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.
Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested four individuals in Ebina, in connection with a robbery case in which a pregnant woman on her way home was struck in the face and robbed of approximately 100,000 yen in cash. (Japan Today )
Yoko Ono says her own bitter experience in Japan during World War II inspired her to support WhyHunger's "Imagine There's No Hunger" campaign to fight childhood hunger around the world. (abcnews.go.com )
Japanese police arrested former sumo ozeki Kotomitsuki on Wednesday on suspicion of violating the immigration law by employing foreigners illegally at a barbecue restaurant he runs in Nagoya, central Japan. (Jiji Press )