Join in the fun at Ohara Hadaka Matsuri in Chiba


If you happen to be at Isumi in Chiba Prefecture on Saturday Sept 23 and Sunday Sept 24, you’re going to see a very exciting festival — and lots of semi-naked men! Don’t worry. It’s all good fun. Despite the festival’s name, the men aren’t really naked. They wear longjohns… Read

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Cuddly kitty pouches


Pouches are supposed to be a zero-net gain relationship for their owners. You can’t take anything out of a pouch that you didn’t first put in it, so really there’s no way to come out ahead in your dealings with them. Or is there? Cat lifestyle brand extraordinaire Felissimo, in cooperation… Read


Some jobs tied to higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis


Workers exposed to airborne toxins may have an elevated risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, an immune system disorder that causes debilitating swelling and pain in the joints, a Swedish study suggests. Among men, bricklayers, concrete workers and electricians had at least twice the risk of rheumatoid arthritis they would have… Read


Why a few drops of water make whisky taste better


Ignore the snobs, because most experts agree: a few drops of water enhance the taste of whiskies, from well-rounded blends to peat bombs redolent of smoke, tobacco and leather. The only real question is, why is this true? The answer, a pair of biochemists in Sweden say, resides in the… Read


'Polka dot queen' Yayoi Kusama to open museum in Tokyo


World famous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known as "the queen of polka dots", will open a museum exhibiting her works in Tokyo in October, an official said. Kusama, 88, is known for her use of vivid color in her works that often depict polka dots and spotted pumpkins. She often… Read


GOP doubts and anxieties about Trump burst into the open


President Donald Trump's racially fraught comments about a deadly neo-Nazi rally have thrust into the open some Republicans' deeply held doubts about his competency and temperament, in an extraordinary public airing of worries and grievances about a sitting president by his own party. Behind the high-profile denunciations voiced this week… Read


Shinkansen travel tip: A clever way to keep your suitcase from rolling around on the bullet train


Japan has an extremely efficient public transportation system, with the shinkansenhigh-speed rail network being its crown jewel. However, as convenient as the bullet trains are for zipping about the country, they of course don’t deliver you directly to your hotel’s front door, which means you’ll have to haul your bags to… Read


Here's what to do with reviled statues


Statues live. The Robert E Lee statue in Charlottesville certainly does. The majority of Americans, including his fellow Republicans, disapprove of Donald Trump’s defense of Confederate monuments and his tardiness in condemning the white supremacists whose protests against a decision to remove the general's statue led to the violence that… Read


Tokyo's rich and famous seek comfort, security and anonymity


While Tokyo has what could be called affluent neighborhoods, it cannot really make the claim to have anything resembling Beverly Hills. This then raises the question, where do show business people live? Presumably there must be some factors incorporating prestige, comfort and exclusivity that would differentiate their residences from those… Read


Can drinking a little bit help you live longer?


Having a little wine or beer to unwind most days may help lower the odds of a premature death as long as that drink or two doesn’t routinely turn into more, a new study confirms. Researchers examined health survey data on more than 333,000 U.S. adults, following them for an… Read

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