Reiko Tsuzuki, 70, makes buckwheat soba noodles by hand in her restaurant kitchen in the Japanese island of Shikoku. Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

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Japan's Centuries-Old Tradition Of Making Soba Noodles

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The Chichu Art Museum, designed by celebrated Japanese architect Tadao Ando, is built mostly underground. Open courtyards and skylights bring in natural light. The island is internationally known for its works of modern art and architecture. Seiichi Ohsawa Courtesy of Benesse Art Site Naoshima hide caption

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Tsukimi Ayano's scarecrows congregate at a bus stop in Nagoro. The village used to be home to about 300 people; now there are 30. Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

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A Dying Japanese Village Brought Back To Life — By Scarecrows

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Nenosuke Yamamoto, 80, stands in the shed where he repairs bicycles in Tokyo. "I feel that if I keep on working, I might not age as much," he says. "I might not have dementia or other sorts of aging issues." Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

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For Some Older Adults In Japan, A Chance To Stay In The Workforce

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Hiroyuki Yamamoto, a crossing guard in Matsudo, Japan, has been trained in how to recognize and gently approach people who are wandering, or have other signs of dementia, in ways that won't frighten them. Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

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Japanese City Takes Community Approach To Dealing With Dementia

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This Lawson convenience store in Kowaguchi, Japan, sells a selection of prepared meals and fresh vegetables and meats, along with products aimed at the elderly. Many of the store's older customers find it hard to get to the supermarket, the store's manager says. Ina Jaffe/NPR hide caption

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Beyond Slurpees: Many Japanese Mini-Marts Now Cater To Elders

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Kubo is swept up by origami wings in the new film, Kubo and the Two Strings, an action-adventure, stop-motion animation by Laika studios. Laika/Focus Features hide caption

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A Samurai's Son Makes Stop-Motion Magic With Music And Origami

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Boys ranging from six to 12 prepare their flags for the Shimadachi Hadaka Matsuri, an annual festival rooted in Shinto tradition in which the children parade through town to ward off evil spirits and pay respects to the god of health. Elise Hu/NPR hide caption

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Japanese 'Naked' Festivals Keep Centuries-Old Tradition Alive

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Pedestrians in Tokyo watch as Emperor Akihito speaks to the nation. In the rare video message, Akihito said old age and illness may make it difficult for him to fulfill his public duties. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images hide caption

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In A Rare Speech, Japan's Emperor Hints At Abdicating

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Journalists gather at the main gate of a care center where a knife-wielding man went on a rampage in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo on Tuesday. Toshifumki Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A first-timer's attempt at making part of a 'character bento,' or Kyaraben, lunch. Elise Hu/NPR hide caption

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For Japanese Parents, Gorgeous Bento Lunches Are Packed With High Stakes

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A Japanese mother and her 2-year-old pick up free groceries in Tokyo at the charity Second Harvest. Japan has a limited safety net for the poor and the economy is still struggling to gain traction under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Elise Hu/NPR hide caption

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Halfway Around The World, Brexit Hits Japan's Already Soft Economy

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Demonstrators hold placards that read "Withdraw Marine Corps" during a rally against the US military presence in Naha, Okinawa prefecture on Sunday, following the alleged rape and murder of a local woman by a former U.S. marine employed on the U.S. military base. Toru Yamanaka /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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