Nov 26, 2009

Nov 26, 2009

Originally published on on November 2009 The world of sport Students dressed as ninjas at the University of California, Berkeley, produced a record 101m-long California sushi roll to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school’s Center for Japanese Studies. Over 90kg of rice, 80 kilos of fish, and a combined 70kg of avocado and […]


Originally published on on November 2009

The world of sport
  • Students dressed as ninjas at the University of California, Berkeley, produced a record 101m-long California sushi roll to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school’s Center for Japanese Studies. Over 90kg of rice, 80 kilos of fish, and a combined 70kg of avocado and cucumber were used, as well as a bunch of tofu.
  • World Series MVP Hideki Matsui paid a visit to the David Letterman show along with New York Yankees teammates Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte, but Godzilla let the other guys do all the talking.
  • Before former US President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 3 of the Japan Series at Tokyo Dome last month, he was overheard telling some of the Giants that it was impressive they were about to clinch the championship. Though Dubya turned out to be right, it seemed a little premature to hang the “Mission Accomplished” banner with the series tied 1-1 at the time.
  • It was revealed that Nippon Ham Fighters ace Yu Darvish, who pitched in Game 2 of the Japan Series and got the win, was not only playing with a bad back and a sore shoulder, but also had a broken finger on his throwing hand.
  • In Wakayama, a high-ranking yakuza member and the brother of popular enka singer Fuyumi Sakamoto were arrested—for the second time—for placing illegal bets on Japanese baseball games.
  • A 16-year-old boy died after taking an arrow between the eyes at archery practice in Meguro. The 17-year-old student who shot the fatal arrow, a member of the same high school archery club, said it was an accident.
  • In Chiba, a policewoman had her bag snatched by a man on a scooter just meters away from the police station.
  • Just a month after losing out to Rio de Janeiro for the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said he now wants to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games.
  • Professional photographer Kishin Shinoyama had his Minato-ku office raided by law enforcement officials on suspicion of public indecency after his collection called No Nude by Kishin 1 20XX Tokyo hit bookstores. The work contains pics of a 21-year-old model posing nude in public in Odaiba, Akasaka and at Aoyama Cemetery.
  • Hiroyuki Sakai, a master of French cuisine who gained fame on the TV program Iron Chef, was among the recipients of the Gendai no Meiko (“Contemporary Master Craftsmen”) awards handed out by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
  • The Japan Sumo Association and former chairman Kitanoumi were awarded ¥3.85 million by the Tokyo District Court in a defamation lawsuit over a magazine article about match-fixing in sumo. The plaintiffs had been seeking ¥110 million.
  • About ¥3 million in cash was found in two cities in Ibaraki Prefecture. In Koga, an elderly woman discovered a bag in front of her house with ¥2 million inside. About 80km away in Hitachinaka, another woman found about ¥1 million in cash just sitting on the street.
  • A 38-year-old man keeled over and died of a heart attack at the 22km mark while running a marathon in Gifu Prefecture.
  • Police in Tottori Prefecture have admitted that a man they claimed drowned in a river was more than likely beaten to death, based on the presence of several wounds and ripped clothing. The cops said they were not forthcoming “because we thought it was likely to be a criminal case.” Er, OK.
  • Radovan Jelusic, a member of the “Pink Panther” crime syndicate suspected in the 2007 robbery of a Ginza jewelry store that netted ¥284 million, was arrested in his native Montenegro.
  • Calling the crimes “most heinous,” a judge in Osaka sentenced 38-year-old Kazuteru Akashima to 28 years in prison for raping and robbing 11 women.
  • Talk about cramped quarters: the Mizuho Gakuen psychiatric care home in Fukuoka admitted forcing ten residents to sleep in a single room. That’s way over the government limit of four to a room… and also more than enough to drive a person crazy.
  • Three people who met online as part of a suicide pact were arrested in Fukuoka after they left a fourth guy to die in a car in which they were burning charcoal briquettes. The man survived, but was in a serious condition in hospital.
  • In Okinawa, a US soldier was in custody after DNA samples taken from a car he dropped off at a repair shop matched that of a local man killed in a hit-and-run.
  • Japanese toy maker Ogawa Studios is churning out rubber masks based on the faces of US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. The Barack Obama face mask is the No. 1 seller in Japan.
  • 818-SP-PriusBenefitting from government tax rebates and subsidies, Toyota’s hybrid Prius was once again Japan’s top-selling car in October, with 26,918 vehicles sold. It was the fifth straight month that the Prius topped the competition.
  • Following in the footsteps of NTT DoCoMo and Verizon, Softbank announced plans to produce a cellphone using Google’s Android operating system.
  • Transport Minister Seiji Maehara said that rent charged to Japan’s airport terminal buildings will be going up due to huge profits posted by the companies operating them.
  • Researchers in Tokyo claim to have reduced hay fever symptoms by up to 70 percent in some people by gradually exposing them to the cedar pollen that makes them sneeze in the first place.
  • Hollywood titan Warner Brothers is focusing more attention on Japan—the studio is currently shooting a samurai film in Kyoto with plans to make three more movies here next year.
  • In an effort to compete with decreasing highway tolls, JR East rail lines plan on cutting some fares by nearly half for the New Year holiday period.
  • Protests from both Japan and the Philippines have greeted a plan to tear down the 74-year-old residence of the Philippine ambassador in Chiyoda Ward and turn it into a 21-story high-rise.
  • Government estimates say that nearly 70 percent of families in Japan now have TVs or tuners that can pull in digital broadcasting signals.
  • Snowboarder Kaz Kokubo won the men’s gold medal at a World Cup halfpipe competition in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
  • Chiba native Hiroshi Aoyama secured the 250cc world championship title in motorcycle racing with a seventh-place finish at the Valencia Grand Prix in Spain.
  • Officials in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan shelved a bill that would have given foreigners with permanent residence status the right to vote in local elections.
  • A 71-year-old man who got lost while picking mushrooms survived a week alone in the snowy Niigata mountains by eating wild ’shrooms and grapes and covering himself at night with a plastic bag and leaves. Considering the chilly weather at the time, one firefighter involved in the search called it a “near miracle” that the tough old coot survived.

Compiled from reports by The Associated Press, Kyodo, Reuters, AFP, BBC, The Japan Times, The Daily Yomiuri, The Mainichi Daily News, International Herald Tribune/The Asahi Shimbun and Japan Today