Autumn Colors In Kyoto
A man ferries tourists under maple trees on the Katsura river in Arashiyama on November 19, 2012 in Kyoto, Japan. Thousands of tourist come to enjoy the autumn colors of the maple leaves every year.
Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images
In Japan, a hostess is a young woman who entertains men at bars or clubs. Customers pay large sums of money to these women for pleasure of their company, i.e. for flirting but not sex. Once frowned upon, the hostess job has been gaining popularity among young women. Despite the Equal Opportunity Law of 1986, Japanese women’s employment opportunities are often limited to low-paying, dead-end jobs or temp positions. Only 65% of college-educated women are employed and women’s salaries are a third less than men’s. Though women can only work as hostesses when they are young, many young women see this profession as one of the few jobs that provide financial independence. Photojournalist Shiho Fukada is collecting stories about disposable workers. Comment below or on her story http://bit.ly/disposedJPN. Image by Shiho Fukada. Japan, 2012.
|—||Masayuki Abe who, in 1969 as a college senior, was jailed by the Japanese government for nearly a year for “participating in a days-long protest against the Vietnam War. For more, see Thanh Nien Daily | Vietnam War protest leads to strong peacetime bonds|
Our Last Cover Before PEARL HARBOR
H.O. Thompson of the United Press, who had returned from Tokyo only a few months ago, started dictating his story from a phone on his desk in the open room, then reconsidered and looped over the privacy of the UP booth. His Dispatch hit the tickers at 11:23:
1ST LEAD JAPAN
WASHINGTON, NOV. 27-(UP)-
AUTHORITATIVE SOURCES TODAY EXPRESSED FEAR THAT JAPAN’S ANSWER TO AMERICAN DEMANDS THAT SHE WITHDRAW FROM THE AXIS AND GET OUT OF CHINA MAY BE A JAPANESE ATTACK ON THAILAND WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS…
Newsweek December 8, 1941
Image 1: Tadayuki Sakai, 42, worked as a salaryman for a credit-card company for twenty years. He moved to an Internet café shortly after quitting his job, and currently works as a telephone operator and temps at a friend’s computer systems company. Image by Shiho Fukada. Japan, 2012.
Image 2: In Tokyo, a Japanese man waits for a train under LED lights, which are designed to calm people and prevent them from jumping onto the tracks. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and 10,000 suicides since 1997 are said to be related to overwork, according to a government survey. Image by Shiho Fukada. Japan, 2012.
Learn more about Japan’s jobs crisis and see more of Pulitzer Center grantee Shiho Fukada’s photographs here.
“Japan’s era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but the country does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas. Experts in the dark arts of espionage and silent assassination, ninjas passed skills from father to son - but today’s say they will be the last. […]
Kawakami is the 21st head of the Ban family, one of 53 that made up the Koka ninja clan. He started learning ninjutsu (ninja techniques) when he was six, from his master, Masazo Ishida.
“I thought we were just playing and didn’t think I was learning ninjutsu,” he says.
“I even wondered if he was training me to be a thief because he taught me how to walk quietly and how to break into a house.”
Other skills that he mastered include making explosives and mixing medicines.
“I can still mix some herbs to create poison which doesn’t necessarily kill but can make one believe that they have a contagious disease,” he says.
Kawakami inherited the clan’s ancient scrolls when he was 18.”
Views of Japan, 1890s via The New York Public Library
This is the last footage shot by Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto prior to being shot and killed in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Released by the Japan Press and subtitled by The Telegraph, it shows she was filming Syrian rebel fighters with her colleague Kazutaka Sato. This video here is Sato’s account of the story and remembrance of Yamamoto. In video shot by Syrian activists (it’s graphic, and emotionally difficult, so think twice before clicking through), Sato grieves over Yamamoto’s dead body, saying “Why? You were wearing a flak jacket.”
Mika Yamamoto was an experienced and respected journalist. Her father, a former journalist himself, told the Japan Times that she was “not a war journalist, but rather a human journalist.”
Photographs from Fukushima
Last week we wrote about Japan’s Memory Salvage Project, a beautiful volunteer initiative that seeks to restore some of the 750,000 found photographs collected in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami.
If you’re in New York next month, Aperture is exhibiting some of the images as part of a show that started in Japan and then moved to Los Angeles.
In an interview with the New Yorker, project lead Munemasa Takahashi explains:
After the disaster occurred, the first thing the people who lost their loved ones and houses came to look for was their photographs. Only humans take moments to look back at their pasts, and I believe photographs play a big part in that. This exhibit makes us think of what we have lost, and what we still have to remember about our past.
The photographs will be on display at the Aperture Foundation from April 2 through April 27.
Japanese fishing boat lost in tsunami nears B.C. coast
After being flushed out to sea by last year’s massive tsunami and earthquake, a Japanese squid-fishing boat has drifted across the Pacific Ocean and is now moving in on British Columbia’s north coast.
The 150-foot ship is drifting right-side-up about 140 nautical miles (260 kilometres) from Cape Saint James on the southern tip of Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.
“It’s been drifting across the Pacific for a year, so it’s pretty beat up,” said marine search coordinator Jeff Olsson of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. (Photo: Department of National Defence)