Nintendo annnounced the name and basic specs of its new game machine on the Oct.20th. The name of the machine is “Nintendo Switch” and the new console will be released in march 2017. (https://www.nintendo.co.jp/corporate/release/2016/161020.html)
The new machine is a stationary type console but you can take it out with you when you go out from your home using a portable functions. you don’t have to keep seated in front of your machine at home to play games. The imformation about the prices and more details will be released from now on bit by bit by the company.
An exhibition about the art related to the world of the traditional Japanese poems ,”Waka” and poetry is being held at the Iwami Art Museum in Grand Toi in Masuda city, Shimane pref., in the Sanin region in southest part facing the Sea of Japan Sep.21-Nov.7.(http://www.grandtoit.jp/museum/exhibition/2016/09/post-122.html)
Hitomaro, Kakinomoto, a famous poet in the 7th century lived in the Masuda area where the Grand Toi is located. His poems, statues, pictures are set or shown in some spots in the area, and pictures and other art works describing the contents of his pand others’ poems are exhibited at the event. I took a travel to Shimane and stayed in Masuda for a while and visited that exhibition there last month. I felt, especially paintings created in the Muromachi Period (1336~1588) were colorful and beautiful.
The venue facility, Grand Toi is a quite fancy culture facility and the art museum and theater are in the building. The city as a whole seemed historical with mountains, rivers, old battlefields and Iwami Airport, Tsuwano, a popular historical town are close. In addition, two of the four well-known landscape gardens designed by Sesshu, one of the most famous Japanese paintings painter in the 15th century were all there. I visited the two gardens and staffers told me those tourists’ destinations are becoming popular among international visitors to Japan as well. I found the area very interesting with traditional Japanese atmoshere with good historical occurences.
ODS, a driving school in Saga pref., Kyushu (a region in the southwest part of Japan) has begun to adopt so-called “Ita-sha”(a vehicle of pain ,implying subcultural ideas or objects of bad but cool taste) for its driving lessons since this October. (http://www.oomachi-ds.jp/main/)
ODS now has started using two “Itasha” out of its 24 driving- lesson cars, expecting to draw attention from especially young people in the local area. the design is about Hatsunemiku, a popular two-dimensional virtual female idol character and other subculture-related depictions. Itasha is gaining popularity among the subculture lovers and may influence other industries like driving schools and the like.
“Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen mae Hashutsujo”(/This is the Police Box in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika-ward.) , the world’s longest manga series, which won Guiness Record, finally put an end to its 40- year history. The final book was the “200th book” and published on Sep.17th.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kochira_Katsushika-ku_Kameari_K%C5%8Den-mae_Hashutsujo)
The grand finale of one of the most popular manga works draws a huge attention of a lot of fans of the manga and its ramified works of anime and TV drama series.
Tokyo Game Show 2016 was held Sep.15-18 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba. (http://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2016/)
At this TGS 2016, the number of the paticipant businesses made the record high of 617 and the event was full of lively energy and passion of the new games and visitors. And, there held the special live concert of “PSN meets Secret Artist” ,at which EGOIST, a popular “fictitious singer” from an anime work, sang songs.
Rio Paralympics were held Sep.7-18 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Japanese team’s athletes won eight silver and 11 bronze medals. (http://www.jsad.or.jp/paralympic/rio/index.html)
At the closing ceremony, the position of the host of the event was handed over from Rio to Tokyo in the Flag Handover Ceremony, which lasted for eight minutes with the theme of “Tokyo 2020 Positive Switch”. Musicians and fashion models performed there.
The reasons of this postponement are environmental conditions, costs, and questionable points in the plan. according to Koike. Now the relocation time will be in Feburuary 2017 ,but sources have not been solved and the real moving time has not been decided yet. Meantime, people can enjoy visiting the world’s biggest fish and other foods market in the central part in Tokyo.
“Glass Mask”(/garasu-no kamen) is a popular manga work for girls created by Suzue Miuchi describing dreams, efforts, suffering, and competitions of a girl who is eager to become an actor. Now, this nationally popular manga is going to be filmed as a comedy anime on TV from the comng October. (http://www.hakusensha.co.jp/glass/)
Originally, this manga work is a quite “serious” cartoon of a life of the girl who wants to be an actor describing her complicated human relationships with other people, such as her master, friends, rivals and so forth. And it has been filmed as an serious anime and TV dramas a few times so far, but this time in token of 40th anniversary of this manga work, it is to be a comedy anime to describe school lives of young people as a kind of satire of cynicism of society.
“Pokemon Pikapika Festival” is being held at Decks Tokyo Bay in odaiba,Tokyo Jul.12-Aug.31st. (http://www.pokemon-movie.jp/decks/)
This festival is held as a tie-up between Pokemon and decks Tokyo in token of Decks’ 20th anniversary. At the venue there is Illusion Dome where visitors can take a walk and see projected Pokemons’ images and footages at 360 degree. Visitors also can enjoy some special games and facilities, and meals at the restaurant and other attractions.
A special exhibition of “Louvre No,9” is being held Jul.22-Sep.25th at Mori Arts Center Gallery in Roppongi, Tokyo. (http://manga-9art.com/)
“No,9” means “the ninth category of art” in the French society and implies French style cartoons called “bande dessinée” influenced by Japanese Manga and subculture of the kind. In other words, bande dessinée might be called “the hybrid between traditional French paintings and the Japanese cartoon culture”. For example, Katsuhiro Ohtomo, the creator of “Akira”, one of popular manga works worldwide is said to have given huge influence on the generation of bande dessinée now.
The total number of medals won by the Japanese athletes at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games Aug.5-21nd was 41, including 12 gold medals, 8 silver, and 21 bronze ones, which reached the record-hjgh for Japan ever.
*Gold; four for Wrestling, three for Judo, two for Swimming races, two for Gymnastics,and one for Badminton.*Silver; three for Wrestling, one for Judo, two for Swimming races, one for Table tennis, and one for Track-and-field competitions. *Bronze; eight for Judo, three for Swimming races, one for Gymnastics, one for Badminton,two for Table tennis,one for Track-and-field competitions, two for Synchronized swimming, one for Weightlifting, one for Canoe slalom, and one for Tennis.
There was an election of Tokyo Metropilitan Govenor on Jul.31, and Yuriko Koike has been chosen as the 20th Tokyo Govenor. She is the very first female Tokyo Govenor in the history of Tokyo Metropolice of 70 years (or about 150 year history since the very first year of the modernization of Japan as Edo Metropolice, Tokyo City,and Tokyo Prefecture).
Originally,she was a TV castor and an interpreter of Arabic language, and conducted a lot of coverages and interviews with people in the international community. And she served as a Diet member and Minister of Environment, Minister of National Defense and other cabinet member’s posts for years. Now she is a proponent of the “Non-pole” movement,which is clearing streets of electric poles and put electric wires underground in order to enhance scenic attractions of streets and improve secure and comfortable environments in society. In addition, she made remarks in which she expressed her eagerness of preparing and organizing upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Therefore, some positive changes in tourism- related environments in Tokyo area and circumstances of hosting the huge international sport events in four years may take place from now on.
The popular annual summer event of the fireworks display festival at one of the main rivers of Tokyo, Sumida River was held Jul.30th.
Totally, various fireworks of 20,000 were displayed with various colors and types, some of which were related to sports such as upcoming Olympic games. There were no panic or any accident and visitors there enjoyed the huge summer event.
Tha National Museum of Western Art (NMWA) in Ueno Park in Taito-kum Tokyo was designated as a World Vultural Heritage Site at the UNESCO’s committee in Turkey on Jul.17th.(http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/)
NMWS was establish in 1959 and designed by Le Corbusier ,a Swiss architect who was said to be “the grand master of 20 century’s modern architecture”.
NMWA contains various western art works especially modern or 20 centurys masterpieces and the basic collections are of “Matsukata Collections”. KOjiro Matuskata was a influential business person running major businesses in Meji -early Showa era and collected more than 10 thousand works mainly fron Europe, but some of them were lost in condusions of wars. Still France gave back some of his lost art properties and thus the museum was able to start with old collections. This time, NMWA has become the “first” buildings to be registered as a heritage site, “first” jointly registerated site of more trhan one country (transborder site) ,and “first” such a site in the area of central area of Tokyo (in the scope of the 23 wards of the city). For those remarkable points, the museum is expected to draw attention of a lot of tourists even more from now on.
“Dragon Quest”, the nationwide or even worldwide famousrole playing game series is now celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The first game of Dragon Quest or in “Dorakue”(its Japanese abbreviation),”DQ1” was released in 1986. Since then 10 main games and some spinoff works have been released. And some cartoon ,animation, toy products also have been released and now almost every Japanese knows the game series.
“Dragon Quest Museum”, the special related exhibition to show the history and concept of Dragon Quest will be held Jul.24- Sep.11 at Hikarie Hall in Shibuya Hikarie in Shibuya,Tokyo. (https://dqmuseum.jp/) As a relevant event, the game’s theme music is played as a train melody at the Toyoko lines’ platforms in Shibuya station Jul.5-Sep.12.