Valley of the dolls: Scarecrows outnumber people in Tokushima village


In the tiny village of Nagoro, deep in the mountains of Tokushima Prefecture, the wind howls down a deserted street with not a living soul to be seen. But yet the street appears busy, dotted with life-sized dolls that outnumber humans 10 to one, the product of a one-woman bid… Read

Executive Impact

Despite headwind, Nomura says it is intent on going it alone


Nomura Holdings has no plan to follow the lead of Wall Street rivals and seek a tie-up with a commercial lender, its chief executive told Reuters, pledging to stay independent even as the investment bank faces its first annual loss in a decade. Nomura in January reported a net loss… Read


One-day Italian food festival will feature creations by 30 chefs


An authentic Italian food festival will be held in Tokyo on May 28. This event is one of the "Extraordinary Italian Taste" projects promoted by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, to protect the true value of Italian ingredients and to introduce genuine Italian cuisine to consumers outside of Italy.… Read


Why you need to experience kagura, Japan’s oldest performance art


I almost forgot these were performers and not actual beings that had crawled out from the pits of Japanese hell as they stomped around menacingly. Cymbals crashed and frantic drums filled the room, my heartbeat speeding up to match the rhythm. But they are indeed performers – three men performing… Read

New Products

Popular coffee brand and Mobile Suit Gundam team up to make limited edition Gundam can designs


Can you believe that the very first ever "Gundam" anime started airing 40 years ago, in 1979? The original "Mobile Suit Gundam" series revolutionized the “giant mecha” genre, and started off a series of enormously popular anime, films, models, video games, manga, and even novels. As such, it’s only fitting that the monumental anime’s 40th… Read


Mueller paints a damning portrait of Trump


To Donald Trump, the start of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation looked alarmingly like the end of his presidency. So he tried to stop it. His months-long effort pushed the boundaries of presidential powers and the law, revealing a commander in chief consumed by self-interest and intent on having his… Read


How many cherries in frozen pie? FDA may soon drop rules


U.S. President Donald Trump may soon be able to claim a sweet victory for his deregulation push, with officials preparing to get rid of the decades-old rules for frozen cherry pies. Emails show the Food and Drug Administration planned to start the process for revoking the standard for frozen cherry… Read


Telemedicine, walk-in clinics cloud role of family doctor in U.S.


Lisa Love hasn't seen her doctor of 25 years since she discovered telemedicine. Love tried virtual visits last summer for help with a skin irritation and returned for another minor problem. She doesn't feel a pressing need to seek care the old-fashioned way, especially since she also gets free health… Read


Experience the breathtaking beauty of hanging wisterias at Ashikaga Flower Park

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Every year in late April, visitors from all over the world congregate at the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture to experience the wondrous sight of wisterias in bloom. It's safe to say that there is no other place in the world which displays wisterias on such a scale and… Read


Japanese muscle man group offers to carry you and lend their strength to summer festivals


In the past, Japanese "muscular performance group" ALL OUT has a provided a variety of services for those looking to make use of their peak fitness and hospitable attitude. The troupe have offered themselves as a living rental service of ripped shirtless men available for cosplay, "muscle escort" services, and even… Read

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