Category Archives: Others

[COVID-19] Kagura Japanese traditional performing art at brink as virus hits hard

SHIMANE, HIROSHIMA, Aug. 13 – The virus pandemic is throwing a dark shadow over one of the Japanese traditional performing arts, kagura. Kagura is a specific type of Shinto ritual ceremonial dance performed at traditional festivals in Japan. Its purpose is praying for productiveness in farming, driving away evil spirits, and thanking for successful harvesting. But now, many of the kagura troupes are forced to stop practicing and performing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some restarted acting in July, but it’s still uncertain for many when they can resume the activities with the second wave hitting the entire country. Some troupes and costume makers see large income drops and difficulties … Continue reading

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Getting ready for victory bouquets for postponed Tokyo 2020

TOKYO, Jul. 23 – “We want to celebrate the winners in the rescheduled Summer Olympics and Paralympics with the victory bouquets made of domestic flowers and leaves.” Producers of aspidistra elatior, or haran in Japanese, in the Izu Oshima Island of Tokyo are already determined to move forward. At the 2020 Tokyo, medalist will receive the bouquets of flowers native to Japan, such as lisianthus from Fukushima Prefecture and gentians from Iwate Prefecture. Haran grown in the Tokyo island will be used to wrap and decorate the flowers from the prefectures, which were hit hard by the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami. The island has about 60 haran growers … Continue reading

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[75 Years after WWII] A-bomb survivors’ groups disbanding, younger generations undertaking the mission

HIROSHIMA, Aug. 6 – As Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city on August 6, 2020, many bomb survivors groups are to close down, leaving the mission to pass down the memories of the war witnesses in younger hands. The number of atomic bomb survivors’ groups in 2019 was 31, down from 73 in 1986, and more are planning to stop their activities during this anniversary year. Some second-generation a-bomb survivors in Japan are undertaking the task of realizing a nuclear-weapon-free world by launching new activity groups or offering training to future storytellers. “It’s my life mission.” In 2018, a community of survivors, or hibakusha … Continue reading

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75 years after the bomb, Hiroshima is filled with flowers of peace: 37th National Urban Green Fair in Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA, Aug. 10 – The 37th National Urban Green Fair is taking place in Hiroshima, the city hit by the devastating bomb 75 years ago, putting prayer for peace on flowers and greenery. The main venue located right next to the Atomic Bomb Dome is filled with 120,000 flowers and greenery of about 300 varieties, mostly from Hiroshima Prefecture. Local farmers are working hard to support the fair that sends a message to the world that Hiroshima desperately hopes to realize lasting peace. Hiroshima is the first city that was hit by an atomic bombing. The number of people killed by the bomb is approximately 89,000, according to the city, … Continue reading

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Japanese scientists use soap bubbles to pollinate fruit trees May use drones as bubble sprayers in future

ISHIKAWA, Jul. 19 – Soap bubbles may be an effective replacement for bees in the future. A group of researchers of the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) has recently succeeded in pollinating fruit flowers by spraying soap bubbles containing pollen. They’re now trying to see if a drone equipped with a bubble sprayer can autonomously move around a fruit orchard and pollinate flowers. The decline in the number of honeybees and other pollinators is a common problem among the world’s fruit growers. The farmers can pollinate their trees by hand using feather brushes, but the time and labor required for the job are growing as the farmers … Continue reading

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