Small Print: October 8, 2014

Small Print: October 8, 2014

Noisy children, Hirohito’s fairy tales, artificial bladders and more...


Copyright: kakigori / 123RF Stock Photo


  • All students at Harvard Business School are now required to take a course on the cleaning of shinkansen cars.
  • A man who lives next door to a preschool in Kobe is suing the facility’s administrators for ¥1 million over noise caused by children.
  • The newly released annals of Emperor Hirohito reveal that the monarch “had a penchant for writing creative fairy tales in his childhood.”
  • Demographers say the population of metropolitan Tokyo will likely peak at 13.4 million in 2020 before beginning a “steady decline.”


  • An art expert from Tokyo visiting the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum in Nagano made a startling discovery: a previously unknown painting by renowned woodblock artist Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864).
  • Meanwhile, a sumi-e silkscreen painting by the artist and poet Yosa Buson (1716-1783) turned up after 92 years… in Singapore.
  • Engineers at an industrial science institute in Ibaraki have developed a technology that allows users to “feel 3D images without actually touching them.”
  • An annual poll conducted by a Japanese NPO and the China Daily newspaper has found that a record 93 percent of Japanese people have a negative view of China.


  • Officials at UNESCO granted Global Geopark status to the Aso volcanic area of Kumamoto. It’s the seve
    nth locale in Japan to receive the designation.
  • An art exhibit in Tohoku focused on photography showing “what people ate after the Great East Japan Earthquake.”
  • A close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin visited one of the Kuril Islands, which are the subject of a
    territorial dispute with Japan.
  • Sentence of the Week: “Public bathing facilities around the country are refusing entry to people with artificial bladders or anuses, though experts said they should be allowed to use the facilities since the equipment does not cause any sanitary problems.” (via The Japan News)


  • Yoshinori Sakai, who ran the final leg of the torch relay at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Tokyo. He was 69.
  • Sakai was chosen to light the Olympic cauldron in part because he was born in Hiroshima on the day of the atomic bombing in 1945.
  • Authorities at the National Police Agency say the number of child abuse cases during the first half of the year topped 300 for the first time ever.
  • At the same time, the number of children who died from abuse—10—was the lowest ever for the six-month period.


  • Passengers on ANA domestic routes are now able to pay for in-flight purchases using their Suica IC cards.
  • Tokyo-based Meidensha Corp signed a ¥10 billion deal to supply the electrical systems for a new subway line in Singapore.
  • In a bid to attract more foreign vifour-day anime festival.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “German Creates Massive Blanket for March 2011 Disaster Victims” (via The Japan News)

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