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Japanese Culture

February 23, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Donald Richie, an American expatriate in Japan who became that country's preeminent Western interpreter, explaining its culture - from cinema to Zen to tattoos - in books and essays that illuminated the author's psyche as much as that of his adopted home, has died. He was 88. Richie, who lived in Japan for more than 50 years, died Tuesday in Tokyo after a series of small strokes and other ailments, said his longtime friend Christopher Blasdel. An Ohio native, Richie discovered Japan in the early years of its struggle to recover from the devastation of World War II. He found a unique freedom there as a gaijin, or foreigner, who, he wrote, "could be expected to know nothing.
February 1, 1997 | DON SNOWDEN
The music of Kodo, the Japanese drum ensemble that opened a three-night stand Thursday at the Wiltern Theatre, is deeply rooted in traditional Japanese culture, but the group was also an international pioneer of all-percussion touring groups. The lasting impression of the impressive 90-minute performance was how much Kodo now seems like the Japanese representative of a world full of related rhythms.
April 24, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Avril Lavigne has answered critics who've labeled her new "Hello Kitty" video as racist. It appears Ms. Lavigne begs to disagree. "RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture and I spend half of my time in Japan. I flew to Tokyo to shoot this video…," she tweeted Wednesday, "…specifically for my Japanese fans, WITH my Japanese label, Japanese choreographers AND a Japanese director IN Japan. The tune, co-written with hubby Chad Kroger of Nickelback, is heavy on references to Japan's " kawaii " culture, which encompasses all things cute.
December 10, 1992
As a representative of many trail users--hikers, equestrians, bird-watchers, dog-walkers, nature-lovers--I attended the Ventura County Board of Supervisors meeting concerning the Soka property. It seems to most of us that Soka University chose an improper location for its expansion. The Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority has always wanted the location to be the center of its operations when the area becomes a national park. The Times used the word "seize" in an inflammatory manner--as though Soka will be ousted without remuneration.
In 1975, Grace Brophy did a favor for friends and gave a San Diego elementary school class a quick lesson in Japanese culture. That favor has since turned into an annual countywide event. Brophy is a member of the San Diego chapter of Ikebana International, a nonprofit cultural organization based in Tokyo that promotes the study of Japanese floral art. Its motto is "Friendship Through Flowers."
October 13, 2002 | RENEE VOGEL
I went to Japan for the first time. I went with my brother Piet and Billy Shire, who owns the Wacko store in L.A. I wanted to see the two sides of Japan that interest me. The frenetic pop culture side [is] what we did in Tokyo. Shibuya is where all the kids go to be hip and hang out. It's like Melrose Avenue but kicked up. I loved it. We went to Kyoto. That was the other side of Japanese culture, the ancient imperial state of Japan. Our host was a Japanese pop star.
May 13, 2003 | From Associated Press
The AFLAC duck is going to Japan this month with a softer quack. In commercials designed for the Japanese market, AFLAC has ditched comedian Gilbert Gottfried's abrasive quacking of the Columbus, Ga.-based insurance company's name. Instead, a Japanese actor portrays the duck with a more soothing tone. "The Japanese culture does not like to be yelled at," AFLAC spokeswoman Laura Kane said. "Gilbert might be a little over the top." Gottfried's voice will remain in U.S.
August 18, 1996
Atlanta had the Olympics. Next month, what Japanese officials are calling the largest Japanese cultural festival ever planned in the United States will get under way in Texas. Sept. 4 is the kickoff date for Sun & Star 1996, a 100-day celebration of Japanese culture in Dallas and Fort Worth.
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