Stars and Stripes Japan: If you can’t travel, here’s 11 virtual tours of Japan

Stars and Stripes Japan: If you can’t travel, here’s 11 virtual tours of Japan. “Let the power of technology, like virtual museum tours or live video feeds, decide where to visit on your next holiday—or help you pass your time during a spot of social distancing as coronavirus worries continue. Whether you’re already in Japan, scratching your head because of the closed attractions or still planning your next trip, these fantastic e-tours and live feeds will help you pass the time and maybe even add a few new places to your bucket list.”

British Library: Zuan-cho – Japanese design albums in the late Meiji Period

British Library: Zuan-cho – Japanese design albums in the late Meiji Period. “The Japanese Collection of the British Library includes around 50 Japanese pattern and design books. Thanks to a grant from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the Library is digitising many of these and making them available online. For a list of what is currently available see Japanese manuscripts and woodblock-printed books relating to design arranged by theme. This series of blog posts features some of the items in the collection, the artists who created them and the publishers who produced them.”

Hindustan Times: Onoterusaki Shrine in Japan offers solace to those at home amid coronavirus pandemic lockdown

Hindustan Times: Onoterusaki Shrine in Japan offers solace to those at home amid coronavirus pandemic lockdown. “Shinto shrines, a go-to place for many Japanese to pray for good health and safety, have largely shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic. But one Tokyo shrine went online for those seeking solace. Onoterusaki Shrine in downtown Tokyo was live-streaming prayers on Twitter during a May 1-10 holiday, allowing those stuck at home to join rituals.”

GlobeNewswire: JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Launches Virtual Programming Featuring Their Most Popular Series on Manga Art, Food, Film & Flower Arranging (PRESS RELEASE)

GlobeNewswire: JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Launches Virtual Programming Featuring Their Most Popular Series on Manga Art, Food, Film & Flower Arranging (PRESS RELEASE). “JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, the premier Japanese cultural destination in the heart of Hollywood, is launching a virtual program featuring their most popular education and entertainment workshops, including expanded content, to enjoy at home during its temporary closure.” Cooking, Manga, flower arranging…

Getty Blogs: New on the Getty Research Portal: 900+ free digitized Japanese art exhibition catalogues

Getty Blogs: New on the Getty Research Portal: 900+ free digitized Japanese art exhibition catalogues. “While the physical holdings of our respective institutions may not be accessible at the moment, an ongoing collaboration between the Getty Research Institute (GRI) and the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) has resulted in the digitization of more than 900 exhibition catalogues on Japanese art, which are now freely available and downloadable on the Getty Research Portal. A Japanese announcement is also available.”

Slate: Somehow the Pandemic Hasn’t Stopped Sumo Wrestling

Slate: Somehow the Pandemic Hasn’t Stopped Sumo Wrestling. “On March 22, 35-year-old professional sumo wrestler Hakuho Sho gripped 34-year-old Kakuryu Rikisaburo in a powerful bear hug, glided across the floor, and launched his opponent outside of the ring. That final bout, which lasted less than 30 seconds, won Hakuho his 44th top-division championship. No roar of the crowd accompanied his achievement, however, because the seats were empty. The 15-day tournament in Osaka, Japan, did not have an audience because of the Japan Sumo Association’s coronavirus precautions.”

COVID-19: A 19th century Japanese ‘spirit’, Amabie, is going viral on Twitter in hopes for end to coronavirus pandemic (Gulf News)

Gulf News: COVID-19: A 19th century Japanese ‘spirit’, Amabie, is going viral on Twitter in hopes for end to coronavirus pandemic. “As many countries extend their coronavirus lockdown, a Japanese monster is going viral on Twitter, in hopes for an end to the pandemic. Recently, tweeps have been getting creative with images of a legendary 19th century Japanese yōkai or spirit that was said to have emerged from the sea and spoken of an epidemic. Many people across the globe have shared depictions of the amabie, that has apparently become a mascot of sorts, alongside messages wishing for a swift end to the spread of COVID-19.”

Techdirt: Japan Approves New Law To Make Manga Piracy A Criminal Offense

Techdirt: Japan Approves New Law To Make Manga Piracy A Criminal Offense. Yikes! “Roughly a year and a half ago, we discussed a proposed amendment to Japanese copyright law that would seek to criminalize copyright infringement. The general consensus is that the chief impetus for this new addition to Japanese copyright law centered on the manga industry, which is a multi-billion dollar industry, despite that particular media being pirated alongside all other media.”

Japan Times: Art gets a second life via digitized showcasing

Japan Times: Art gets a second life via digitized showcasing. “NTT East Corp. has launched a project to preserve Japan’s cultural properties in an effort to conserve assets susceptible to damage from natural disasters or deterioration over time. Under the project, the telecommunication firm plans to digitalize cultural properties, such as paintings, architecture and historical documents, and store the data on the firm’s server.”

Google Blog: Japanese food and flavors come to Google Arts & Culture

Google Blog: Japanese food and flavors come to Google Arts & Culture. “The Japanese word ‘meshiagare’ means ‘enjoy your meal.’ And don’t we all enjoy our food more when we know its story? ‘Meshiagare! Flavors of Japan’ is a new online exhibition designed to help us do just that. Presented by Google Arts & Culture and 20 partners, including the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, it brings together thousands of photos and videos exploring the people, places and traditions that make Japanese cuisine so special.”

9 News: Secrets of billions of ancient Japanese texts being uncovered by AI

9 News: Secrets of billions of ancient Japanese texts being uncovered by AI. “The content of billions of ancient texts written in a now-obsolete Japanese script have long puzzled researchers struggling to decode the secrets they might hold. Known as Kuzushiji, the ancient cursive script was used from the 8th century to the start of the 20th, however less than 0.01 per cent of the world’s population can currently read it.”

Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive: Important Cultural Property “Dainihonshi Hensan Kiroku” (G.S. Letters) Newly Released

Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive: Important Cultural Property “Dainihonshi Hensan Kiroku” (G.S. Letters) Newly Released. “The Graduate School of Letters of Kyoto University and the Kyoto University Museum have been carrying out the restoration and digitization of an important cultural property Dainihonshi hensan kiroku held by the Graduate School of Letters since academic year 2018. Two hundred and six new images of the restored material are now available in Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive. Dainihonshi hensan kiroku (大日本史編纂記録) is a collection of more than 6,000 letters (copies) exchanged between Shokokan (彰考館; Mito Domain’s office for history compilation) in Mito (currently in Ibaraki Prefecture) and Edo (currently Tokyo) and their Kyoto office regarding the compilation of Dainihonshi (*1) by Tokugawa Mitsukuni (徳川光圀; 1628-1701).”

Exploring the Extent of the Hikikomori Phenomenon on Twitter: Mixed Methods Study of Western Language Tweets (Journal of Medical Internet Research)

Journal of Medical Internet Research: Exploring the Extent of the Hikikomori Phenomenon on Twitter: Mixed Methods Study of Western Language Tweets . “Hikikomori is a severe form of social withdrawal, originally described in Japan but recently reported in other countries. Debate exists as to what extent hikikomori is viewed as a problem outside of the Japanese context…. We aimed to explore perceptions about hikikomori outside Japan by analyzing Western language content from the popular social media platform, Twitter.”

Japan Times: Reiwa calligraphy to be stored at National Archives, made available for commercial use

Japan Times: Reiwa calligraphy to be stored at National Archives, made available for commercial use. “The government plans to preserve the original calligraphic work Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga displayed when announcing the new era name of Reiwa at the National Archives of Japan, according to government sources. The archived material will be made public from the spring of 2021. The National Archives will scan and digitize the work for display in its online archives.”

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online. “One of the most important items in the British Library’s Japanese collections is a small, rather ordinary-looking, leather-bound volume, generally known as Feiqe monogatari (BL shelfmark Or.59.aa.1). Despite its appearance, it is, in fact, a remarkable work in a number of ways. Firstly, it was one of the earliest books printed in Japan using movable type rather than the traditional woodblocks, secondly, it is the first non-religious text printed in colloquial Japanese transcribed into the Roman alphabet, offering valuable insights into the phonology of the Japanese language in the 16th century, and thirdly, it is the world’s only extant copy.”