Small Print: November 19, 2015

Small Print: November 19, 2015

Mannered monsters, propaganda paper, hot-spring hunks, and more ...


Toilet paper with a message (Photo via 123RF)

“To keep the events safe and joyful, we want participants to maintain their manners”
—An unnamed official with the Metropolitan Police Department, which deployed 400 officers to Shibuya on Halloween


  • Authorities at the Japan Transport Safety Board sent three investigators to Kagoshima to find out why a JAL plane carrying 250 people almost hit a small commercial craft as it was preparing to land.
  • Officials at Narita Airport blamed a DoS attack for taking their website offline for about eight hours last month.
  • A study by researchers at Keio University has found that liver transplant donors and recipients “often do not understand one another’s motivations.”
  • Headline of the Week: “TV Program Featuring Hot Men Visiting Hot Springs to Release DVD, Photobook” (via Japan Today)


  • About 250 people attended an event at the Japan Society in New York to celebrate traditional Okinawan culture.
  • Unsurprisingly, the organizers emphasized Ryukyu bingata textiles, goya champuru, and awamori.
  • Meanwhile, an NPO called Be Japon held a fashion show at the residence of Japan’s ambassador to the UN that featured “kimonos renovated into modern-style clothes.”
  • And members of the Paris branch of a Japanese NPO pitched in to clean trash off the city’s streets in preparation of the COP21 climate change meeting.


  • 56: Percent of Japanese hotels and ryokan that turn away guests with tattoos
  • 122,721: Number of reported cases of bullying in primary schools last year, a record high
  • ¥300 billion: Sales goal set by Toshiba for its internet of things-related business by 2020


  • Junior high schools kids in Shiga got a surprise when administrators doled out rolls of toilet paper printed with SDF recruitment messages.
  • Their parents were … um, pissed and lodged a complaint.
  • For the first time in more than 50 years, the Great Buddha at Kotoku-in temple in Kamakura is getting a renovation.
  • The work will take place from January to March, and the bill is expected to set the central government back some ¥65 million.


  • In anticipation of the “massive” earthquakes expected to strike the Japan Trench and the Nankai Trough, authorities at the technology ministry are launching an initiative to improve the accuracy of tsunami forecasts.
  • A group of merchants from Fukushima gathered in Koto-ku late last month to sell handmade items like coasters, wallets, and accessories. The goal was to “raise awareness about the realities [faced by] nuclear evacuees.”
  • A former art teacher who now works as the principal of a primary school in Aichi staged a one-man exhibition of his paintings … in the South Korean city of Pusan.
  • The National Police Agency says the recidivism rate for juvenile delinquents in 2014 was 34.9 percent. That’s the 17th straight year the figure has risen.


  • A 40-year-old Japanese man serving an 18-year sentence for drug smuggling in Indonesia was found dead in his cell in a suspected suicide.
  • Illustrator Noriyoshi Orai, who specialized in drawing cover art for sci-fi novels and video games, but who’s best known for his rendering of a poster for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, died of pneumonia at a hospital in Kobe. He was 79.
  • Japanese engineers unveiled the their entry in the Google Lunar XPRIZE contest, which will award $20 million to the first team to land a mobile vehicle on the moon that’s capable of transmitting high-definition photos and video.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Japan, Russia Conduct 1st Joint Cetacean Survey in Sea of Okhotsk” (via The Mainichi)

Compiled from reports by AP, Japan Today, The Japan Times, Jiji, The Tokyo Reporter, The Mainichi, The Japan News, AFP, Reuters, and Kyodo.