Photo : Traditional Kemari Event Held At Shimogamo Shrine In Kyoto

PHOTO : Traditional Kemari event held at Shimogamo Shrine in KyotoPeople in Heian era (eighth to 12th century) aristocratic attire kick a soccer ball, instead of a traditional ball made of deer skin, in an annual "Kemari-hajime" event at Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto on Jan. 4, 2014. The soccer ball was used in tribute to the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil this year. In Kemari, players continue kicking the mari (ball) in the air to a fixed height as many times as possible.
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Abe's Japan Faces Uncertain Future After Yasukuni Visit

Abe's Japan faces uncertain future after Yasukuni visitJapan faces an uncertain future in its relations with other countries in 2014 after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's surprise visit to war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in late December drew a cold response from key global players, such as China and the United States, and risked Japan's isolation.
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Hpv Vaccine Victim Pursues Dream Of Becoming Violin Soloist

HPV vaccine victim pursues dream of becoming violin soloistSeventeen-year-old violinist Yui Ito dreams of playing on the stages of Europe's grandest concert halls. But these days even standing is an ordeal for the high school student at prestigious Toho Gakuen Music High School, the alma mater of conductor Seiji Ozawa.
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U.s. 'disappointed' At Abe's Yasukuni Visit

U.S. 'disappointed' at Abe's Yasukuni visitThe United States said Thursday it is "disappointed" that Abe has taken action that will "exacerbate tensions with Japan's neighbors," following the premier's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine earlier in the day.
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Japan Elects Cutest Hiragana Character

Japan elects cutest hiragana characterThe characters at left should look very familiar to any student of Japanese. Hiragana is the phonetic alphabet that is usually the first writing system you learn. Compared to the much more complex and difficult to remember Chinese characters and the angular katakana alphabet, the loopy hiragana characters have a pleasant round feel that’s often called “cute.”
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