Tagged With japan

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On the fourth Sunday in April, Japanese parents descend on the shrines of Tokyo with their bundles of joy, which they promptly hand over to a sumo.

The two rikishi, babe in hand and weighing over 150 kilograms each, step into the ring. In a normal bout, they'd collide, trying to push each other out of the ring, but on this afternoon, it's the two infants that are the competitors.

This competition is all about seeing which infant can cry the loudest.

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I keep telling people that travelling to Japan is way more affordable than they think, especially if you book the right accommodations. We're talking as little as $25 to $60 a night if you know where to look! These obviously aren't five-star resorts, but they're worth it for the money you'll save.

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The Japanese flag is an immediately recognizable emblem of the island nation, a brilliant red circle stamped on a pure white background. It's simplicity belies it's cultural importance to the Japanese and although you may think of the flag as a mainstay of Japan dating back at least 100 years, until 1999, the flag - known as the Nisshōki or Hi no maru - was designed completely differently.

Okay, maybe not completely differently.

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Japan is a great place to visit, especially for first-time international travellers. It feels completely different than Western countries, yet totally familiar. I recently got back from a trip there, and while it wasn't my first visit, I still learned a whole lot. Mainly, I figured out what kind of items are best to keep on you at all times.

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In Japan, anime is a big part of popular culture and is adored by people of all ages. In Australia, the genre has been mostly consumed by school kids who saw certain shows on morning TV, or hardcore fans who track down cult shows on disc and online. Since 2015, this has started to change, and it's largely down to the free streaming service AnimeLab. Here's what you need to know.

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Japanese animation can feel like an impenetrable fortress of obscure slang, iconography and inside jokes. After 16 years of fandom, I'm quite comfortable with it. But what about curious outsiders who don't care to memorise, say, the differences between each and every Sailor Moon adaptation? This guide is designed to help intrigued westerners dip their toes into anime and manga.

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Living abroad at the behest of your employer can be an exciting adventure for some. It can also lead to culture-shock, isolation and depression. We quizzed OKI Australia's globe-trotting managing director about how he adjusts to different work climates (in both senses of the word).

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To enable Australians to check on family and friends in Japan following last week's earthquake/tsunami disaster, Telstra will not charge for calls to Japan made using its mobile and landline networks. The fee-free period (which also covers text messages) runs from 6:00am on Friday 11 March through until the same time on Friday March 25, with calls to Japanese numbers billed as zero cost. Handy to know if you're trying to get in touch or stay in touch.

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I don't kid myself that four days spent in Tokyo, staying in Western-oriented hotels and with someone around to translate most of the time, is going to lead to in-depth insight into Japanese culture and work approaches. Nonetheless, there were a few self-evident lessons about the future of technology. Click after the jump for some quick ideas to help you approach organising from a different angle. (Photograph of votive prayers at the Meiji Shrine, which might put your to-do list into perspective.)

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Editor: Meet io9 contributor Lisa Katayama. When she's not blogging about robots and futurism, she's spreading the word about how to GTD in the most unexpected ways. Here's a sampling of a few clever tricks you'll find in her new book, Urawaza. When it comes to life and getting things done, we like to do things a little differently in Japan. When I break a glass in the kitchen, I don't use my vacuum cleaner to clean it up; I use a slice of bread. When my socks become dirt-stained from running in a muddy ravine, I don't pour bleach on them; I stuff them with marbles. And to save space and money, I have never bought a document shredder. I just stuff incriminating documents in a stocking and toss them in the washing machine.