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JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI
                                In Oga, namahage ogres appear every New Year’s Eve to chase away evil. This year, they did so carefully, using masks and hand sanitizer.
Even virus can’t keep namahage ogres at bay

While not in full force, would-be ogres came out on New Year’s Eve to dispel evil and bring good auspices — after spritzing their hands with sanitizer and donning masks beneath their disguises, of course. Read more

JAPAN-NEWS-YOMIURI 
                                <strong>Good-luck </strong><strong>Kamaboko</strong>: Pink and white fish cakes, everyday food in Hawaii but a special New Year’s food in Japan, are prepared at Fujikuma Shokuhin food company in Settsu, Osaka Prefecture. Fish paste of conger pike and pollack, placed on wooden boards with a special knife, is said to bring luck. Company President Masafumi Fujita said the pandemic made 2020 a dark year, but he hopes people will eat kamaboko and have a bright new year. More than 1,000 kamaboko were purchased and distributed by New Year’s Day.
PHOTO: Good-luck Kamaboko

Pink and white fish cakes, everyday food in Hawaii but a special New Year’s food in Japan, are prepared at Fujikuma Shokuhin food company in Settsu, Osaka Prefecture. Read more

Schools prepare for exam season

Universities across Japan are grappling with coronavirus safety measures as they head into entrance-exam season, when hundreds of thousands of high school students take tests to gain admission to universities. Read more

Pandemic prompts buzzword of 2020

“Sanmitsu,” the “Three C’s” approach to preventing COVID-19 spread — by avoiding closed spaces, crowds and close contact — was selected Japan’s buzzword of the year. Read more

JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI<strong></strong>
                                <strong></strong><strong>SEASONAL BEAUTY</strong>: A large ginkgo tree on the grounds of the former Hinokami Elementary School in Nichinan, Tottori Prefecture, offers a serene spot for appreciating nature. The tree draws spectators each year because of its dramatic beauty.
PHOTO: Seasonal Beauty

A large ginkgo tree on the grounds of the former Hinokami Elementary School in Nichinan, Tottori Prefecture, offers a serene spot for appreciating nature. Read more

Virus puts demand on specialty cleaners

Trepidation gave way to excitement when Toru Koremura, president of a Tokyo-based cleaning company, took on the job of disinfecting the Diamond Princess — the cruise ship quarantined in the port of Yokohama that made global headlines early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

National universities to accept more international students

The Japan education ministry plans to allow an increase in the number of foreign students studying at Japan’s national universities beginning in the 2022 academic year, in an effort to increase the universities’ international competitiveness and secure their financial stability. Read more

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                <strong>SAFE PASSAGE</strong>: People practice social distancing to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus take pictures while walking along a path as the leaves begin to change colors in Nagano, Japan.
PHOTO: Safe Passage

People practice social distancing to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus take pictures while walking along a path as the leaves begin to change colors in Nagano, Japan. Read more


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