Princess Mako and shogi champ Sota Fujii among celebrities featured ornamental wooden paddles
Japan Times -- Dec 07
Princess Mako, her husband-to-be, Kei Komuro, teenage shogi sensation Sota Fujii, a giant panda cub and seven other figures who featured heavily in the media this year have been featured on colorful hagoita wooden paddles unveiled by Japanese traditional doll maker Kyugetsu Co. on Wednesday.

The annual hagoita-unveiling event was held at the company's headquarters in Tokyo's Taito Ward.

Hagoita paddles are used in hanetsuki, a traditional Japanese game that is similar to badminton and played mainly during the New Year period. The paddles displayed at the event are larger than those actually used in the game.

The informal engagement of Princess Mako and Komuro was announced on Sept. 3. Their wedding is set to take place on Nov. 4, 2018, after a formal engagement ceremony on March 4, 2018. Princess Mako is the eldest child of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and the first grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Fujii, who at the age of 14 years and two months in October 2016, became the youngest professional player of the traditional Japanese board game shogi. The young player, who holds the rank of fourth dan, set a record winning streak of 29 official matches in June this year.

News source: Japan Times
Dec 12
The American husband of a former Japanese abductee has died at the age of 77. (NHK)
Dec 10
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 38-year-old man from Hiratsuka City for allegedly abducting a middle school student in Aomori Prefecture and confining her at his residence for two months, reports Jiji Press (Dec. 8). (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 10
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 33-year-old man suspected in 100 purse-snatching incidents over the past few moths in the northern part of the capital, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 10
Romance and love are inseparable components of the most sincere and deepest feelings people can experience. (j4l.com)
Dec 09
Japanese Crown Princess Masako said she feels humbled thinking about her future, after Emperor Akihito's abdication was formally set for April 30, 2019. (Jiji)
Dec 08
Two women were killed and another person was injured Thursday night in a stabbing incident at a Shinto shrine in Tokyo, with the male suspect appearing to have committed suicide, police said. (Japan Today)
Dec 07
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have launched an investigation following the discovery of a woman's corpse inside a love hotel in the Kabukicho red-light district of Shinjuku Ward, reports Nikkan Sports (Dec. 6). (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 07
Drivers of the now-ubiquitous go-karts reminiscent of Nintendo Co.'s "Mario Kart" video games will soon be required to buckle up for their safety. (Japan Times)
Dec 07
Princess Mako, her husband-to-be, Kei Komuro, teenage shogi sensation Sota Fujii, a giant panda cub and seven other figures who featured heavily in the media this year have been featured on colorful hagoita wooden paddles unveiled by Japanese traditional doll maker Kyugetsu Co. on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Dec 07
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 35-year-old man for allegedly raping a female middle school student he met online earlier this year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)