The wood paneling of the new Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building on the Hongo Campus of the University of Tokyo undulates to create 3-D-like waves. (Wakato Onishi)
University of Tokyo research building explores world of 'ubiquitous computing'
Designed to be a hub for exploring the smart and accessible environment created through "ubiquitous computing," the Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Building is the newest edition on the Hongo Campus of the University of Tokyo.
Spectators throng the Ofune Hoko float on July 20, its first appearance in the streets of Kyoto in 150 years. (Noboru Tomura)
Historic float from Edo Period makes 'comeback' at Gion Festival
KYOTO--A replica of a historic float that was destroyed by fire in fighting that brought the Edo Period (1603-1867) to a close is wowing crowds at the ancient capital’s famous Gion Festival.
Hanayome ningyo doll (Makiko Kawamura)
Museum marks century of Seto ceramic novelties with exhibition
SETO, Aichi Prefecture--An exhibition currently being held here at the prefectural Ceramic Museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary since the production of novelty porcelain figures started in the city.
A "fuku" blowfish lantern (Photo by Chae-soo Choi)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Poisonous blowfish can be a decorative lantern
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.
An employee puts sea urchins in a wooden box at Hadate Suisan Corp. in Mori, Hokkaido, on July 2 while its president, Teruko Hadate, looks on. (Eiji Hori)
JOY OF HOKKAIDO FOOD: Popularity spreads for sea-urchin sushi as transport methods improve
The painstaking work to perfectly arrange delicate sea urchin roe in wooden boxes is one of the reasons it has become a top-class ingredient for sushi.
“Tea is philosophy. It is deep and wide,” Sen Genshitsu says in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Kyoto on March 31. (Machiko Kirimoto)
THE GREEN PATH: Using the power of tea to mend relations in East Asia
Editor’s note: This is the last of a five-part series of an interview with Sen Genshitsu, 91, who joined the kamikaze corps in World War II and was later head master of Urasenke, one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony.
Sen Genshitsu makes tea for Deng Xiaoping in China in 1979. Asked about the reason why he turned the bowl around, Sen replied, “By avoiding the front (of the bowl), we can have a humble feeling.” (Provided by Sen Genshitsu)
THE GREEN PATH: The Way of Tea spreads to China, Islamic countries
Editor’s note: This is the fourth of a five-part series of an interview with Sen Genshitsu, 91, who joined the kamikaze corps in World War II and was later head master of Urasenke, one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony.
"Kantai Collection" collaborative products are available in the section for plastic model ships at the Super Kids Land hobby shop chain's flagship store in Osaka's Naniwa Ward. (Takafumi Yabuki)
Online 'female' warship game helps boost sales of plastic model kits
OSAKA--After decades of sinking sales, naval ship plastic model kits are proving a hit once again, buoyed by a popular free online card game featuring anthropomorphic World War II maritime vessels.
Sukeno Co.’s “Sushi Socks” resemble sushi when they are rolled up. (Takashi Yoshikawa)
PHOTO: ‘Sushi Socks’ prove a perfect fit for foreign tourists
TAKAOKA, Toyama Prefecture--While Japanese are known for their love of sushi, an unusual fusion of sushi and footwear is proving equally popular with foreign tourists: "Sushi Socks."
Sen Genshitsu, far right, attends a ceremony to enter the Buddhist priesthood at Daitokuji temple in Kyoto in 1949. At center is the temple’s chief abbot, Zuigan Goto. (Provided by Urasenke)
THE GREEN PATH: Scolded and criticized, Sen Genshitsu found way to become tea master
Editor’s note: This is the third of a five-part series of an interview with Sen Genshitsu, 91, who joined the kamikaze corps in World War II and was later head master of Urasenke, one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony.
Sen Genshitsu, in the back, poses with his colleagues of a kamikaze suicide corps. Future actor Ko Nishimura is in the center in the front row. (Provided by Sen Genshitsu)
THE GREEN PATH: Tea brought temporary relief to kamikaze pilots in training
Editor’s note: This is the second of a five-part series of an interview with Sen Genshitsu, 91, who joined the kamikaze corps in World War II and was later head master of Urasenke, one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony.
Jackets and pants made from cotton fabric from Burkina Faso (Mayumi Obikane)
‘Ethical fashion’ catches on with Japanese consumers
The fashion business can contribute to society and reduce environmental burdens. The concept of “ethical fashion,” which has taken root in Europe and the United States, is spreading in Japan.
Sen Genshitsu, former head master of Urasenke school, is interviewed by The Asahi Shimbun on March 31. He has made more than 300 trips overseas and visited more than 60 countries. (Machiko Kirimoto)
THE GREEN PATH: Former kamikaze pilot calls for peace with a bowl of tea
Editor’s note: This is the first of a five-part series of an interview with Sen Genshitsu, 91, who joined the kamikaze corps in World War II and was later head master of Urasenke, one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony.
The restroom of a cafe in Oita features colorful drawings. (Chihaya Inagaki)
Oita promotes city with its artsy restrooms
OITA--The most populous metropolis in Oita Prefecture, the city of Oita has long been known for its picturesque views and easy access to Beppu Bay and the Seto Inland Sea. But nowadays, it's the downtown's artistic public toilets that are receiving rave reviews.
A pair of Hagi-yaki "meoto (married couple) yunomi" teacups (Photo by Chae-soo Choi)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Korean-influenced Hagi-yaki pottery dates back more than 4 centuries
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.
A member of the Global Kendamas Network shows her stuff outside a new kendama shop in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture. (Ananda Kokumai)
Masters of 'kendama' cup-and-ball game to throw down at 1st world cup
HATSUKAICHI, Hiroshima Prefecture--While the eyes of soccer fans remain riveted on the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, another world cup involving a traditional wooden hand-held game is drawing participants from around the globe to this western city.
An illustration submitted by Chika Umino in celebration of her winning of the Manga Grand Prix. Umino included her own character alongside Unico, a baby unicorn created by Osamu Tezuka.
Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize winners honored at awards ceremony
Fujiko Fujio A said the world of manga might just see more of him as he accepted the Asahi Special Prize award for his "Manga Michi" (The way of manga) and its sequel, "Ai... Shirisomeshi Koro ni..." (When you know what love is) at the 18th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize ceremony in Tokyo on May 30.
Six-dan shogi player Taichi Nakamura gives a special shogi lecture in Hachioji in the western suburb of Tokyo. (Kazuo Yamamoto)
More universities offering shogi, go classes to improve thinking process
Law students at Tokyo Metropolitan University in Hachioji in the western suburb of Tokyo can choose an unusual course offering this year that doesn't have anything to do with the legal system.
Naoko Nishikawa's cattle feed on wild grasses at her Komatani ranch in Samani, Hokkaido. (Eiji Hori)
JOY OF HOKKAIDO FOOD: Beef from free-ranging cattle gains a following
Editor’s note: Hokkaido is attracting attention for its world-class food items. This series introduces readers to delicious foods from the northern Japanese island and the people there who are producing these wonderful products. The series appears every other Saturday.

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