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Tokyo Int'l Anime Fair to Return March 22-25, 2012
The executive committee of Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) announced that the event will return next year from March 22 to March 25. TAF will once again take place at East Halls 1, 2, 3, and other venues at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center on Odaiba island at Tokyo Bay. As in previous years, the first two days are business days that are only open to industry and press representatives, while the last two days are public days that are open to everyone.

This year's TAF was cancelled five days after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster of March 11. If it had been held, it would have run from March 24 to March 27 of this year.

According to the rescheduled Hakurei Jinja Reitaisai 8 event, Tokyo Big Sight suffered unspecified damage during the earthquake. However, the center has since temporarily housed earthquake evacuees and held several events.

This year's TAF became part of a controversy due to Tokyo Metropolitan Government's amendment to its Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. The amendment is expanding the number of manga and anime that fall under "harmful publications," the legal category of works that must not be sold or rented to people under the age of 18. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara is a major advocate of the amended Healthy Development Ordinance and the head of the executive committee for the TAF.

 2011/07/31 08:22  この記事のURL  / 
Ebi-chan & Moe show their line of wedding dresses
Ebi-chan, Moe show their line of wedding dresses Yuri Ebihara, left, and Moe Oshikiri, model wedding dresses. Photo courtesy of a liliale

Popular models Yuri Ebara (蛯原友里), 31, and Moe Oshikiri(押切もえ), 31, unveiled their line of original “a-liliale” wedding dresses this week.

Ebihara, popularly known as Ebi-chan, was asked about Ichikawa Ebizo and Mao Kobayashi becoming parents, and whether there was a baby on the way for her and her husband, Rip Slyme singer Ilmari, 36. But she vaguely said that having a baby will require more time.
 2011/07/30 12:25  この記事のURL  / 
Yokohama exhibition features world animation stamps
A stamp exhibition began Thursday in Yokohama featuring a collection of the world's manga and animation stamps including those of Japan's Hello Kitty, Spider-Man of the United States and Moomin from Finland.

The Japan World Stamp Exhibition 2011 is showing more than 500,000 stamps from around the world at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center through Aug. 2.

Visitors also have a chance to meet and take photos with animation characters at the venue, and can also listen to a Bhutanese record stamp that plays music to when placed on a player, or try the vanilla ice-cream taste of a Portuguese stamp.

View Pacifico Yokohama in a larger map
 2011/07/29 09:19  この記事のURL  / 
Summer Santa brings cheer to Fukushima children
Santa Claus arrived in Japan from Finland, bringing cheer on July 26 to children who evacuated to Saitama Prefecture from areas near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

About 50 children rejoiced as Santa in summer attire -- wearing white shirt, red vest and green shorts -- gave them sweets at a former high school building in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, where many of the residents from the town of Futaba are taking refuge.

Santa said he arrived the day before as he learned about the March quake and tsunami that hit Japan.

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 2011/07/28 10:33  この記事のURL  / 
Kagrra vocalist Isshi dies at 32
According to the Sports Hochi, Isshi, the vocalist of visual kei rock band Kagrra, died at his home on July 18. He was 32 years old.

Due to his family’s wishes, the cause of death has not been revealed. A private funeral has already been held.

Kagrra's concept is "Neo Japanese." Their lyrics are in the style of Heian era poetry, their costumes frequently incorporate traditional Japanese clothing styles, and traditional Japanese instruments and drum rhythms are used in some of their songs.

Isshi had reportedly appeared in good health during a talk event that took place on July 15. Since Kagrra’s breakup in March of this year, Isshi had been working on his solo project, “shiki∞project,” and he had already finished his first CD that was set for release this September. He was planning to hold two events on July 28-29 at Act Square in Ebisu, Tokyo, but those have now been turned into mourning events.
 2011/07/27 09:16  この記事のURL  / 
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栗田 亮(Makoto Kurita)
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