Abenomics (a portmanteau of Abe and economics) refers to the economic policies advocated by Shinzō Abe, the current Prime Minister of Japan. Expectations for Abenomics have apparently shifted the economy into a positive cycle, as seen through increased personal spending, the gradual expansion of corporate production and an improvement in unemployment.
People come from all over the world to get a short glimpse of Japan's blooming cherry blossoms. Google is taking advantage of this worldwide sakura passion to show off their virtual-tour map feature with Street View Sakura Edition, which shows cherry blossom scenes not only in normal pictures but also as 360-degree panoramas. The Blossom Edition features sites from Kyushu all the way up to Aomori, including about 50 different spots, and gives information such as the number of cherry blossom trees, the area they cover and, in some cases, the history of the locations.
Bean lovers, your time has finally come! Wherever ye may be, let the wind blow free. And don't be afraid of reactions. Why? Simple! Because you're wearing Japanese textile company Seiren's latest creation: a revolutionary pair of pants that make bad odours undetectable. The underwear have a in-built technology system that neutralises the smell caused by flatulence.
Move over azuki and sweet sticky rice. While Japanese pastry chefs may have started using cocoa a few centuries after the West, this once foreign flavour has captivated Japan's confectionery world. Japanese chocolate makers and pastry chefs were the star guests at the 17th Salon du Chocolat held in Paris this week. One of them, Susumu Koyama, 47, was even named "Best Foreign Chocolatier" -- winning out over top masters from celebrated chocolate-making nations like Belgium and Switzerland.
European private equity firm Permira's PERM.UL is buying Japan's largest sushi restaurant chain, Akindo Sushiro Co Ltd, for $1 billion including debt, in what is set to be the nation's second-biggest buyout deal this year. The deal shows that despite the country's stagnant economy, investment opportunities into growing companies still exist.
Sushi is the symbol of Japanese food worldwide. And the most iconic, most familiar, style of sushi is known as nigiri. Credit Hanaya Yohei, a 19th-century sushi chef, for its popularity. These oblong pads of vinegared rice topped with raw fish are found everywhere these days, from cutting edge restaurants in big cities to neighborhood joints in even the smallest of towns.
Japanese traditional sake had a resurgence in 2011, with drinkers consuming more than in 2010. After hitting a peak in the mid-1970s, consumption gradually fell to a third. Last year, though, saw a return of enthusiasm for sake as a way of supporting Tohoku, a region with three major sake-producing prefectures: Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate.
The crowd last month at Laforet Harajuku, an upscale shopping complex in Tokyo's most fashionable area, looked like it'd stepped out of Barbie's very messy dream house. Its members wore oversized bows, eyeball-shaped pinky rings, spiky neck collars, and pink—lots and lots of pink. They'd assembled to watch Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a new face in J-Pop whose debut album Pamyu Pamyu Revolution was arriving in stores that day. She emerged dressed like her fans, with a giant bow on her head and in a dress designed like a Rubik's cube.
Sailor-style outfits, blazers, and stand-up collars are just some representative items from Japanese school uniforms, which are now spreading across the world as part of the "Cool Japan" trend. Behind the skirts and the sleeves, however, are decades' worth of imported culture and generational changes.
When a 9.0 earthquake struck northern Japan in March, Yukihiro Osawa felt prepared. Like most fishermen in his village on Miyagi Prefecture’s Oshika Peninsula, he docked two of his boats on a nearby island where they would be sheltered from the coming tsunami. He then hurried to shelter, and looked out to sea.