Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, hires real “Ghost” writers

NHK is total 'BS' TV
NHK’s woes are neverending…and for good reason.
With the conversion to digital broadcasting NHK is now EXTORTING monthly fees for each household of 1,395 yen ($13) plus an additional 2,340 yen for NHK “BS” satelite without providing much value for that money.
I f NHK was a cable package maybe they could collect 500 yen (about $5.00 USD) per month for their 3.5 channels of programming.

NHK pays mysterious TV writers in kickback scam
Two people that a fraudulent former NHK producer had registered as TV program scenario writers may have got paid by the network for work they never carried out… [he] wrote scenarios of the program, either, and nobody who actually worked for the program knows him….

HOCUS POCUS, Japan certainly needs some magic

HOCUS POCUS/ Magic does a reappearing trick
….Japan certainly needs some magic, but customers rushing into shops like Magic Land and into a growing number of magic-themed restaurants and bars may not be exactly what economists had ordered.
The signs of a “Magic Boom” are all there: Local magic trick makers such as Tenyo, based in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, are reporting their briskest sales in decades; department stores have started stocking tricks again (with some even deploying magicians to distract kids while their parents shop); while at least one major family restaurant chain, Bamiyan, has started offering magic goods-making it possible to pick up magic tricks 24 hours a day.
There’s a lot of headscratching going on concerning the current mania. Given Japan’s decade-long doldrums, maybe people need to be surprised, or to see the impossible happen.

New TokyoQ Design column

[Ed] This is the start of a new design column that appears on the first Friday of every month at Nokia Japan’s TokyoQ online magazine.
Jean Snow's Design
TQ design
by Jean Snow
…[Tokyo] is a very hectic place to be for design lovers. With the Designer’s Week, Designers Block, and Swedish Style events happening pretty much the same week, not to mention various other smaller events, like Design UK, you know you’re going to be busy trying to catch as much as you can….

500,000 Nintendo DS Systems Sold During Thanksgiving

500,000 Nintendo DS systems sold during Thanksgiving week -
Shoppers spent Thanksgiving week stuffing their shopping bags with Nintendo hardware, setting the stage for 2004 to be the year of the hand-held holidays. Shoppers snapped up more than 500,000 Nintendo DS systems during Thanksgiving week, representing more than 90 percent of all units available in stores across the United States….

Beat Takeshi to teach film at Tokyo National University

Takeshi to teach filmmaking at university TOKYO—Award-winning director Takeshi Kitano will teach filmmaking at a graduate school of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music starting next April…m Festival with his first historical film, “Zatoichi”….

How-to book for doing Neo Tokyo for “Otaku” freaks

robot welcome girl for the 2005 Expo
The Dark Side of the Cool Stuff
Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo, published this month by Stone Bridge Press.
“One (purpose of the book) is to give you something to do once you get here,” Macias says. “If you go to every place mentioned in this book you’re going to have a pretty great trip. It’ll be pretty shocking, it’ll be pretty twisted, but it’s definitely off the beaten path…..

“Howl’s Moving Castle” ready to conquer the world

Howl's Moving CastleYahoo! Oscar-winning animator’s new film wows Japan, readies to take on world
TOKYO (AFP) – Animated fantasy “Howl’s Moving Castle”, which broke a box office record on its debut in Japan, will be released in 50 countries amid hopes it will be a global blockbuster…

‘Tokyo is like Blade Runner, without the flying cars’

Tokyo garbage truck ninja
Dr Tue – 11.30.2004 Take a walk (and a beer) down Memory Lane
When I am taking visitors out and they start on the whole tired of “Tokyo is like Blade Runner, without the flying cars” thing, I usually just nod and take them to Shinjuku Nishiguchi…..
….It’s impossible not to experience at least some level of self-sufficient ‘I-bet-they-don’t-mention-this-in-lonely-planet’ pride when you walk through that uber-authentic remnant of post-war Tokyo, trying to catch your breath amidst the carcinogenic fumes of kushiyaki barbecues and slaloming between drunk salarymen and people sitting at the street-side stalls in an alley that is barely big enough to walk with your arms outstretched…..

Coming to Japan: preserving an umbilical cord in acrylic resin to make a personal “hanko” seal

umbilical cord
Golden umbilical cords to keep birth memories
….Parents can preserve their child’s umbilical cord in acrylic resin to make a personal seal or even have it gold-plated. In this Confucian society where family values are highly prized, suppliers also offer services for parents to have traditional Korean calligraphy brushes made from their child’s hair….
… Agamo, which makes calligraphy brushes from human hair and preserves umbilical cords in personal seals, hopes to branch out to Japan. “We got the idea from mothers just storing umbilical cords and navels in an album or what-not,” said Agamo’s Suk Tae-jino….

Hentai Manga Gears Up For World Exposure

manga girl
Sake-Drenched Postcards
WARNING: Adult content on this link
Hentai Manga Gears Up for World Exposure

….Toshio Maeda’s work, whether it be manga comics or anime (animation), is classified in the genre known as hentai, meaning perverted. Though there is a certain level of perversion in nearly all forms of manga, whether the genre be sports, history, literature, or romance, in hentai, perversion is the point. Storylines are at best secondary, or, perhaps more realistically, tertiary.