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Home » Archives » November 2004

North Korea Disappoints Families of Abductees Again

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 16, 2004 Posted: 03:19 PM JST

A Japanese delegation that visited North Korea the past few week to unearth the true fate of 10 Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents returned yesterday without any new disclosures. Mitoji Yabunaka, head of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and his team only received some new documents and an urn with ashes purported to be of Megumi Yokota, who was abducted 27 years ago at age 13.

[FULL STORY]


In Japan Dreams Come True

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 16, 2004 Posted: 11:14 AM JST

One of Japan's most successful bands of the past decade is Dreams Come True, now Japanese toy manufacturer Takara wants to literally make your dreams come true. Last August it put the Yumemi Koubou, translated as "Dream Workshop" on the market, a small machine designed to give you control over your dreams.

[FULL STORY]


Investors in Love with Love Hotels

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 16, 2004 Posted: 10:58 AM JST

Reuters reports today that private equity firm MHS Capital Partners has paid around $2 million for a "love hotel" in Japan. It is the first investment of their love hotel fund. The fund aims to buy up to four properties at a maximum $4 million each. It expects net returns of at least 20 percent. If it succeeds this would be the highest-yielding segment in Japan's property market.

[FULL STORY]


Japanese Media Ignore Major Rally by Disability Organizations

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 15, 2004 Posted: 05:00 PM JST

Last month some 2,000 members of major disability organizations held a demonstration in Tokyo that was completely ignored by the Japanese media. Karen Nakamura has an excellent photo report of this event at photoethnography.com. Especially the photos of the Japanese police preventing demonstrators from using the bathroom are disturbing. Harassing demonstrators is common practice of the Japanese police. I was shocked to see that they extend this practice to people with disabilities.

Keywords: special_report


$1,000 for an Omelet

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 15, 2004 Posted: 04:40 PM JST

Would you pay $1,000 (JPY 130,515) for an omelet? Now you can. La Baie, the French restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka is offering the ultimate of luxury, an omelet that costs as much as a trip to Hawaii. This is no ordinary plate of eggs, it is more like a breakfast experience.

[FULL STORY]


China's Envoy Calls for Restraint

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 15, 2004 Posted: 01:22 PM JST

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi publicly urged for calm last Saturday. Tensions between the two Asian rivals have flared up after a Chinese nuclear submarine intruded into Japanese national waters this past week. On Friday Japan filed an official protest with the Chinese embassy over the intrusion.

[FULL STORY]


The Wonderful World of Japanese Love Hotels

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 15, 2004 Posted: 12:55 PM JST

Love hotels are big business in Japan. The economy would probably collapse without them, says love hotel industry "consultant" Vitamin Miura. Miura, who runs the Miura Love Hotel Total Research Office, reports that there are 37,000 love hotels in Japan and that nearly 500 million couples visit them each year. That works out to 1,370,000 couples using a love hotel per day, which is more than double the annual number of combined visitors to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea.

[FULL STORY]


Tokyo Education Board Punishes Teacher Over Anthem

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 10, 2004 Posted: 07:06 PM JST

The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education yesterday cut the salary of an elementary school teacher by 10 percent for 1 month. She was punished for not showing up at a remedial training session after refusing to stand up and sing Japan's national anthem during a ceremony at her school in April.

[FULL STORY]


People : Ando Hiroshige

Kjeld Duits, Wednesday, November 10, 2004 Posted: 06:38 PM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsUkiyoe Artist,
1797-1858

Inspired by the expressive Landscape Prints of Hokusai, a young Ando Hiroshige decided to become an artist and in 1811 became a student of Ukiyoe master Utagawa Toyohiro.

[FULL STORY] [PHOTOS]


Abductee Issue Feeds New Japanese Nationalism

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 9, 2004 Posted: 03:53 PM JST

When former US Army sergeant Charles Jenkins was found guilty for desertion last week it seemed like an unimportant event. But is it? Jenkins is married to Hitomi Soga, a Japanese nurse who was abducted by North Korean agents. The dramatic fate of of Soga and four other surviving abductees has, some observers believe, given birth to a new Japanese nationalism.

[FULL STORY]


Cool Sites : Love Hotels

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 8, 2004 Posted: 09:21 PM JST

My recommendations for cool sites tend to be a bit serious. Today we break that rule with a listing of sites of or about love hotels. That term is out-of-date though. These days they are called 'fashion hotels' or 'boutique hotels'. Enjoy!

Fashion Hotel Web
Online version of the popular magazine Pia with hundreds of love hotels in Kansai and Kanto. (JPN)

Love Hotels
An amusing article about Japanese love hotels. Features many photos as well as addresses. (ENG)

LOVE HOTEL
Most articles about love hotels are written by non-Japanese. This one is not and shows some of the shame that Japanese feel about these kind of hotels. (ENG)

Lovehotel Lovers
Guide to love hotels that �women can access from their office without having to be embarrassed�. (JPN)

Plaza Angelo Group
Runs a chain of love hotels, including the famous Gang Snowmans in Osaka. (JPN)

The Wonderful World of Japanese Love Hotels
A detailed article on this site about Japanese love hotels.

Satelite of Love
Foreword to this visual book about love hotels.

Satelite of Love, the book
Buy this wonderful visual book about Japanese love hotels at Amazon Japan. Full of excellent photographs.

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links.

Keywords: cool_sites


People : Sakamoto Ryoma (3)

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 8, 2004 Posted: 12:16 PM JST

Photo of Sakamoto RyomaSamurai; Key player in overthrow of Tokugawa Shogunate
Lived: 1835-1867

This is the third of three installments of an article by Romulus Hillsborough about Japan's most celebrated revolutionary: Sakamoto Ryoma.

[FULL STORY]


Thousands Demonstrate Against Forced Observance of National Flag and Anthem

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 8, 2004 Posted: 11:52 AM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsSome 5,000 teachers and supporters demonstrated against the forced observance of Japan's national flag and anthem during school ceremonies in Tokyo last Saturday. The demonstration appears to have received little attention on Japan's news programs, but the issue worries many.

[FULL STORY] [SLIDE SHOW]


Jenkins Describes Life in North Korea

Kjeld Duits, Friday, November 5, 2004 Posted: 05:24 AM JST

Charles Robert Jenkins, the spouse of Japanese abductee Hitomi Soga, was found guilty of desertion to North Korea Wednesday at Camp Zama near Tokyo. He was given a 30-day jail sentence. Jenkins, 64, who deserted to North Korea in 1965, described a life that was as bad or worse than in prison. Often he had no food, no electricity or water, and his U.S. Army tattoo was removed from his forearm with scissors and no anesthesia.

[FULL STORY]


North Korea and Japan Back to Table on Abductions

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 2, 2004 Posted: 09:45 PM JST

Japan and North Korea will go back to the table to talk about abductions of Japanese nationals on November 9, Japan's Foreign Minister, Nobutaka Machimura, said today. Senior officials from both countries will meet in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. The talks are expected to take four days. Two previous meetings in Beijing brought no progress.

[FULL STORY]


Japan Wants Laundered Money from Switzerland

Kjeld Duits, Tuesday, November 2, 2004 Posted: 06:33 AM JST

Japanese prosecutors belatedly have begun talks with Switzerland to seek the return of 61 million Swiss francs (about 5.4 billion yen) that Swiss authorities confiscated from a Japanese loan shark leader Kyodo reports today.

[FULL STORY]


The Psychology of Evil

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 1, 2004 Posted: 03:44 PM JST

If the killing of Shosei Koda and other innocent people like him, and the events at Abu Ghraib trouble you as much as it does me, Aaran Swartz has an excellent article on his blog that describes research that has been done on the origin of evil. He describes the well-known experiments by Philip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram. Zimbardo is famous for the Stanford Prison Experiment, Milgram for his now classic experiments on obedience to authority. There are no new revelations on the blog, but it is helpful to see all the relevant information organized in one place. Recommended reading in these troubling times.

[FULL STORY]


Cool Sites : Patients' Rights & Malpractice

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 1, 2004 Posted: 10:45 AM JST

Citizen's Group for Patients' Rights
The Citizen's Group to Establish the Law of Patients' Rights in Japan is based in Fukuoka and fights medical malpractice in Japan. (JPN)

Medical Malpractice Information Center
Nagoya based Medical Malpractice Information Center is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in Japan. (ENG JPN)

Patient Safety & Medical Victims' Relief
The Center for Patient Safety and Medical Victims' Relief attempts to create a system to prevent medical malpractice in Japan and support victims. (ENG JPN)

Patients Rights in Japan
Detailed historical overview by Ian Neary of the University of Essex about patients rights and informed consent in Japan. File Format: Microsoft Word 6. (ENG)

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links.

Keywords: cool_sites


People : Sakamoto Ryoma (2)

Kjeld Duits, Monday, November 1, 2004 Posted: 10:28 AM JST

Photo of Sakamoto RyomaSamurai; Key player in overthrow of Tokugawa Shogunate
Lived: 1835-1867

This is the second of three installments of an article by Romulus Hillsborough about Japan's most celebrated revolutionary: Sakamoto Ryoma.

[FULL STORY]

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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.
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