The white kitten made of grated daikon receives the top prize in the second “daikon oroshi art” competition. (Provided by Zen-Noh Gifu)
Roots revival as grated radish art contest returns
GIFU--Radishes have plummeted in popularity in recent years, so farmers here aimed for the root of the problem by holding a “daikon oroshi” (grated radish) artwork competition.
Contestants in the Global Sushi Challenge 2015 prepare their sushi dishes in Tokyo on Nov. 25. (Toshiyuki Takeya)
Japanese chef holds off overseas competitors to claim sushi-making crown
For at least another year, Japan can still claim top bragging rights in the art of sushi making.
President Shunichi Saito, left, and chief brewer Yoshimi Terasawa stand with sake made in the Shiba district of Tokyo's Minato Ward. (Taeko Hiraoka)
Sake shop favored by famous samurai reopens in Tokyo after 100-year break
A brewery where three of the most famous samurai of the 19th century enjoyed shots of sake has reopened in the heart of Tokyo more than a hundred years after closing its doors.
Political cartoonist Norio Yamanoi holds "Zoku Manga Palestine Mondai," right, along with the first in the series in the other hand. (Seiki Suda)
Middle East conflicts made simple in hit comic book sequel
HIROSAKI, Aomori Prefecture--Political illustrator Norio Yamanoi has responded to popular demand and produced a sequel to his hit comic book “Manga Palestine Mondai” (Palestine Issue Comic).
Keisuke Yamauchi (Photo by Nobuhiro Shirai)
‘Enka’ game-changers: Young male singers with idol looks and rock music style
One recent evening in August, the 2,000-seat Shibuya Public Hall was jam-packed.
Morinaga Milk Industry Co.'s Star Wars-themed yogurt is available in two flavors: The Light Side Mix, left, and The Dark Side Mix. (Provided by Morinaga Milk Industry)
Taste the force! Morinaga offering Star Wars yogurts
It’s one of popular culture’s biggest brands, and now the "Star Wars" movie franchise is extending to yogurt cultures, too.
(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)
Listen: the night is abuzz . . . wine cellar
Mascots dance with children on Nov. 23, 2014, in Hanyu Suigo Koen park in Hanyu, Saitama Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
400 local mascots set to dance away at Hanyu World Character Summit
HANYU, Saitama Prefecture--Hundreds of colorful costumed mascots from around the world will amass in Hanyu Suigo Koen park for the sixth World Character Summit on Nov. 21-22.
The La Donaco series featuring extracts of amber produced in Kuji, Iwate Prefecture. (Toru Saito)
Iwate amber tens of millions years old used for new anti-aging beauty products
KUJI, Iwate Prefecture--The unlikely pairing of a cosmetics maker and a mining company have teamed to develop skincare products featuring extracts of amber that help prevent skin from aging prematurely.
Haiku contest winners and invited panelists from Akita, Kyoto and Matsuyama discuss haiku, music and metaphor during the Only One Tree Haiku Contest festival in Kagoshima. (David McMurray)
ASAHI HAIKUIST SPECIAL/ Ambassador Wins the Only One Tree Haiku Contest
Shadows and lights--in the whispering poplar the smile of Basho
Junko Ryu wins the Iga-ryu Shuriken Uchi Senshuken Taikai (Iga-style ninja star throwing championship) held in Iga, Mie Prefecture, on Nov. 8. (Masanori Hiuchi)
Female ninja the star at 'shuriken' throwing competition in Mie
IGA, Mie Prefecture--In just her first attempt, Junko Ryu became the first “kunoichi” female ninja to win the annual “shuriken” star-throwing championship here.
The "koshirae" ornament mounting for the Nikkari Aoe sword (Provided by the Marugame city government)
Real-life 'Touken Ranbu' sword drawing hordes of video game fans
MARUGAME, Kagawa Prefecture--"Touken joshi" (sword girls) and gamers are flocking to an exhibition for a glimpse of the treasured blade that inspired the creation of a warrior in the popular "Touken Ranbu--Online" video game.
Cosplayers flaunt their costumes in Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture. (Kazuki Ogasawara)
Cosplay culture clash builds bridges in Yamaguchi
UBE, Yamaguchi Prefecture--Pop and traditional cultures collided when 60 cosplayers took over the prestigious Watanabe Memorial Hall--and the clash proved a win-win.
A sticker of the crest of the Tokugawa Shogunate makes an iPhone case look quite dignified. (Choi Chae-soo)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Tokugawa Shogunate emblem perfect to sharpen look of smartphone
Editor’s note: This is the final installment of a series that showcases “omiyage” (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce “must-buy” items available at prefecture-operated shops in Tokyo that promote local tourism products.
(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)
A wandering ant the maple leaf fell on
Hario Lampwork Factory's accessories feature coffee beans, maple leaves and other plant motifs, as well as water drops. (Nanako Matsuzawa)
CRAFTED IN TOKYO: Stylish glass accessories that won't break the bank
Editor’s note: This series showcases cool and special souvenirs made in Japan’s capital of Tokyo, formerly known as Edo.
Produced by NHK Hiroshima, the "Shodo no Hosokyoku" manga tells how the radio station resumed broadcasting a day after the 1945 atomic bombing of the city. (Provided by NHK Hiroshima)
Manga tells tale of Hiroshima radio station’s struggle to stay on air after atomic bombing
HIROSHIMA--On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, a news reporter for radio station Hiroshima Chuo Hosokyoku prepared to announce over the airwaves a warning about a possible air raid.
Women dressed as ancient nobles enter the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji temple in Nara on Nov. 3. (Eijiro Morii)
Nara’s colorful ‘Tenpyo Gyoretsu’ parade draws Culture Day crowds
NARA--Tourists snapped photos and marveled at the spectacle of a procession of ancient nobles in brightly colored costumes that marked national Culture Day on Nov. 3.
A rickshaw carrying a fox-masked couple posing as newlyweds moves past Hoshoji temple in Kudamatsu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, as part of the Inahomatsuri festival on Nov. 3. (Akihito Sugii)
Cryptic wedding march of 'foxes' beguiles spectators at Yamaguchi festival
KUDAMATSU, Yamaguchi Prefecture--Lines of people in fox masks silently marched through city streets here on Nov. 3 as part of a ceremonial wedding procession, in a mysterious and eerie sight.
The "takoyaki" octopus dumplings of the Umaiya shop in Osaka's Kita Ward are recommended in the Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka 2016. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
'Takoyaki' take big bite out of Michelin Guide's list of budget eateries for Osaka
OSAKA--Octopus dumplings are a good choice for gourmets who want to eat cheap, according to “Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka 2016.”

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