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Culture news from Japan Times
Cinema at Sea festival highlights diversity and unheard voices
Held at venues in Naha, Okinawa, from Nov. 23 to 29, the first Cinema at Sea festival presented an ambitious and carefully curated program of films from Okinawa as well as Japan, the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. A keyword for the inaugural event was “diversity,” as festival director Huang Yin-yu and his programming team reached beyond major film production centers to places and peoples underrepresented in world cinema.
Johnny’s changes name to Starto Entertainment
After months of speculation, the talent agency formerly known as Johnny & Associates announced its new name: Starto Entertainment (stylized in all caps).
J-pop's global ambitions came closer to reality in 2023
The defining story of J-pop in 2023 focused on the past. The reckoning with Johnny Kitagawa’s history of sexual assault and how his decades-old powerhouse talent agency, formerly known as Johnny & Associates, would move forward towered over the entertainment industry and the headlines. Nothing came close to matching it.
Godzilla smashes U.S. record as top-earning Japanese live-action film
The newest "Godzilla" film has become the highest-grossing Japanese live-action film in North America, raking in more than $14 million, film production company Toho said Thursday.
'Oppenheimer' to screen in Japan next year after nuclear controversy
Universal Pictures' "Oppenheimer" will screen in Japan next year, a local distributor said Thursday — a launch that had been in doubt amid criticism that the film largely ignores the devastation of the atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
A heady Tokyo homecoming for Caroline Polachek
Many non-Japanese artists express an affinity for Japanese culture, whether that’s through traditional crafts, anime or aesthetics. For American pop singer Caroline Polachek, her kinship to Japan is more subliminal because, from the age of 1 through 7, Tokyo was her home.
‘Domains’: Hypnotic and truly original
Some films seem to arrive at just the right moment. When Natsuka Kusano’s “Domains” first appeared on the streaming service Mubi in March 2020 after screening at a handful of festivals, it resonated uncannily with a world adjusting to the new reality of COVID-19 lockdowns.
‘This Magic Moment’: Mini-theaters keep indie cinema love alive
Last year, 634 Japanese films were released in this country, with the great majority screening at independent theaters, locally called “mini-theaters.” Without these theaters, the Japanese independent film sector would cease to exist.
Sports news from Japan Times
Shohei Ohtani to join Dodgers on record-breaking deal
Shohei Ohtani is keeping his talents in Southern California — but he will be doing it in Dodger Blue.
Kaori Sakamoto wins first Grand Prix Final title
Reigning world figure skating champion Kaori Sakamoto picked up her first Grand Prix Final title Saturday.
Kawasaki tops Kashiwa in shootout to lift Emperor's Cup
Kawasaki Frontale won their second Emperor's Cup after beating Kashiwa Reysol 8-7 in an epic penalty shootout following a goalless 120 minutes on Saturday.
All Blacks Retallick and Savea lead Kobe Steelers to big win
All Blacks forwards Brodie Retallick and Ardie Savea each scored a brace of tries to power the Kobe Steelers to an 80-15 thrashing of the newly promoted Mie Heat in the opening game of the Japan Rugby League One season Saturday.
IOC clears some Russians to compete in Paris as neutrals
Olympic chiefs on Friday gave the green light to the participation of some Russian and Belarusian individual athletes at next year's Paris Games as neutrals, as long as they do not actively support the war against Ukraine.
Hachimura helps Lakers reach final of NBA tourney
Rui Hachimura scored 12 points and grabbed a rebound in the Los Angeles Lakers' 133-89 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA In-season Tournament semifinals on Thursday.
MLB winter meetings end with Ohtani still unsigned
No team was able to make a deal with two-time unanimous American League MVP Shohei Ohtani by the time Major League Baseball's winter meetings concluded Thursday.
Kewell a possibility after Muscat steps down from Marinos
Kevin Muscat has stepped down as coach of Yokohama F. Marinos, the club said, with reports on Friday linking fellow Australian Harry Kewell to the job.
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American and world news from CNN
Fulton County, Georgia, jail leadership resigns after inmate's death and accusations of unsanitary conditions
Three officials at the Fulton County, Georgia, jail have stepped down amid an investigation into the death of an inmate whose family said was housed in a filthy, bug-infested cell that "was not fit for a diseased animal."
He was free for 2 years. Now Crosley Green is back in prison for a crime he says he didn't commit
A Florida man who served three decades behind bars for a murder he says he didn't commit returned to prison Monday after spending the past two years building a life outside prison walls.
Tennessee Air National Guardsman applied to be a hitman online, the FBI says. It was a spoof website and now he's facing charges
A Tennessee Air National Guardsman is facing charges after applying to be a hitman on a spoof "rent-a-hitman" website, according to the Department of Justice.
Family of victim and survivors of Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting file lawsuit against gun magazine manufacturer and distributors
The family of a victim and several survivors of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis filed a lawsuit against companies involved in the manufacturing, marketing and sale of the high capacity magazine used by the gunman who killed 8 people and injured several others in 2021.
GOP prepared to block vote to replace Feinstein on Senate Judiciary
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that he hopes to replace Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee with Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland and aims to set up a floor vote on the issue this afternoon, which Republicans are expected to block.
Anti-abortion doctors urge Supreme Court to keep mifepristone restrictions in place
A group of doctors opposed to abortion asked the Supreme Court Tuesday to restrict access to a key medication abortion drug while other legal challenges play out, as Wednesday night's deadline for the court to act approaches.
McCarthy makes plea for Republicans to back debt ceiling plan
Speaker Kevin McCarthy made a plea to House Republicans during a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning to back his debt ceiling plan, telling them that although it doesn't have to include everything they want, it will help get him to the negotiating table with President Joe Biden.
Supreme Court seems sympathetic to postal worker who didn't work Sundays in dispute over religious accommodations
The Supreme Court seemed to side with a former mail carrier, an evangelical Christian, who says the US Postal Service failed to accommodate his request to not work on Sundays.
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