A group of “visiting deity” folk rituals were added on Thursday to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. In the festivals, people in rural communities wearing masks or costumes visit homes to drive away evil spirits at the end of the year or when seasons change.
The city of Osaka won a race to host the World Expo in 2025, beating out cities in Russia and Azerbaijan over 2 rounds of voting in Paris on Friday. The western Japanese city held the event in 1970, which attracted 64 million visitors.
A Japanese 5th grader became the youngest world champion at the World Othello Championship in Prague on Friday. On his return flight to Japan, he was unexpectedly congratulated by the pilot, who revealed that he was the previous record holder.
Banksy’s painting “Girl With Balloon” passed through a shredder hidden inside the frame moments after it sold for 1.04 million pounds at a London auction in early October. The winning bidder has decided to stick with her purchase of the self-destructed work, which has now been retitled “Love Is in the Bin.”
Former yokozuna grand champion and stablemaster Takanohana submitted his retirement to the Japan Sumo Association on Tuesday. He said the association pressured him to admit that the complaint he filed with the Cabinet Office in March was groundless, which prompted him to retire from the sport.
Namie Amuro, a Japanese pop singer and fashion icon, delivered her final stage performance in Okinawa prefecture on Saturday night as fans flocked to the venue to bid her farewell. The 40-year-old diva announced last September that she would retire on September 16, 2018.
A Japanese director’s “Shoplifters”, a story of an impoverished family, won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday. The film portrays human connections through a Tokyo family that lives in poverty.
The Johnny & Associates talent agency terminated its contract on Sunday with a former member of all-male pop group TOKIO over a high-profile incident. The 46-year-old bassist and singer was accused of molesting a high school girl at home in February.
Japanese makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji won the Academy Award for best makeup and hairstyling on Sunday night. He transformed Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime prime minister, for the film “Darkest Hour.”
Fierce gusts wreaked havoc at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang earlier this week. Athletes were dealing with extreme conditions that tested even the best winter sports veterans on the planet.