A scene from "Kaijin Sukereton Hakushi" where Dr. Sukereton tries to sink Japan with his artificial earthquake-triggering machine. (Provided by Komatsu Sakyo Library)
Legendary sci-fi writer Sakyo Komatsu's earliest work found in U.S. archive
OSAKA--A sci-fi adventure cartoon by the late Sakyo Komatsu when the legendary writer was still a student has turned up in a U.S. university's archives.
(C)1976, 2014 SANRIO Co. Ltd.
Hello Kitty says goodbye to cat status
Hello Kitty, Sanrio Co.’s feline-like character who has won the hearts of fans across the world with her uniquely expressionless face, has become the focus of a global controversy over whether or not she is a cat.
A parent and child have fun with Japanese-made sparklers at a fireworks event on the evening of Aug. 8 in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward. (Nobuhiro Shirai)
Beauty of Japanese-made sparklers sparking a market comeback
In the rekindling of a summer tradition, the voices of children resounded on the grounds of a large bookstore near Daikanyama Station in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward.
A battle scene from "Yokai Watch 2" released July 10 (Provided by Level-5 Inc.)
Realistic locales catch young 'Yokai Watch' gamers' imaginations
In the year since its release, Level-5 Inc.'s "Yokai Watch" role-playing video game for Nintendo Co.'s 3DS handheld gaming console has become a social phenomenon, especially among elementary schoolchildren.
A notebook features Nitama, the feline stationmaster now serving at Idakiso and Kishi stations on Wakayama Electric Railway's Kishigawa Line. (Chae-soo Choi)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Visitors from home, abroad agree new Kishi Station 'the cat's meow'
Editor's note: This series showcases various kinds of "omiyage" (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce you to "must-buy" items that you can get at prefecture-operated shops for promoting local tourism products in Tokyo. The series appears on Saturdays.
(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)
ASAHI HAIKUIST NETWORK/ By David McMurray
Morning dream--
Each toothpick from Nihonbashi Saruya is wrapped in a piece of paper with a romantic poem. (Maiko Ito)
CRAFTED IN TOKYO: At Nihonbashi Saruya, each toothpick comes wrapped with 'love fortune' poem
Editor's note: This series showcases cool and special souvenirs made in Japan's capital of Tokyo, formerly known as Edo.
Hare Natori succeeds in keeping his egg intact on June 14 in Tokyo's Meguro Ward. "It originally had four wings, but it lost one when it hit the ground," he said. (Hikaru Uchida)
Egg drop contests: Plummeting 'cackle fruit' sparks students' creativity
On a Saturday in June, kids and their parents crowded into a research center in Tokyo to participate in Japan's newest craze: the egg drop contest.
An illustration of Naoshima island to be exhibited at Le Bon Marche this fall. (Provided by Steady Study Ltd.)
Naoshima Island, works of architect Tadao Ando to be featured at Paris exhibition
The Seto Inland Sea island town of Naoshima and the works of architect Tadao Ando will feature prominently in an exhibition to be held at the world's oldest department store in Paris.
The North American version of “Doraemon” has been Westernized. For example, chopsticks have been switched to forks. ((c) Fujiko Pro.・Shogakukan・TV Asahi・Shin-ei・ADK)
Westernized 'Doraemon' successful in North American run
LOS ANGELES--Chopsticks have been changed to forks, yen converted into dollars, and the Americanization of perhaps Japan’s most beloved anime character has proved a success so far in his North American debut.
Confectioners reproduce 16th century sweets from Portugal at a gathering held in Oita on Aug. 7. (Tatsuro Sugiura)
Oita looks to historic Portuguese sweets as new local specialty
OITA--Municipal officials here are trying to give people a real taste of this city’s history by reproducing European sweets once eaten by local feudal lord Otomo Sorin (1530-1587).
Sayoko Kinoshita (Photo by Kenji Shimizu)
INTERVIEW/ Sayoko Kinoshita: Hiroshima anime festival celebrates 30 years of love, peace
HIROSHIMA--Filmmakers from all over the world have gathered here for the 15th Hiroshima International Animation Festival, which is being held at Aster Plaza in the city’s Naka Ward from Aug. 21 through Aug. 25.
A tawashi scrubbing brush from Takada Kozo Shoten (Chae-soo Choi)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Wakayama-made brushes are crafted from eco-friendly natural fibers
Editor's note: This series showcases various kinds of "omiyage" (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce you to "must-buy" items that you can get at prefecture-operated shops for promoting local tourism products in Tokyo. The series appears on Saturdays.
Plastic models of robots from "Mobile Suit Gundam" are on display on the counter in the Axis Iolite bar in Osaka's Chuo Ward. (Mashio Takeda)
35 years since debut, 'Gundam' continues to attract legions of new fans
OSAKA--On the second floor of a multi-tenanted building in the city's lively Dotonbori district, a unique bar welcomes aficionados of "Mobile Suit Gundam."
Soy sauces from Wakayama Prefecture are made with unique processes and high quality ingredients. From left, Ki-Ippon Kuromame, Nigori Hishio and Mitsuboshi Shoyu soy sauces. (Chae-soo Choi)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Home of soy sauce, Wakayama offers numerous varieties
Editor's note: This series showcases various kinds of "omiyage" (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce you to "must-buy" items that you can get at prefecture-operated shops for promoting local tourism products in Tokyo. The series appears on Saturdays.
(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)
ASAHI HAIKUIST NETWORK/ By David McMurray
A daring spirit
Cosplayers dressed as anime characters take pictures of themselves at Hanahaku Commemorative Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi in Osaka on May 24. (Nahoko Kyotani)
Rules set to prevent clashes between cosplayers, general public
The scenic Tsuruma Park in Nagoya’s Showa Ward was once a battleground of sorts, where a civilian population was pitted against an elaborately dressed foe.
The cover illustration of the "O-shikujiri" (Major fiasco) volume of "Tank Tankuro" (Provided by eBook Initiative Japan Co.)
Gajo Sakamoto's 'Tank Tankuro,' other prewar manga go digital
"Tank Tankuro" and three other prewar comics by Gajo Sakamoto (1895-1973) have been reworked in digital format, providing a rare glimpse of the manga that laid the groundwork for subsequent robot cartoons in Japan.
"Kusudama" buns filled with bean jam and tied to a tree branch with a string are cut down with scissors and placed on a leaf instead of a typical "kaishi" paper. Participants at this tea party in Kyoto's Nakagyo Ward tasted the joy of picking the sweets from a tree. (Kyoko Tanaka)
Japanese sweets with cuteness in full bloom in Kyoto
KYOTO--"Kawaii wagashi" (cute Japanese sweet) such as "namayatsuhashi" cinnamon cookie dough shaped like roses are popping up, adopting a new aesthetic while preserving tradition.
Ume Power Plus, a snack that is made from pickled Japanese apricots, comes in various flavors. (Photo by Chae-soo Choi)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Wakayama Prefecture offers more than just 'umeboshi' pickled apricots
Editor's note: This series showcases various kinds of "omiyage" (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce you to "must-buy" items that you can get at prefecture-operated shops for promoting local tourism products in Tokyo. The series appears on Saturdays.

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