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Japan Culture

NEWS
February 21, 2001 | MARK MAGNIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Japanese are feeling under attack these days, less by a decade-long economic downturn or the threat of North Korean missiles than by the scourge of rudeness--a guerrilla hiding in their midst, infiltrating their institutions, kidnapping their children. Young people have become an obvious target for people's ire at the insidious changes around them. Teachers complain that students refuse to sit, listen or stop their private conversations.
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NEWS
February 9, 2001 | MARK MAGNIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There's no joy in Mathville. Even as Americans--led by their self-proclaimed education president--fret over science and math scores and weak basics, Japanese are wringing their hands over their lack of joy, zest and fun. Japan's perceived delight deficit was highlighted by the release of a comparative international education survey.
NEWS
January 26, 2001 | MARK MAGNIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Most Japanese bureaucrats are known for their conservative dress, measured opinions and proper decorum. But Katsutoshi Matsuo apparently had a much flashier side not appreciated by his Foreign Ministry colleagues. In his free time, the 55-year-old diplomat allegedly spent millions of dollars on racehorses, lovers, ex-wives and a tony condominium using money embezzled from a secret government expense fund, according to Japanese media reports and a government report released Thursday.
NEWS
January 12, 2001 | MARK MAGNIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Forty-two ninth-graders abducted to a remote island are forced to play the ultimate game of Survivor: Kill or be killed until only one is left. In gruesome detail, Japanese movie audiences watch as teachers kill students, young girls murder shy admirers, and popular students kill rivals with hatchets and grenades, poison and machine guns. "Battle Royale," a film by renowned Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku, portrays a Japan that is falling apart in the early 21st century.
BUSINESS
November 12, 2000 | MARK MAGNIER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
This country hasn't had much to cheer about lately, but there is a new source of inspiration: Its teenagers--weighted down with money and free of old ideas--have helped to build a new Japanese corporate mega-star. Their fixation with cellular phones outstrips even handset-crazed Europeans, thanks to the most successful, elegant and idiot-proof system anywhere on the globe for getting onto the Internet from a cell phone.
NEWS
October 31, 2000 | LESLEE KOMAIKO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
No one can quibble with the enduring popularity of American confections like Snickers and M&Ms. But to some of us who have gorged on that familiar stuff Halloween after Halloween, Japanese candy is an intriguing alternative, at least on the outside. "I'm a big fan of standing in the aisle at Mitsuwa and staring at all of the candy and figuring out what I want to buy," said Samantha Sackin, 31, a public relations executive whose offices are close to the Little Tokyo supermarket.
NEWS
October 24, 2000 | LESLEE KOMAIKO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
This weekend's Vintage Kimono & Obi show at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center had all the energy and anticipation of the annual Barneys sale. There was a fair amount of jockeying for mirror space, which was at a premium, but the shoppers--mostly middle-aged women--were infinitely well behaved as they browsed through racks holding some 6,000 imported kimonos and obis.
NEWS
October 6, 2000 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The icons of Japanese elegance pitter-patter past the ancient temples of Kyoto, turning heads with their porcelain-doll makeup, brilliant-hued silks and steep sandals. And that's where the trouble begins. To the uninitiated--and that includes most Japanese--these visions of traditional splendor look like the increasingly rare Kyoto geisha. But they aren't.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2000 | KEVIN F. SHERRY
The Ventura County Japanese-American Citizens' League will host its 10th annual Japanese Cultural Festival on Sunday. The event will feature traditional Japanese music, dancing and martial arts, as well as storytelling and crafts for kids. Visitors will see demonstrations of flower arranging, a tea ceremony, brush painting, koi and bonsai. The festival runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Camarillo Community Center, 1605 E. Burnley St.
NEWS
September 23, 2000 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Tofu doughnuts, anyone? How about tofu-cream fig shortcake, or chocolate peach soy-cream layer cake, or a pastry filled with purple sweet potato and whipped soy cream? Japan's ancient affection for the soybean has taken a modern turn here, as Kyoto's most famous tofu maker updates both its menu and its methods in a bid to retain a clientele that is eating more meat and fast food.
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