The “Taizo-kai" mandala painting (Noboru Tomura)
'Mandala' Buddhist paintings rarely seen by public set to go on display
KYOTO--Two rarely shown painted “mandala” that depict the Buddhist universe will go on public display at Toji temple, a World Heritage site, on Oct. 31.
Mount Ioyama in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture (Koichi Ueda)
Alarm sounded for volcanic eruption of Mt. Ioyama in Miyazaki
Road access to Mount Ioyama in Miyazaki Prefecture was closed Oct. 24 after the Japan Meteorological Agency warned that a small-scale eruption could occur.
Residents of Kami, Miyagi Prefecture, refuse to budge even after an explanation by an Environment Ministry official, far right. (Shuhei Takei)
Residents block Environment Ministry study of candidate waste disposal site
Exploratory drilling for a facility to house waste from the nuclear accident was canceled after local residents blocked access to the site in Kami, Miyagi Prefecture.
A scene from a documentary criticizing Japan's dance regulations (Provided by "Save the Club Noon" production committee)
Want to dance? Cabinet approves revised law easing regulations on dance clubs
The word "dance" will be dropped from the scope of government regulation under a 66-year-old law, welcome news to dance club operators and dance fans, who have criticized the legislation as outdated.
The monitor of an infrared thermography system used to check the body temperatures of passengers entering Japan shows the hot liquid contained in a PET bottle in red during a test at Toyama Airport on Oct. 23. (Manabu Aoike)
Health ministry mandates airline passengers report visits to Ebola-plagued nations
The health ministry on Oct. 24 said all passengers arriving at airports from designated countries in Africa must inform immigration officers of their visits as part of new efforts to prevent Ebola from entering Japan.
The Asahi Shimbun
Under system that relies on honesty, 70% with dependents abroad pay no income tax
Alarmed by gaping holes in oversight, the Board of Audit wants to tighten scrutiny on tax deductions for overseas dependents to prevent dubious individuals from cheating the government out of revenue.
Hokusei Gakuen University professor Yugo Ono, center, responds to reporters' questions about threatening letters received by the university. (Kazuhiro Sekine)
Man arrested over university bomb threat related to ‘comfort women’ issue
Hokkaido police arrested a man on suspicion of threatening to blow up a university that employed a former Asahi Shimbun reporter who had written articles about the “comfort women” issue.
Shuji Nakamura, left, and Hiroshi Amano (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
2 Nobel Prize winners among 7 chosen to receive Order of Culture honor
Scientists Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, two of the three co-winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, will be awarded the Order of Culture, one of Japan’s highest honors, government officials said Oct. 24.
Cambodian workers peel off seals from used Japanese comic books in a factory in Phnom Penh on Aug. 29. (Manabu Sasaki)
Used Japanese comic books refurbished in Cambodia, get new life back home
PHNOM PENH--In a factory here in the nation's capital, a 19-year-old worker is standing in front of a pile of Japanese comic books on a worktable, applying oil to their price tag labels to soften them.
Misato Mogami, a second-grader at Tatsugo Elementary School in Kagoshima Prefecture, holds a chestnut tiger butterfly that flew from Ishikawa Prefecture. (Makoto Hokao)
Chestnut tiger butterfly caught off Kyushu after 1,200-km journey
TATSUGO, Kagoshima Prefecture--An 8-year-old girl caught a chestnut tiger butterfly here that had traveled 1,200 kilometers from a mountain in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture belches volcanic fumes in late September. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Study: 1% chance of catastrophic eruption striking Japan in 100 years
The probability of a large volcanic eruption bringing catastrophic damage to Japan over the next 100 years is 1 percent, a Kobe University research team said.
Sayaka Osakabe, center, who heads a "maternity harasssment' network, center, says she "was encouraged" with the Supreme Court decision for retrial on Oct. 23. (Sawa Okabayashi/ The Asahi Shimbun)
Japan's top court orders retrial in "maternity harassment" case
Japan's Supreme Court ordered a retrial on Oct. 23 for a woman who sued a former employer over a demotion during her pregnancy, handing down a partial victory that could encourage others to come forward.
Keiichi Kuwahara, 88, a former kamikaze pilot, in Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Oct. 9 (Go Katono)
On 70th anniversary of first kamikaze mission, ex-pilot describes pointlessness
KANOYA, Kagoshima Prefecture--On a sunny day in May 1945, 19-year-old pilot Keiichi Kuwahara took off on a suicide mission to help save his beloved country from defeat.
Seats on the Yurikamome Line's new 7300-series train have an upward tilt to force passengers to sit with better posture. (Provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.)
Train seats designed to end annoyance of outstretched legs
With etiquette posters and onboard announcements having little effect, train designers have turned to ergonomics to end the annoyance and hindrance caused by passengers with outstretched legs.
Tsutae Ninomiya manages an inn by herself in Otaki, Nagano Prefecture. (Yuka Yokokawa)
Otaki inn remains open, despite no bookings after volcano disaster
OTAKI, Nagano Prefecture--The proprietress of a ryokan in a village near Mount Ontakesan says she has no intention of leaving after last month's deadly eruption despite a lack of customers, with memories of two departed loved ones firmly rooted in the area.
Giant torches light up the skies of Kyoto during the Kurama Fire Festival on Oct. 22. (Noboru Tomura)
Kyoto holds millennium-old Kurama Fire Festival
KYOTO--Crowds here cheered as rows of huge torches lit up the night skies during the millennium-old Kurama Fire Festival on Oct. 22.
A document that is part of a lawsuit filed by a female health ministry official claiming gender discrimination is shown at an Oct. 21 news conference in Tokyo. (Sawa Okabayashi)
Longtime female bureaucrat sues government over gender discrimination
A female health ministry bureaucrat filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the central government on Oct. 21, saying that she has been consistently passed over for promotion after nearly two decades of service.
Akari Nagayama, left, and Hiroshi Omiya
Act of kindness ends in tragedy after Mt. Ontakesan eruption
YOKOHAMA--As volcanic rocks fell from the sky and a wave of choking smoke rolled in, Hiroshi Omiya offered his jacket to help protect a frightened young girl from the eruption of Mount Ontakesan.
The Shosoin Repository in Nara that finished undergoing more than three years of restoration work is opened to the media on Oct. 21. (Toshiyuki Hayashi)
National treasure Shosoin Repository undergoes first renovation in a century
NARA--An ancient repository built here more than 1,200 years ago is ready to be opened to the public again, after undergoing over three years of extensive renovations.
Ryokufuso in Ninohe, Iwate Prefecture, before it was gutted by fire (Provided by Sho Itsukaichi)
Fire-damaged Iwate inn 'haunted' by good-luck deity solicits funds to reopen
NINOHE, Iwate Prefecture--An inn that was gutted by fire five years ago, but was once popular because of the widespread belief it was inhabited by a guardian spirit that brought good fortune, is trying to regain its former glory.

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