Takeshi Kitano on Monday defended the explicit violence in his new gangster flick "Outrage Beyond" and said it felt right to include references to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Kitano also conceded that his film-a complex tale of warring yakuza families that is a sequel to his 2009 film "Outrage"-was aimed at a wider foreign audience since his Japan fan base was dwindling.
"I'm not a director who is appreciated in Japan a great deal, but I thought abroad I could get greater visibility with a sequel," he said at the Venice film festival where his entry is among 18 vying for the Golden Lion.
Kitano stars in the slickly-shot film as Otomo, the rumoured-dead boss of a family once crushed by the Sanno crime clan, who gets out of prison and goes on a revenge spree through a world of guns, luxury cars and nighttime meets.
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2012 was 27,858, dropping below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years, the Cabinet Office said in a white paper on Tuesday. The figure was 2,800 fewer than in 2011. (Japan Today )
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )