(Photo credit, top image: US Naval Institute Photo Archive)
The US Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) confirmed the identity of a wreck site off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan, as USS Albacore (SS 218). The NHHC made the announcement on Thursday, after several months of examining Japanese surveys conducted on the site in 2022.
Kinki is a ruggedly beautiful peninsula in the southwest of Honshu, Japan. The area is best known for the Shinto shrines of Kumano, which sit atop forested mountains in the center of the region. Each year, thousands of tourists and devotees undertake a pilgrimage through the mountains to reach the tranquil sanctuary, which is said to be a place of physical healing.
Year 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has confronted the world with an unprecedented situation. Many countries went into lockdown, and as a result, many people were forced to stay indoors, including myself in Japan. Although Japan never went into an official “lockdown”—it instead went into a so-called state of emergency—I could not wait to get out of the Tokyo metropolis as soon as restrictions were lifted.
Self-taught Japanese artist Setsuo Hamanaka creates beautiful, detailed and dynamic paintings of aquatic life in a variety of settings from the open ocean and mangroves to freshwater ponds and cityscapes. X-Ray Mag interviewed the artist to learn more about his creative process and what inspires him about the underwater realm.
Japan’s diving scene used to be a well-kept secret, but more and more people have realised that Japan has much more to offer than just sushi and karaoke. The country spans a vast latitudinal range, from the tropical south where coral reefs dominate around Okinawa and the other Ryukyu Islands, into the almost subarctic north. As a result, its biological diversity is great, with many different habitats accommodating a wide array of species.
Japans announcement that it is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission and will resume commercial whale hunting next year, have sparked swift condemnation from other governments and conservation groups. For many years Japan has hunted whales for what it calls "scientific research" and to sell the meat, a programme widely criticised by conservationists.