Traditional open-air kabuki festival starts
NHK -- Jul 27
A centuries-old outdoor kabuki festival performed by local residents on a movable stage has opened in the city of Nasukarasuyama, north of Tokyo.

The Yamaage Matsuri festival is said to have been started by a feudal lord about 450 years ago as part of a ritual to pray for a good harvest.

On Friday, locals erected stage sets about 10 meters high.

The opening program, Modoribashi, featured a demon disguised as a woman who tries to take a warlord away.

But the demon's cover is blown, and the warlord drives it away with his sword.

During the scene in which the demon's true identity was revealed, the set changed from an idyllic one to one depicting thunder.

The audience applauded the powerful fighting scene.

A local resident says it's hard to find performers because the city's population is declining, but he hopes that the tradition will be passed on to future generations.

The festival was listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2016 along with 32 other traditional heritages across Japan.

The Yamaage Matsuri will continue until Sunday, with 16 programs to be performed across the city.

News source: NHK
Sep 15
Police in Japan have arrested a 40-year-old man suspected of firing an air gun in an apparent road rage incident earlier this month. (NHK)
Sep 13
Since its launch on Aug. 8, the Netflix series “The Naked Director” has become a certifiable hit. Its audience score on the Rotten Tomatoes ratings site is 97 percent, and on the series’ IMDB page, positive user reviews (“Truly amazing, realistic and captivating,” “You will find tears, laughter, passion”) far outnumber the negative. (Japan Times)
Sep 11
Crown Princess Kiko, who celebrated her 53rd birthday on Wednesday, said she does not wish to comment on the postponement of her eldest daughter's marriage to fiance Kei Komuro. (Kyodo)
Sep 11
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested an executive of an automobile services company for allegedly fabricating paperwork for vehicles used in drift racing, reports NHK (Sept. 10). (
Sep 10
People in and around Tokyo are struggling with the aftermath of a powerful typhoon that brought heavy rain and record-breaking winds to the area. Two people are dead, at least 61 injured, and hundreds of thousands of households remain without power. (NHK)
Sep 10
Tokyo Metropolitan Police are hunting for a man who used what was likely a toy gun to rob three convenience stores in the capital early Sunday, reports NHK (Sept. 8). (
Sep 08
A man who was considered abducted by North Korea has been confirmed dead in Japan, police said on Friday, reports TV Asahi (Sept. 7). (
Sep 07
In addition to the 35 employees of Kyoto Animation who were killed in the arson attack on the company’s Fushimi studio on July 18, dozens were injured in the fire. However, the list of those requiring immediate medical treatment included Shinji Aoba, who was taken into custody by police near the scene of the crime while saying “They stole my novel,” and “I spread the gasoline, and lit it with a lighter.” (
Sep 06
Prince Hisahito, the nephew of Emperor Naruhito, turned 13 on Friday after rising to second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne following a historic imperial succession this spring. (Kyodo)
Sep 06
Police in Shibuya Ward continued their crackdown on graffiti with the arrests Irish rapper Rejjie Snow and Tanner Dale, a DJ, early Wednesday, reports Nippon News Network (Sept. 6). (