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Youngest Pro Shōgi Player Fujii to Advance to High School (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 26 (Jiji Press)—Fujii Sōta, the youngest professional shōgi player, who grabbed the spotlight by setting an unprecedented winning streak earlier this year, has decided to move on to high school. Fujii, 15, plans to study at Nagoya University Affiliated Upper Secondary School in the city of Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, from April 2018 after graduating from …
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Ōkura Shōnosuke’s Beat of Life (Video)Otome Kaita (video production and editing)

The tsuzumi hand drums used in Japan were originally instruments of prayer and invocation, and their natural timbre expressed a longing for a bountiful and peaceful life. The sound of the ōtsuzumi (hip drum), produced by those fully absorbed in their performance have, throughout history, been both electrifying and calming.
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Ōkura Shōnosuke: Innovating with TraditionMiyazaki Yukio

Ōkura Shōnosuke is a virtuoso ōtsuzumi drummer in the tradition-bound world of the nō theater, but he is also an innovative artist whose powerful, pulsating rhythms resonate with nature and with life itself. Nippon.com explores the allure of this creative genius who continues to innovate with tradition.
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Japan to Promote Active Tourism Use of Traditional Buildings (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 6 (Jiji Press)—Japan's tourism ministry plans to urge local governments to set ordinances to exempt historic buildings, such as kominka (traditional folk houses), from the building standards law, to better promote the use of such structures for tourism. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism will compile guidelines, including know-how for making such ordinance…
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Alex Kerr: A Taste of a Better JapanKiyono Yumi (Interviewer)

Alex Kerr has spent more than a decade restoring traditional houses in remote parts of Japan and using them to revive local economies. In recent years, he has written acerbic critiques about the destruction of the Japanese landscape, rooted in his expert knowledge of East Asian arts and culture, and continues to work to develop a new approach to Japanese tourism that will tap the potential of the nation’s rich traditions and help to keep them alive for future generations.
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Japanese Castles

Many castles were built in Japan during the Warring States period (1467–1568), when regional leaders vied for power. Although a large number were destroyed in the centuries that followed, there are still several fine structures to visit today, including those that have been reconstructed.
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Raku Kichizaemon on the Avant-Garde Tradition of Raku Ware (Video)Otome Kaita (video production and editing)

Raku Kichizaemon, the fifteenth grand master of the Raku line of potters, creates avant-garde works of ceramic art rooted in 450 years of tradition. With a tea bowl of his own making in hand, he discusses the philosophical underpinnings of Raku ware.
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Cormorant Fishing: An Ancient Tradition to Mark Each New SummerSawabe Kai

Cormorant fishing, a method that involves lighting a fire to lure sweetfish and catching them with tamed cormorants, is today a popular tourist attraction that marks the beginning of summer in Japan. This is the story of the men and birds involved in Japan’s most famous cormorant fishing on the Nagara River.
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Japanese Blacksmiths Forge On (Photos)Ōhashi Hiroshi (Photographer)

Japanese blacksmiths preserve a once vital traditional art. These photographs offer a window into their workshops as they display their artisanship.
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Youngest Pro Shōgi Player Fujii Sets Record Streak at 29 Wins (News)

Tokyo, June 26 (Jiji Press)—Fujii Sōta, the youngest professional shōgi player, set an unprecedented record on Monday, marking the 29th official straight win since his debut in December last year. Fujii, the 14-year-old shōgi sensation holding the rank of fourth dan, rewrote a record-winning streak for the first time in 30 years by defeating fourth-dan Masuda Yasuhiro, 19, the only other teenag…
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