It’s already late August, and there are but a few more fireworks shows left in the summer season. I don’t know about you, but when I try to take pictures to help remind me of summer memories, they never turn out as beautiful as the memories themselves.

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During a visit to a shelter in the disaster-struck city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture last month, leader of popular Japanese male idol group SMAP Masahiro Nakai passed out handheld game systems to children to help make their the shelter life a little more bearable.

However, this act of charity was soon surrounded in controversy as it was recently revealed that local officials were taking away the game consoles from some of the children. Read More

In Japan monomane, or impersonation, is one of the most popular forms of comedy in the country, and some high-profile comedians have made their careers solely out of monomane.

One of the most well known of these comedians, Korokke, has recently released a picture of himself imitating Yuko Oshima of the popular Japanese idol group AKB 48. Read More

There has been much controversy in the past 12 years over the forced performance of the Japanese national anthem, Kimigayo, at public school ceremonies and events in Tokyo. The anthem, along with the symbolic Japanese flag Hinomaru, is seen by some as symbols of Japanese pre-war imperialism, and others claim that requiring teachers to face the flag and sing is unconstitutional. Many teachers who have protested by refusing to stand have lost their jobs. Subsequently, many have tried to file legal complaints against the action, seeking rehire or compensation, and were often unsuccessful.

Finally, on June 6, 2011, the Supreme Court of Japan ruled it constitutional to require teachers to stand in front of the flag and sing Kimigayo. However, even after this ruling, it is likely that some stubborn teachers may still sit against the current. For that purpose, there is the new Compulsory Standing Chair with Automatic Kimigayo Detection System. Read More

Jack Sparrow Spotted In Thailand Selling Cheap Jewelry

It seems Captain Jack Sparrow is taking a break from his adventures on the high seas and selling accessories on the streets in Thailand. Read More

Takeshi’s 7-Step “Relief” Program

During an April 23 live television broadcast of the program Jouhou 7-Days Newscaster and renowned filmmaker Takeshi Kitano urgently appealed to provide “more detailed assistance” to the disaster area.

Takeshi, who co-hosts the program, outlined seven measures that he believes could improve the quality of life for those displaced by the disaster. In true Takeshi fashion most of the suggestions are very bold and even lewd, making it easy to brush them off as another one of his comedic stunts. However, considering that the shelters provide very little in the way of privacy and entertainment, Takeshi’s proposal could sound much more relevant to those actually living in them.

The proposed measures follow below: Read More

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