Japan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoOAW5RxMeA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f93w847CuSE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwItd7FLvGA Since 1981, Naoko Yamano has been the lead singer and driving force behind the pioneering Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife. She's still based in the band's hometown of Osaka, and after 35 years in the biz, she's about as plugged into the music scene in her home country as it gets. So when Yamano visited World Cafe with her bandmates to play tracks off Shonen...

A stop-motion samurai film — that's the germ of an idea that grew into the sprawling fantasy film, Kubo and the Two Strings . It's a coming-of-age epic set in fantasy Japan about a young storyteller who makes magic with music and origami paper. The film stars Art Parkinson as Kubo, the Samurai's son, as well as Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei and Matthew McConaughey. While the Disney and Pixar brands have become synonymous with blockbuster animated films, the small...

President Obama will visit Hiroshima later this month, while he's in Japan for the G-7 summit, the White House has confirmed. The trip will mark the first visit by a U.S. president to the site since American forces dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. Today Hiroshima is the site of a park and museum dedicated to memorializing the victims of the attack and promoting peace and nuclear disarmament. The president's visit will "highlight his continued...

Japan has made progress recently in getting more women to join the workforce. The latest numbers show a greater percentage of Japanese women work outside the home than American women. But for a rapidly aging and shrinking population, that progress may not be fast enough. One of the biggest reasons Japanese women choose to stay home is the lack of child care options. As of the latest count, in April 2015, about 23,000 Japanese children were on waiting lists for day care. Unable to find other...

Step off a bustling Tokyo street, down a short flight of stairs, and almost instantly, you can wind up in Fort Worth. Or at least it feels that way. Takeshi Yoshino and his wife opened the tiny tavern called Little Texas 10 years ago as a tribute to the state they love. Yoshino's passion for country music first led him to the Lone Star State more than two decades ago. In the Tokyo tavern, there are Texas license plates adorning the walls, a giant saddle bar stool and rows of cowboy boots at...

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