East Asia

Japan: Sanka, legendary gypsies living in the wild

Sometimes forgotten issues, people or stories come up from oblivion and awake something in the collective imagination. Sometimes also the protagonists in those stories become part of a legend, whose historical origins are difficult to track down.
This is more or less what happened to a group of people who are said to have lived in the remote mountains and plains of the Japanese archipelago until the 1970s. They are the Japanese gypsies or sanka [ja], written as 山家 (people of the mountains) or 山窩 (mountains nomads).

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North Korea: Three Films Denouncing Kim Jong-il Regime

Three films which give a rare glimpse inside the North Korea have been introduced during the North Korea Freedom Week, an annual event jointly held in Seoul and Washington hosting lectures and film screenings focusing human rights abuses in the North. Mike Paarlberg posted a detailed introduction to the films in the City Paper blog.

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Taiwan: Social Media Makes Indigenous Voices Loud and Clear

Written by Portnoy Zheng

Taiwan's indigenous population are often flattered by politicians as being the country's “real masters” or “original inhabitants”; they have been used to promote Taiwan tourism in television commercials around the world.

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China: 50 Cent Party's Fake Retweet

Written by Oiwan Lam

Several Chinese online activists have noticed that the 50 Cent Party has adopted a new tactic in creating fake retweets of prominent online opinion leaders. China Media Project has a brief account of the situation. Rebecca MacKinnon wonders if Twitter abuse team can deal with the problem of fake retweets.

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