more than 6,400 people in 1995 was a magnitude 7.2, so yesterday's potential for a disaster was enormous. Thankfully both quakes were deep, far off Japan's coast and the epicenter was near a sparsely populated rural area, so little damage and only a few injuries were reported.



Kjeld Duits, Sunday, September 5, 2004 Posted: 05:13 PM JST

A small selection of photographs, mainly shot in Japan:

Journalism | Portraits | Creative

Switzerland Pockets Illegal Japanese Loan Profits

Kjeld Duits, Thursday, September 2, 2004 Posted: 10:36 AM JST

Swiss authorities are preparing to seize about 61 million Swiss francs (5.2 billion yen) deposited in a Swiss bank account by Susumu Kajiyama, head of a Japanese loan shark group reports the Daily Yomiuri today. The authorities decided to confiscate the funds as profits from illegal money lending at illegally high rates of interest after the account was suspected of being used for money laundering. Because Japanese authorities failed to act, these funds, illegally obtained from naive Japanese, will now fall in Swiss hands.


Interview with Barry Eisler

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, September 1, 2004 Posted: 05:20 PM JST

Barry Eisler's latest book in the Rain series, 'Rain Storm', has come out and is getting good reviews. Last year I had an interview when Barry. He was still preparing for his latest book and travelling to Macau, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong and Tokyo. I asked Barry lots of questions about the main characters in the book and his answers are still relevant now.


iKjeld.com Renewed!

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, September 1, 2004 Posted: 11:44 AM JST

iKjeld.com has received a face-lift. We still have the contents of the old site (busily re-uploading...) and lots of new stuff. The site looks cleaner and is much easier to navigate. You can now even discuss each story, make a quick print-out and find related sites and photos. ENJOY!

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
Stone Bridge Press

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