Artist Satoshi Murakami sits the entrance to his portable house set up inside Gallery Barco in the Kameari district of Tokyo's Katsushika Ward. (Louis Templado)
Human snail crosses Japan with house on back
Satoshi Murakami tested the hospitality of lots of strangers on his recent pilgrimage across Japan. When he shows up on someone’s doorstep at dusk, instead of asking for a room, he asks for space on their land where he can put down his own house, which he carries on his back.
Holly Helt, left, and Alex Sanson display items on the menu at Chiki Tea in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, on Feb. 27. (Masahiko Urabe)
Foreign couple offers delights of Japanese tea in cafe in Oita
NAKATSU, Oita Prefecture--When Holly Helt and Alex Sanson discovered the perfect tea leaves in Japan, it gave them the idea of popularizing the unique taste of Japanese tea.
Thin and durable, traditional "Tosa washi" Japanese paper is produced with 1,000-year-old techniques. (Choi Chae-soo)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Kochi's traditional 'pearl paper' dates back 1,000 years
Editor’s note: This series showcases “omiyage” (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce “must-buy” items available at prefecture-operated shops in Tokyo that promote local tourism products. The series appears on Saturdays.
A scene from “Stand By Me Doraemon” (c) 2014 "Stand By Me Doraemon" Production Committee
Futuristic cat Doraemon to land in Chinese theaters
BEIJING--A hit Japanese movie, starring the popular robotic cat Doraemon, is set to hit silver screens in China in another sign of improving relations between Tokyo and Beijing.
(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)
ASAHI HAIKUIST NETWORK/ David McMurray
Labour Day the old mine foreman lights a pipe
Manga Box smartphone app (Provided by DeNa Co.)
Free manga apps rapidly expanding digital book readership
The number of users reading comic books via smartphone apps is rapidly increasing, playing a big part in the nation's digital book market.
A former Han school building of the Mito Domain in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, that was added to the Japan Heritage list (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Cormorant fishing, cliffside temple among assets named to Japan Heritage list
Traditional nighttime fishing with cormorants on the Nagaragawa river in Gifu Prefecture and a temple building perched on a hillside in Tottori Prefecture are among the 18 collective assets that have been designated to the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Japan Heritage list.
An illustration created by Masashi Kishimoto specifically for the first exhibition themed on his “Naruto” manga series ((c) Masashi Kishimoto, Scott/ Shueisha)
1st ‘Naruto’ exhibition headed for Tokyo this weekend
Months after the original series ended, the first exhibition featuring the ninja manga work “Naruto” will open at the Roppongi Hills commercial complex in central Tokyo on April 25.
Tokyomatsuya's Iwai-Tsutsumi wrapping paper (Maiko Ito)
CRAFTED IN TOKYO: For the ultimate in the art of paper-making
Editor's note: This series showcases cool and special souvenirs made in Japan's capital of Tokyo, formerly known as Edo.
Stefan Schauwecker (Photo by Naoki Tsuzaka)
Want the latest tourist tips on Japan? Then Stefan Schauwecker's website is a must
Swiss-born Stefan Schauwecker is something of a Japanophile, having made this country his home, and visiting well over 1,000 tourist destinations around Japan.
"Chibi Maruko-chan" remains perennially popular after marking its 25th anniversary. ((c) Sakura Production/ Nippon Animation)
'70s lifestyle key to enduring popularity of 'Chibi Maruko-chan'
In many ways, "Chibi Maruko-chan" is a throwback to another era. Be that as it may, the animated TV series marked its 25th anniversary this year, still as popular as ever.
A folding screen depicting “Shochiku-zu,” believed to be painted by Hasegawa Tohaku, is unveiled on April 20 at Kyoto University of Art and Design in Sakyo Ward. (Noboru Tomura)
University shows off folding screens painted by Hasegawa Tohaku
KYOTO--An art university here unveiled folding screens believed to have been painted by Hasegawa Tohaku (1539-1610), a celebrated artist patronized by the rich and powerful during the feudal times.
A visitor at the Tanizaki Junichiro Exhibition looks at illustration reprints at the Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature in Yokohama on April 5. (Minao Ota)
Female manga fans storm Tanizaki exhibition in Yokohama
YOKOHAMA--Literary giant Junichiro Tanizaki, famous for exploring kinky sex themes in his novels, is attracting a new kind of fan--young girls. And it's all due to a popular manga.
Hidetoshi Fukagawa, a researcher of “sangaku” wooden tablets featuring mathematical questions, guides students from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., at the Tashirojinja shrine in Yoro, Gifu Prefecture, in January. (Yasuyuki Onaya)
Edo Period math tablets still hold right formula to baffle, impress viewers
OGAKI, Gifu Prefecture--When students from a U.S. college came to Japan on a two-week tour, they couldn't help but be in awe as they visited Myojorinji temple here.
Spinning at more than 3,000 revolutions per minute, the "chikyu-goma" gyroscope comes in two sizes, with the large one priced at 2,000 yen and the small one at 1,600 yen. Sold out at many retailers, they are currently fetching up to 20,000 yen on Internet auction sites. (Takunori Yasuda)
Production of iconic gyroscope toy coming to a close after 90 years
NAGOYA--Production of the "chikyu-goma" (earth spin), a little metal gyroscope, a must-have item in every child's room in the 1960s and 70s, will cease in late April when manufacturer Tiger & Co. shutters its operations.
A bottle of Yuzu no Mura "ponzu shoyu" sauce (Choi Chae-soo)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Small village finds fame as producer of 'yuzu' citrus-based products
Editor’s note: This series showcases “omiyage” (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce “must-buy” items available at prefecture-operated shops in Tokyo that promote local tourism products. The series appears on Saturdays.
(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)
ASAHI HAIKUIST NETWORK/ By David McMurray
People all in plastic tapping the maples a woodpecker
Diet members wear kimono at the opening of the current session in January. (Kazuyoshi Sako)
SURVIVAL OF KIMONO: Saving the disappearing fashion goes political
Politicians are not renowned for their sartorial tastes so when 80 of them stood outside the Diet building clad in kimono, they must have caused more than a few eyes to blink twice.
Visitors to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden museum gaze at 19th century "katagami" stencils. (Masanori Sako)
SURVIVAL OF KIMONO: Japanese dyeing designs get kiss of life in Germany, Britain
When samurai traded in their kimono for Western business attire after the Meiji Restoration they were inadvertently dealing a severe blow to a rich sartorial heritage in Japan.
Dozens of aspiring manga artists attended Manaru Tenkawa's class in Cairo in late January. (Provided by Manaru Tenkawa)
Osaka-based manga artist finds inspiration in the Arab world
OSAKA--A Japanese manga artist who is fascinated by Arab culture is trying to nurture the art form in the Middle East.

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