During a four-day trip to Japan last month, Pope Francis visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the world’s only cities to have suffered atomic bombings, and met with blast survivors. As an anti-nuke campaigner, he also delivered a speech calling for a total ban on nuclear weapons.
Japan’s Empress Masako, having long suffered from an adjustment disorder, has performed important official duties since her husband Naruhito ascended the throne in May. As a Harvard graduate and former diplomat, she is fluent in English, French and German.
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.
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.”
Tokyo’s 80-year-old seafood market, Tsukiji, closed on Saturday to move to its replacement site on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. The new Toyosu market is scheduled to open on October 11, with many shop owners and workers still doubting its safety.