Lifestyle

'Straight to your soul': Japan's taiko reinvents drum tradition

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In a hall on Japan's Sado island, 71-year-old Yoshikazu Fujimoto strikes the imposing drum mounted before him, producing a boom so powerful that it reverberates through the floorboards. Fujimoto is a veteran performer of Japanese taiko drumming, a musical form with roots in religious rituals, traditional theatre and the joyous… Read

Lifestyle

Capsule hotel tells you how many times you snore during the night

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There are so many capsule hotels to choose from in Japan, but if you want to stay at one that tells you how many times you snore during the night, you’ll want to book yourself into 9 Hours Woman Shinjuku. As the name suggests, this particular branch of the trendy 9 Hours… Read

Lifestyle

Arrival of baby deer in Nara Park announces start of fawning season

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Though it seems like we’ve taken a hop, skip and leap right over into the rainiest part of the season, there's one thing that marks spring like no other: the beginning of new life on earth. Not only do we get to watch the opening of beautiful spring season flower… Read

Lifestyle

A permanent 'One Piece'-themed fitness gym is opening in Japan, now recruiting pirate trainers

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Reading manga and watching anime are both excellent ways to spend your free time, as they’re both outstanding sources of entertainment and inspiration. A major drawback, though, is that they’re both sedentary hobbies. So for looking to get not just their daily otaku dopamine dose but also some exercise, there’s a… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese universities determine cats know names of other cats

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Despite humans’ long lasting relationship with cats, there are still many mysteries to the feline mind. Their preference for GU jeans and fear of circles are but a few of the many secrets locked behind those stoic eyes. However, researchers at Kyoto University and Azabu University in Kanagawa have been steadily learning more and… Read

Lifestyle

French city rekindles burkini row with pool rule change

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The Alpine city of Grenoble is set to reignite one of France's recurring summer debates on Monday when it votes to authorize the "burkini" in state-run swimming pools. The all-in-one swimsuit, used by some Muslim women to cover their bodies and hair while bathing, has become almost as topical as… Read

Lifestyle

Buddhist chaplains on the rise in U.S., offering broad appeal

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Wedged into a recliner in the corner of her assisted living apartment in Portland, Skylar Freimann, who has a terminal heart condition and pulmonary illness, anxiously eyed her newly arrived hospital bed on a recent day and worried over how she would maintain independence as she further loses mobility. There… Read

Lifestyle

Takashi Murakami takes his art into the metaverse

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Takashi Murakami is known for blending pop art and Asian fine arts, but for his latest exhibition in New York, he is moving into the metaverse. At the show "An Arrow Through History" that opened last week at Manhattan's Gagosian Gallery, Murakami builds bridges from traditional fine arts to Japanese… Read

Lifestyle

Thanks to the shogun, Tokyo Shinto shrine has good luck charms to help you win idol tickets

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Just about every Shinto shrine in Japan that has priests and shrine maidens on the grounds also sells good luck charms called omamori. Depending on what specifically you’re asking the gods for, though, different shrines have earned reputations as being luckier than others. In Tokyo, for example, if you’re an aspiring scholar who’s hoping to… Read

Lifestyle

Japanese government proposes manga-inspired courtship; Suzu Yamanouchi praised for critique

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The "Research Document on Love" sparked a debate online when it was published by the Japanese Cabinet Office in April. The document, part of a presentation given at a meeting of a study group on marriage and family, suggested that education be provided to support people who are shy about… Read

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