All posts tagged: Japan

Tokuryū, the shadowy criminal groups taking over from yakuza in Japan | Japan

Tokuryū, the shadowy criminal groups taking over from yakuza in Japan | Japan

[ad_1] Watching three masked men smash their way into a luxury watch shop in Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza district in broad daylight, some onlookers assumed they were witnessing a TV drama or movie shoot. But the heist in May 2023 was real. It was carried out by a group of teenagers aged between 16 and 19 who were recruited online, and part of a new crime phenomenon called tokuryū by authorities that is growing as Japan’s yakuza clans decline. Who are tokuryū? Formed by the characters for “anonymous” (tokumei) and “fluid” (ryūdo), the term tokuryū refers to ad hoc groups formed to commit crimes, where members often don’t know each other or those planning and directing their activities. They are distinct from the yakuza and less hierarchical, usually with loose organisational structures above those carrying out crimes ranging from robberies and frauds to assaults and murders. Most of those arrested for such crimes are recruited online for what is known as yami-baito, or shady casual work. Many of them tell police that threats were made against …

K2 Pictures Aims to Revolutionize Film Financing in Japan

K2 Pictures Aims to Revolutionize Film Financing in Japan

[ad_1] Veteran Japanese film producer Muneyuki Kii has assembled a bold new venture to shake up Japan’s traditionally sclerotic and risk-averse approach to movie financing. The executive, formerly a lead producer at Tokyo-based studio Toei, revealed the launch Thursday of K2 Pictures, a mini-studio that aims to bring a more direct, Hollywood-style model of film funding to Japan’s industry.  The new company will launch a content fund — dubbed the “K2P Film Fund I” — to finance both live-action and animated Japanese features. K2P also has lined up an impressive roster of Japanese directors to collaborate with on its first slate, including Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters), local industry mainstay Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins), Shunji Iwai (Love Letter), Miwa Nishikawa (Sway), Kazuya Shiraishi (The Devil’s Path) and leading anime studio MAPPA, known for mega-hits like Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and Attack on Titan. Kii will serve as K2P’s CEO, while other senior leadership at launch include Tetsuro Koda, co-founder of Japanese gaming and comics publishing company Akatsuki, and Fred Schmidt, chairman in Asia for investment management company BentallGreenOak. Kii spent over 25 …

Japan’s Mount Fuji barrier delayed

Japan’s Mount Fuji barrier delayed

[ad_1] The barrier made of netting is meant to measure 2.5m by 20m and the requisite poles have been in place since early May. Lawson issued a statement on Sunday to “deeply apologise to the local residents, store customers, and the many other people who have been inconvenienced and troubled” by the popularity of the vantage point. The convenience store chain said it had “dispatched staff from Lawson headquarters” and “put up signs, in multiple languages, stating that crossing the street in front of the store is prohibited.” It is also considering deploy private security staff. Record numbers of overseas tourists are travelling to Japan, where monthly visitors exceeded three million in March for the first time. But as in other tourist hotspots, this has not been universally welcomed. In Kyoto, locals have complained of tourists harassing the city’s famed geisha. Meanwhile, hikers using the most popular route to climb Mount Fuji this summer will be charged US$13 each, with numbers capped to ease congestion and improve safety. [ad_2] Source link

The last ‘ama’ fisherwomen of Japan: Free-dive fishing tradition in danger as diver numbers plunge

The last ‘ama’ fisherwomen of Japan: Free-dive fishing tradition in danger as diver numbers plunge

[ad_1] FISHING FOR PEARLS In Mie prefecture’s Masaki Island, for instance, there used to be more than 1,000 people working in the industry. Today, there are only 40, with many of them elderly. As the number of pearl farmers declines, related businesses with century-long histories are also dwindling.  Over in Kashikojima, an island in Mie known for its pearl jewellers, many of the owners are getting on in years.  Faced with diminishing prospects, younger people there are moving to the big cities to find work. “The industry is gradually shrinking, with fewer people,” said Mr Naoto Yoshimori, president of pearl jeweller Yoshimori Pearls.  He fears his third-generation family business would end with him, as his children do not appear keen to take over the store.  “I have two sons. They have moved on in different directions,” said Mr Yoshimori.  “I will try to keep going for a little bit more. If they come home, they don’t need to work hard. It could be their side business.” [ad_2] Source link

Be Careful What You Wish For: Weaker Yen A Blessing And A Curse For Japan

Be Careful What You Wish For: Weaker Yen A Blessing And A Curse For Japan

[ad_1] By Simon White, Bloomberg Markets Live reporter and strategist A weaker yen will boost inflation in Japan, but it may do so to an undesirable extent, especially as there are growing signs price growth is becoming embedded. Be careful what you wish for. For years, Japan has yearned for sustainable inflation around 2%. Add a pandemic, a rise in energy prices and one of the most extensive and long-lasting loose monetary policies seen in the history of global central banking, and it may have got there. However, stopping inflation at the right level is a bit like turning a cargo ship: you have to make the decision to turn long before you need to. Headline inflation in Japan is coming off recent highs, helped by subdued oil prices. But so-called core-core CPI (ex-fresh food and energy) is proving worryingly stubborn, still hovering within ~0.5% points of its all-time highs. There are further signs of inflation becoming embedded. The percentage of inputs to the CPI basket (with over 650 of them, there is a Byzantine …

Michael Schumacher on the phone in Japan: Jon Nicholson’s best photograph | Art and design

Michael Schumacher on the phone in Japan: Jon Nicholson’s best photograph | Art and design

[ad_1] I got into photographing motor sport through my friendship with Damon Hill. When we met, 40 years ago, I had a job in the marketing department of an office supplies manufacturer and he was mostly on a motorbike, either earning his living as a dispatch rider or racing at Brands Hatch. Then he switched to racing on four wheels – his dad, Graham Hill, had been a double Formula 1 world champion. Damon is a really shy bloke and it was important to him to be with people who weren’t just fascinated by his family history. I didn’t know one end of a racing car from the other. My ambition was to work for Allsport, the sports photography agency. Eventually, I got a job there and stayed on the staff for three years until I couldn’t cope any more with going to Tottenham on a Tuesday night in the middle of February. Eamonn McCabe, the picture editor of the Guardian and the Observer, gave me a few shifts a week, and suddenly I was …

Commentary: Mount Fuji overtourism furore tests limits of Japan’s hospitality

Commentary: Mount Fuji overtourism furore tests limits of Japan’s hospitality

[ad_1] COURTESY MAY BE REACHING ITS LIMITS The government has been promoting the country to foreign visitors for years with immense success: Arrivals this year are expected to surpass the 2019 pre-COVID record, according to travel agency JTB. Yet from increasingly unaffordable hotels to suitcase-clogged streets becoming nigh-unwalkable, everywhere you look the downsides are mounting for ordinary residents. This dissatisfaction was articulated by one acerbic restaurant owner who last month took to social media to express mounting frustration with having to deal with tourists looking for English menus and service in their native language. The time and hassle involved in dealing with them didn’t make sense for travellers who don’t spend much anyway, the owner explained. The complaints split opinion, with some sympathising, while others defended the country’s vaunted omotenashi hospitality – a word so synonymous with the Japanese welcome that it just made it into the Oxford English Dictionary (“good hospitality, characterised by thoughtfulness, close attention to detail, and the anticipation of a guest’s needs”, in case you were wondering). But just as in …

Japan warns of action over rapid currency moves

Japan warns of action over rapid currency moves

[ad_1] TOKYO :Japan may have to take action against any disorderly, speculative-driven foreign exchange moves, the government’s top currency diplomat Masato Kanda said on Tuesday, reinforcing Tokyo’s readiness to intervene again to support a fragile yen. In a sign of authorities’ alarm over recent yen falls, Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda said currency moves were among topics he discussed in a meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday. Kanda, Japan’s vice minister of finance for international affairs who also oversees the country’s currency policy, said the government did not need to intervene if exchange rates move steadily reflecting fundamentals. “However, when there are excessive fluctuations or disorderly movements due to speculation, the market is not functioning and the government may have to take appropriate action. We will continue to take the same firm approach as we have in the past,” said Kanda. Ueda also said the central bank will guide monetary policy with a close eye on how the yen’s falls could affect inflation, suggesting the currency’s moves could affect the pace and …

4 Franz Kafka Animations: Watch Creative Animated Shorts from Poland, Japan, Russia & Canada

4 Franz Kafka Animations: Watch Creative Animated Shorts from Poland, Japan, Russia & Canada

[ad_1] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guat­tari thought of Kaf­ka as an inter­na­tion­al writer, in sol­i­dar­i­ty with minor­i­ty groups world­wide. Oth­er schol­ars have char­ac­ter­ized his work—and Kaf­ka him­self wrote as much—as lit­er­a­ture con­cerned with nation­al iden­ti­ty. Aca­d­e­m­ic debates, how­ev­er, have no bear­ing on how ordi­nary read­ers, and writ­ers, around the world take in Kafka’s nov­els and short sto­ries. Writ­ers with both nation­al and inter­na­tion­al pedi­grees such as Borges, Muraka­mi, Mar­quez, and Nabokov have drawn much inspi­ra­tion from the Czech-Jew­ish writer, as have film­mak­ers and ani­ma­tors. Today we revis­it sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al ani­ma­tions inspired by Kaf­ka, the first, above by Pol­ish ani­ma­tor Piotr Dumala. Trained a sculp­tor, Dumala’s tex­tur­al brand of “destruc­tive ani­ma­tion” cre­ates chill­ing, high con­trast images that appro­pri­ate­ly cap­ture the eerie and unre­solved play of light and dark in Kafka’s work. The Pol­ish artist’s Franz Kaf­ka (1992) draws on scenes from the author’s life, as told in his diaries. Next, watch a very dis­ori­ent­ing 2007 Japan­ese adap­ta­tion of Kafka’s “A Coun­try Doc­tor” by ani­ma­tor Koji Yama­mu­ra. The sound­track and monot­o­ne Japan­ese dia­logue (with sub­ti­tles) effec­tive­ly con­veys the …

‘Apple Pencil Pro’ Referenced in Code on Apple’s Website in Japan

‘Apple Pencil Pro’ Referenced in Code on Apple’s Website in Japan

[ad_1] A reference to an unreleased “Apple Pencil Pro” has been spotted in the code for Apple’s homepage in Japan. This finding suggests that an Apple Pencil Pro could be announced at the Apple Event tomorrow. More details to follow… Popular Stories iOS 18 Rumored to Add New Features to These 16 Apps on Your iPhone Apple is expected to announce iOS 18 during its WWDC keynote on June 10, and new features have already been rumored for many apps, including Apple Music, Apple Maps, Calculator, Messages, Notes, Safari, and others. Below, we recap iOS 18 rumors on a per-app basis, based on reports from MacRumors, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, and others: Apple Maps: At least two new Apple Maps features are… Report: Five Things Apple Won’t Announce at Its Event Next Week Apple is holding at least five announcements for later in the year that will not arrive at the company’s “Let loose” special event next week, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In a report detailing his expectations for Apple’s upcoming event, Gurman noted that …