New Japanese emperor treats crowds to rare open-top car imperial parade | AFP

Thousands of flag-waving spectators gather to cheer Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito during a rare open-top car imperial parade that was rescheduled after a deadly typhoon. Some in the crowd camped overnight to nab a prime stop by the palace for the 30-minute parade featuring the emperor and his wife Empress Masako. Security forces lined the entire length of the route in double rows, keeping close watch as the slow-moving parade passed, flanked by police on motorbikes.

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World Heritage castle blaze in Japan’s Okinawa ‘under control’ | AFP

Firefighters work to control a major fire that devastated a historic Japanese castle on the southern island of Okinawa, destroying large parts of the World Heritage site’s complex, according to local authorities. The fire was brought under control by early afternoon, a local fire department spokesman told AFP, adding that the blaze had consumed more than 4,800 square metres (51,667 square feet) of the castle complex.

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Japan Russia feud over Kuril islands | AFP Animé

Japanese tourists have for the first time visited an island chain that is disputed with Russia. Videographic on the Kuril islands.VIDEOGRAPHICS

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Historic Japanese castle nearly destroyed by fire

A fire has burned down structures at Shuri Castle on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, nearly destroying the UNESCO World Heritage site. (Oct. 31)

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Deep-sea explorers find Battle of Midway warships

Deep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken World War II ships have found a second Japanese warship deep in the Pacific where one of the most decisive battles of the time took place. (Oct. 20)

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Deep-sea explorers hunt for sunken WWII ships

Deep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken World War II ships are honing in on sonar readings of debris fields deep in the Pacific. They recently discovered a Japanese aircraft carrier that went down during the Battle of Midway. (Oct. 18)

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Mountain – Pierrot

↪ Download for free – http://bit.ly/SNB059

Skankandbass is dedicated towards the official promotion of record labels and artists in the world of drum & bass music. Since inception in 2009, Skankandbass has unearthed some of the freshest talents in the scene and has opened many doors for unsigned artists. Now, through Skankandbass Records we release a series of free download singles which aims to further help spread the work of the best unsigned, newcomer artists who deserve more recognition.

We’re very excited to welcome Japanese producer Mountain to Skankandbass Records. Having recently featured on the likes of Hospital, Med School, Soulvent and High Tea Music, the Osaka based talent shows off his versatility on ‘SNB059: Syncopation / Pierrot’. With a euphoric A-side countered by a heinous club offering on the flip, Mountain is another leading example of the strength of the global drum & bass scene.

↪ Mountain

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Typhoon Hagibis: Japanese rescuers save elderly from flood | AFP

Elderly people in Kawagoe, Japan are rescued from a building where they were trapped by flooding caused by Typhoon Hagibis. At least 14 people were killed and nine others missing after the powerful storm slammed into Japan. IMAGES

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Why Japanese Swords Are So Expensive | So Expensive

Japanese sword-making is a tradition that goes back centuries, and one that’s carried on to this day. Each sword takes dedication, skill and can take over 18 months to create. The resulting blades can be worth thousands of dollars. So what makes them so expensive?

Becoming a swordsmith in Japan takes a 5-year apprenticeship, and there are only around 180 working smiths today. Master Akihira has been making these swords for 21 years at his studio just outside of Tokyo, Japan.

Japanese swords have always been more than just weapons, they were artworks, status symbols, and throughout history had a huge spiritual importance. 

Each sword is a unique artwork and one that is made to be admired as you would a painting. As sheets of steel are folded into each other again and again wood grain-like patterns form, and these patterns coupled with the skill of the swordmaster create a completely unique blade. 

Knowing what to look for in each sword is important, characteristics like the angle of the blade and the way the metal is folded could give away the era in which it was made, and even who made it. Every small detail is treated as equally important. 

Looking at the months of work that go into creating each blade, it’s easy to see why these swords command such a high price. And as there are less and less sword masters across Japan, these works of art are only going to become more valuable.

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Why Japanese Swords Are So Expensive | So Expensive

Tokyo drenched as Typhoon Hagibis approaches | AFP

Powerful Typhoon Hagibis on Saturday claimed its first victim even before making landfall, as Japanese weather authorities issued a top-level emergency rain warning and millions were issued non-compulsory evacuation orders.

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Vikander spreads wings for ‘Earthquake Bird’

At the London Film Festival, Alicia Vikander talks about learning a little Japanese and cello for her role in new Netflix neo-noir thriller, “Earthquake Bird.” (Oct. 11)

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Hospital Podcast 402 with London Elektricity

For the 402nd episode of the Hospital Podcast, get your ears around Whiney’s latest and final release on Med School as well as new music from Japanese D+B legend Makoto, the latest dancefloor smasher Metrik, and more from the finest D+B has to offer!

Tracklisting:

Whiney – Stop The Clock
Whiney – Breadcrumbs (feat. Bop)
Breakage – Wicked
Dub Phizix – Blossom
Culture Shock – Troglodyte VIP
Makoto – Merchant Blessing (feat. Conrad)
Bukem – Atlantis
Metrik – Gravity
Untitled Dub
Interface – Truth Beyond
London Elektricity – Will To Love
Klute – Centre Of The Crystal
Gridlok – Enemies Of The State
Camo & Krooked & Mefjus – Kallisto
Dub Phizix – Item

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‘A miracle!’: Japan fans explode with joy after Ireland upset | AFP

Japanese rugby supporters explode with joy as the Rugby World Cup hosts pull off the tournament’s biggest upset yet, beating highly-fancied Ireland.

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Israel seeks to feed growing global appetite for food-tech | AFP

Israeli scientist Ilan Samish, who formed a company called Amai — Japanese for sweet — which aims at solving one of the world’s biggest health problems with hyper-sweet natural protein, presents his products at a FoodTechIL conference in Tel Aviv along with other food-tech start-ups.

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Japanese Prime Minister meets Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels | AFP

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker meet on the sidelines of the European Connectivity Forum in Brussels. IMAGES

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Why Oysters Are So Expensive | So Expensive

Oysters are a sure sign of high end decadence. But look back two hundred years and they were handed out as free bar snacks. So, what made them the luxury food they are today?

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Japanese Princess Kako meets Austrian President Van der Bellen in Vienna | AFP

Japanese Princess Kako meets Austrian President Van der Bellen in Vienna on her first international trip. IMAGES

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Japanese young rugby fans perform haka to greet All Blacks | AFP

A group of Japanese children in All Blacks uniform perform the haka to welcome the Kiwi rugby team ahead of the World Rugby Cup.

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Tadashi Shoji says returning to Japan roots on the runway took years

In a show he titled “Once Upon a Time … in Japan,” Tadashi Shoji captured the essences of cherry blossoms, Japanese gardens and Watteau gowns at New York Fashion Week. He said it took a long time to find the confidence to explore his heritage in fashion. (Sept. 6)

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First “Japanese Emperor” offspring hatch in Europe | AFP

For the first time in Europe Japan’s national butterfly, the “Japanese Emperor”, has given offspring, in Austria’s Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna. The males are bright blue on the upper side of the wings. The females are bigger, but unimposing and brown. This was made possible by the partnership between the district of Hietzing (13th municipal district of Vienna) and the city of Tamba in the south of the Japanese peninsula of Honschu, which brought several eggs and caterpillars of the butterfly as presents and handed them over to the zoo. The caterpillars pupate next year in June and hatch in July.

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Can the global matcha craze save Japan’s tea industry? | AFP

From matcha ice cream to cake and chocolate, producers of traditional Japanese green tea are capitalising on growing global interest in its flavour — even as demand for the drink declines at home.

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Can the global matcha craze save Japan’s tea industry? | AFP

From matcha ice cream to cake and chocolate, producers of traditional Japanese green tea are capitalising on growing global interest in its flavour — even as demand for the drink declines at home.

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G7: Boris Johnson meets with Shinzō Abe | AFP

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with his Japanese counterpart Shinzō Abe on the second day of the G7 summit. IMAGES

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