Random Japan


Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi celebrated New Year on the International Space Station with traditional activities like hanetsuki (hitting a shuttlecock with a battledore) and kakizome (writing the first calligraphy of the year).

It was reported that a “love hotel mutual fund” offered by Shibuya-based Initia Star Securities has been enjoying annual returns of 5-8 percent.

Japan decided to ban the import of poultry and eggs from Texas after a flock of ducks there were found to be possibly infected with avian influenza.

The agriculture ministry intends to spend ¥1.6 billion to establish about 20 farmers’ markets in major cities around the nation.

After kicking up a storm over a blog post in which he claimed that “advanced medical care allows those to live who would once have been weeded out by natural selection,” the mayor of Akune, Kagoshima Prefecture, lashed out at his critics via the city’s community PA system, which was set up for use during disasters.



Cases of murder and attempted murder in Japan in 2009, a 15.4% drop from 2008 and the lowest number since World War II


Bird strikes that occurred at Haneda Airport in 2008, the highest in the nation, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

2 percent

Predicted decrease in the demand for beer and “similar drinks” in Japan in 2010

5 percent

Predicted rise in sales for Sapporo in 2010, thanks to the hoopla associated with the 120th anniversary of its Yebisu brand


A quick-thinking passenger saved the day when she took control of a bus whose driver had lost consciousness on a road in Ehime. The driver later died.

Officials at Haneda Airport plan to start around-the-clock bird patrols in an attempt to avoid avian strikes against aircraft.

A Tokyo University study found that airport screening measures designed to identify and quarantine travelers infected with type A/H1N1 influenza are largely ineffective.

Popular tour operator Hato Bus Co. held a ceremony for 17 of its young female guides three days prior to Coming-of-Age Day. Yeah, that seems real nice, until you learn that the service was held because Hato made the women work on the national holiday, which means they were unable to go back to their hometowns for the ceremony.

A 38-year-old business executive in Shiga Prefecture was killed when his car was hit by a Tokaido line train at a crossing and dragged 80 meters.

It is expected that 42 witnesses will be called to testify in the trial of a 27-year-old man who killed seven people in a rampage in Akihabara in June 2008. The trial is expected to last a year.

That’s A Really Small Person  

Wearing That Tuxedo  

The Fast Shinkansen

Goes No Where

New Adults

And They’re Still Jerks

Brazilian animator finally teams up with Tezuka



SAO PAULO–More than 20 years after coming up with the idea, Brazilian cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa’s dream for a joint creation with the late anime great Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) will finally leave the drawing board.

De Sousa, the 74-year-old creator of the popular Brazilian comic series “Turma da Monica” (Monica’s gang), will publish a comic book that features his own creations alongside Tezuka’s famed character “Princess Knight” as they try to stop violence and stem deforestation in the Amazon.

De Sousa, whose works are widely featured in comic magazines in Brazil, is referred to as “Brazil’s Walt Disney.”

He says he hopes to publish the book around June.

Hatoyama spiel slammed as gloss

Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010

Kyodo News

Opposition lawmakers were quick to slam Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’sFriday policy speech in the Diet, with some attacking him for offering few specific policies and for sidestepping the question of ethics despite members of his Democratic Party of Japan, including himself, being involved in funds scandals.

Speaking to reporters after the prime minister’s 51-minute speech, Sadakazu Tanigaki, president of the Liberal Democratic Party, said Hatoyama failed to touch on the recent arrest of a DPJ House of Representatives lawmaker over accounting irregularities linked to party kingpin Ichiro Ozawa.