What matters at Christmas time is the spirit, right? For those yet to be convinced, a tiny Japanese pavilion in Paris offers to initiate Westerners to a 700-year-old gift-giving ritual known as Origata.
You could hardly be further from the push and shove of the holiday shopping season: the tiny wood-panelled cubicle in the city's Latin Quarter is like a hybrid of concept store, art gallery and miniature temple.
Opened this month by Japanese businessman Takeshi Sato together with a young Frenchman, Joan Larroumec, the Miwa pavilion is billed as an exclusive members' club, offering a gateway to Japanese high culture.
Except for the word "ori", meaning to fold, Origata bears no relation to the paper-folding craft of origami.
Since the 14th century, Keishosai Ogasawara's family have held the keys to the art as chiefs of protocol for the imperial family, handing down its codes generation to generation and -- in recent years -- sharing them with the public.
She travelled from Tokyo to witness the opening of the pavilion, which was ceremonially inaugurated by two Shinto priests.
Fewer than 40 pct of residents and commuters in Tokyo take specific measures to prepare for a possible huge earthquake beneath the Japanese capital, despite high awareness on disaster prevention, a Metropolitan Police Department survey showed Friday. (Jiji Press )
The man under arrest for fatally stabbing one man and wounding three others during a 10-minute rampage in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday night, told police on Thursday that he wanted to hijack a plane at Haneda airport and fly it into Tokyo Skytree to take revenge on society. (Japan Today )
The man lauded as "Japan's Beethoven," who has admitted he never wrote his compositions, appeared before cameras for the first time since the scandal surfaced - clean-shaven and minus his trademark sunglasses. (abcnews.go.com )
The 24-year-old suspect in the murder of a man on a street in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday is believed to have posted a profile online in which he identified himself as a "celeb NEET," meaning a celebrity without a job, according to local online news site J-Cast News. (Japan Times )
The proportion of single nonregular Japanese male workers in their 20s who have girlfriends stood at 18.7 pct in 2012, against 30.7 pct for regular employees, a government survey revealed Thursday. (Jiji Press )
Police in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Wednesday night arrested a 24-year-old unemployed man over four knife attacks within 10 minutes that left one man dead and three others injured on a street. (Japan Today )