Issue #65 May 2019

Issue #65 May 2019
The Licensing Executives Society Japan

Issue #65 [PDF:605KB]

Bill for Revision of Patent and Design Acts

By Hideko MIHARA*

A new bill for the partial revision of the Patent and Design Acts was submitted to the Diet on March 1, 2019. The outline of the bill is as follows.

1. Patent Act
(1) New inspection procedure
According to the new system, if there is a possibility of infringement, a neutral technical expert may enter the plant of the accused infringer, etc., and conduct investigations necessary for proving patent infringement, and submit a report to the court.

(2) New type of damages calculation
A patent holder can claim damages for a portion of compensation that would have been denied because the amount of infringing product exceeded the production capacity of the patent holder, and such damages would correspond to probable royalty from a license to the infringer.
In calculating the amount of damages based on the license royalty, it is possible to take into consideration the amount that would be determined if negotiation takes place on the premise of patent infringement.
As for this new type of damages, the corresponding changes will be implemented in the Utility Model, Design and Trademark Acts.

2. Design Act
(1) The expanded scope of registrable designs
Images not recorded or displayed on an article, and the exterior and interior designs of buildings will be protected.

(2) Enhanced “Related Design” system
- The period for filing an application for a related design will be extended to 10 years from the filing date of the original design. Currently, unless priority is claimed for the original design, related designs can be filed up to one day before the publication of the original design.
- A design similar only to a related design will be registrable.
The related design system allows the registration of a design (related design) which is similar to another design (original design) for the same applicant.

(3) Extended term of design registration
The term of design registration will be changed from "20 years from the date of registration" to "25 years from the filing date."

(4) Simplified application requirements
- The JPO will accept an application containing plural designs.
- The classification of articles will be abolished in order to make it possible to describe the name of articles with more flexibility.

(5) Expanded scope of indirect infringement
New provisions will cover activities such as dividing infringing products into component parts and manufacturing, importing them etc. for the purpose of avoiding enforcement. For this purpose, the new provisions define subjective elements such as "knowing that the products will be used for the implementation of the design.”

3. Enactment date of this bill
A day specified by Cabinet Order within a range not exceeding one year from the day of promulgation of the law resulting from the bill except certain provisions

(On the METI website, go to:

*Editor / Patent Attorney, MIHARA Patent Office

Is Serving a Steak Patent Eligible in Japan?

By Yoko Natsume*

This is a follow-up to an article by Dr. Shoichi Okuyama in our previous issue ("WINDS FROM JAPAN Issue # 64”, December 2018) on a ruling by the Intellectual Property High Court of Japan (IP High Court) on October 17, 2018, that the "System for Providing Steak" (Japanese Patent No. 5946491, hereafter ’491 Patent) is patent eligible.

An opposition to the ‘491 Patent was filed, and in November 2017, the JPO Trial and Appeal Department invalidated the patent for not being patent eligible.

The patentee appealed to the IP High Court, which sided with the patentee, overruling the decision by the JPO Trial and Appeal Department, finding that the claimed invention is a "creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature" as a whole and falls under an "invention" as prescribed in Article 2, Section 1, of the Japan Patent Act, and therefore, the claimed invention is patent eligible.

Claim 1 of the ‘491 Patent reads:
A: A steak providing system for implementing a steak providing method that comprises steps of escorting a customer to a table for stand-up eating, asking the customer an amount of a steak, cutting a slice from a block of meat for the amount, grilling the cut slice, and bringing the grilled slice to the customer’s table,
the system comprising:
B: a tag that shows a table number of the table to which the customer has been escorted;
C: a measuring device that weighs the slice cut in accordance with an order from the customer; and
D: a mark that distinguishes the slice cut in accordance with the order from the customer from a slice for another customer,
E: wherein the measuring device outputs a sticker that shows a weight of the cut slice weighed by the measuring device and the table number shown on the tag, and
F: wherein the mark is the sticker, which shows the weight of the cut slice and the table number and is output by the measuring device.

The gist of the ruling by the IP High Court is as follows.

The problem to be solved by the claimed invention is "providing a customer with a desired amount of steak inexpensively". The means for solving the problem comprise implementation of the steak provision method recited in element A, and the “tag”, “measuring device”, and “sticker (mark)” recited in elements B to F.

Implementing the steak provision method as recited in element A enables the customer to eat the desired amount of steak, increases the number of seats in a limited area, and increases the turnover rate of the seats, thus contributing to the solving of the problem. However, the element A is a non-technical means performed by a human.

On the other hand, the elements B to F contribute directly to the solving of the problem of the claimed invention. The amount of meat varies for each customer, and the mark (in the form of the sticker) serves to distinguish a slice cut for one customer from a slice cut for another customer. Therefore, a configuration in which a measuring device outputs a sticker that shows the table number and the amount of meat linked together provides technical significance in relation to the effect of the claimed invention that the slice cut according to a customer's request can be prevented from being confused with slices for other customers. Pasting such a sticker (i.e., fixing the mark) to the meat for one customer can prevent the sticker for that customer from being confused with stickers of other customers; the sticker thus used as a mark for preventing confusion with meat for other customers also provides technical significance in relation to the above effect of the claimed invention. Thus, the tag, measuring device, and mark (sticker) provide technical significance that directly contributes to the solution of the problem by satisfying requirements that the cut slice of meat and the customer who ordered that amount of the meat must be associated on a one-to-one basis in implementing the steak providing method.

The claimed invention includes a procedure performed by a human at a steakhouse, but also adopts a configuration including specific articles or equipment (devices) such as a tag, a measuring device, and a sticker (mark). Adopting this configuration to prevent confusion with meat for other customers is a solution to the problem of the claimed invention; that is, “providing a desired amount of steak for a customer inexpensively”, while satisfying the requirements that inevitably arise when implementing the steak provision method.

In light of the technical significance relative to the problem of the claimed invention, the configuration of the technical means for solving the problem, and the effects derived from the configuration, the claimed invention employs specific articles or equipment such as a tag, a measuring device, and a sticker (mark) as technical means to solve the problem of the claimed invention, by preventing confusion with meat for other customers. Hence, it follows that the claimed invention is a "creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature" as a whole, and that "the claimed invention" is as prescribed in Article 2, Section 1, of the Patent Act.

Subject matter eligibility depends on whether or not claimed subject matter falls under the definition of an invention under the Patent Act, Article 2, Section 1, which provides that an “invention is a highly advanced creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature”. Even a business method is eligible if it satisfies this definition.

The "steak providing system", which is the subject matter of this ruling, is an invention not using computer software, so it is not a business related invention realized using ICT, a field that has been actively discussed in recent years. In this sense, the ruling has increased the likelihood of business methods being patented even when the methods relate to business not involving ICT technology.

In the process leading up to the ruling, the JPO Trial and Appeal Department identified an object of the claimed invention to be the providing of a customer with a desired amount of steak inexpensively, and the element A (a steak provision method) is evaluated as the sole means for solving the problem. However, the significance of element A is directed to a store operation method in a restaurant, that is, to economic activity. The elements B to F were identified to have no technical significance, merely specifying the functions as tools. The IP High Court, however, overruled the JPO Trial and Appeal Department decision, holding that the elements B to F provide technical significance for solving the problem.

In Japan, a business method invention is generally considered not to be patent eligible if it merely recites a business method. The ruling by the IP High Court shows that subject matter eligibility can be satisfied even if the problem to be solved by the claimed invention is a business problem that is non-technical. This shows clear departure from currently on-going patent eligibility practices in the US, China, and the EP, where the “technical” problem is required to be patent eligible.

It is therefore possible for a business method to be patented in Japan if the subject article is used for business. For the sake of patentability, however, mere exhibition of an inherent function of an article as a tool is insufficient; it is necessary to fully describe in the specification that the article provides technical significance in relation to the technical effect and that the technical significance thereof contributes to the solution of the problem of the claimed invention.

*Editor/Patent Attorney, Ohchi International IP

2019 LES Japan General Assembly Meeting
Received Chief Judge of the IP High Court as guest of honour

By Mitsuo Kariya*

The 2019 LES Japan General Meeting was held in Tokyo on February 20, 2019. Mr. Makoto Ogino, LES Japan President summarized the 2018 performances against the society objectives and introduced the 2019 activity plan (Photo 1).

The 2018 performances (substantive matters):
1) Launched a new WG, “IP Finance WG” led by Mr. Shigeharu Yoshii, IP Bridge.
2) Won First Prize by a student business plan contest team representing LES Japan at the LES Asia Pacific Regional Conference on November 11-14 2018 in New Delhi, India.
3) Contributed an opinion to the JPO for “the Guide to Licensing Negotiations involving Standard Essential Patents.”

The 2019 activity plan (focused activities)
1) Successfully organize “the LES International Yokohama Conference.”
2) Organize a joint workshop by WGs for sharing the achievements with the society members.
3) Facilitate communications between the society members by improving the IT infrastructure considering the protection of personal information and the information security.

Photo 1: Mr. Ogino at the general meeting (the rightmost)

The meeting was concluded by obtaining approvals to the 2018 activity report and book closing, the 2019 activity plan and budget, and the 2019 board members (Photo 2).

Photo 2: Board members with new rolls (From the left, Mr. Takao Yagi as CFO; Mr. Mitsuo Kariya as VP)

The general meeting was followed by a networking party. LES Japan had the privilege of receiving key persons in Japanese intellectual property society.
Ms. Makiko Takabe, Chief Judge of the IP High Court (Photo 3) discussed her initiative in view of the importance and complexity of the recent IP-related litigation circumstances. She also announced that the IP High Court will continue to host the Judicial Symposiums on Intellectual Property inviting overseas judges and attorneys in order to boost active international communication.

Photo 3: Speech by Ms. Takabe

About one hundred LES Japan members enjoyed the networking event by developing and enhancing their professional network (Photo 4).

Photo 4: Networking Party

During the party Mr. Hiroyuki Hirayama, who retired from CFO, introduced his experiences and memories at LES Japan to the participants (Photo 5).

Photo 5: Speech by Mr. Hirayama

The event was successfully concluded by a closing ceremony performance led by Mr. Hiroki Saito, LES Japan President-Elect (Photo 6).

Photo 6: Closing ceremony performance led by Mr. Saito

Prior to the general meeting, Mr. Hirokazu Bessho, Head of Supervisory Unit, Intellectual Property and Standardization Supervisory Unit, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. contributed as a speaker to a monthly seminar. His lecture for “Intellectual Property Strategy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Age” attracted more than one hundred audiences. The success of the general meeting was largely attributable to his informative lecture (Photo 7).

Photo 7: Mr. Bessho at the monthly seminar

At the end of the general meeting, Ms. Junko Sugimura, Organizing Committee Chair announced that the 2019 LES International Conference will be held on the 26th through 28th of May 2019 in Yokohama city, Kanagawa prefecture (Photo 8).

We look forward to seeing you in Yokohama.

Photo 8: LES International Yokohama Conference announcement by Ms. Sugimura

*Editor/Patent Attorney, KARIYA IP Office

IP News from Japan

By Shoichi Okuyama, Ph.D.*

Proposed “Use Suspension Rights” for Personal Data
According to recent newspaper reports, the Personal Information Protection Commission (PPC), an independent government agency similar to the Japan Fair Trade Commission with the authority to protect personal information, plans new statutory provisions under the Act for the Protection of Personal Information, to give individuals the right to request suspension or limitation of use of their personal data, such as records of e-commerce purchases. Information such as the name and face of a person is generally protected already, and use and disclosure to a third party requires authorization of the person. The new protection will be called “Use Suspension Rights.” Under the new Rights, a person may limit the use of personal data to a specific purpose, such as direct advertising to that person, and prohibit other uses.
The proposals for statutory amendments will likely be included in a report to be published in a few months and are expected to become law next year. This improvement in protection of personal data is partly to support the formation of a zone in the EU, US, and Japan with similar levels of personal data protection in which information can be circulated without restriction.

Use of Information Technology in Court Proceedings

The government is trying to finalize plans for broader use of IT in court proceedings. Under current provisions, it is possible to hold certain proceedings, such as closed preparatory meetings, in ordinary meeting rooms at a courthouse, but courts generally do not have the necessary IT facilities. The three main areas of focus are e-Filing, e-Case Management, and e-Court proceedings.
Phase 1 will be directed to use of internet conferencing under existing statutory provisions. This can be achieved by providing facilities and setting operational rules by 2019.
Phase 2 will be the use of information technology in proceedings to resolve issues and evidence to be presented before the court. These proceedings may be carried out in open court or in a closed meeting room at the courthouse or by submitting briefs. In order to make this possible, it is necessary to revise certain statutory provisions. Law amendments are planned for the ordinary session of the Diet next year. Currently, Phase 2 is planned for 2022.
Phase 3 will be online filing of petitions and similar matters. This will require special systems for the courts and the public, and it will be necessary to take into consideration those who do not have ready access to information technologies. The schedule for Phase 3 will be finalized in the current fiscal year ending March 2020.

Reduced Fees for Small and Medium Enterprises

Starting April 1, 2019, after many years of discussion and trials, examination fees and annuities for up to the 10th year were reduced by half* for all small and medium sized enterprises. The reduced fees are equally applicable to foreign applicants as well.
A small or medium sized enterprise is defined in four categories: (1) manufacturing, construction, transportation, and businesses not belonging to the following (2) to (4); (2) wholesale trade; (3) services; and (4) retail trade. To qualify as a SME in manufacturing, for example, a company must have no more than 300 employees or capital of not more than JPY300 million (US$2.7 million). For a service-related SME, a company must have no more than 100 employees or capital of not more than JPY100 million.
Basically only two formality statements in papers to be filed are required to enjoy the reduced fees. In a typical case, according to the Japan Patent Office, the examination fee and annuities up to the 10th year would be reduced from JPY400,000 to 200,000 (about US$1,800).
(*More accurately, examination fees increased simultaneously by about 15% on average to maintain the balance of the special JPO patent account. SMEs controlled by large enterprises do not qualify. Some, not all, individual inventors may qualify.)

*Editor / Patent Attorney, Okuyama & Sasajima

Editors’ Note

This issue includes articles entitled ”Bill for Revision of Patent and Design Acts”, “Is Serving a Steak Patent Eligible in Japan?”, “2019 LES Japan General Assembly Meeting,” and “IP News from Japan.”
Thank you for your support of “WINDS from Japan.” This newsletter will continue to provide you with useful information on activities at LES Japan and up-to-date information on IP and licensing activities in Japan.

If you would like to refer to any back issues of our newsletters, you can access them via the following

WINDS from Japan Editorial Board Members, 2019

Editor in Chief:
Yasuo Fujii

Jinzo Fujino; Shoichi Okuyama;
Junichi Yamazaki; Kei Konishi;
Robert Hollingshead;
Naoki Yoshida; Mitsuo Kariya;
Takao Yagi; Hideko Mihara;
Yoko Natsume; Hisashi Watanabe

Extra Issue, May 2019

Extra Issue, May 2019
The Licensing Executives Society Japan

Extra Issue [PDF:706KB]

History of Yokohama

By Yasuo Fujii, Ph.D.*

Yokohama is the second largest city by population in Japan, with a population of over 3.74 million. Development of Yokohama began with the opening of its port to foreign trade in 1859. Yokohama will celebrate the 160th anniversary in 2019. This article introduces some aspects of the developmental history of Yokohama.

Opening of Yokohama Port

In 1853, the U.S. naval officer, Commodore Perry, came to Japan and demanded from the Tokugawa Shogunate, (the feudal military Japanese government in power since 1603), establishing a new trade relationship between the U.S. and Japan. Before then, the shogunate had a trading policy that limited foreign trade with western countries.
In 1854, the shogunate finally signed a convention of peace and amity between the U.S. and Japan after several negotiation sessions with Commodore Perry, held in Yokohama. At the place where the negotiations were held, there is the Yokohama Archives of History ( exhibiting various historical materials. In its central courtyard, you can see an old tree, respectfully called “Tama-Kusu-no-Ki”, that actually welcomed the U.S. naval officers there in 1854.

(“Commodore Perry and his party landing at Yokohama to meet the Shogun's Commissioners”, lithograph by Wilhelm Heine, 1855)

In 1858, the shogunate further signed a commercial treaty between the U.S. and Japan, followed by similar treaties with the U.K., France, the Netherlands and Russia. These treaties provided that 5 ports in Japan, Kanagawa, Nagasaki, Niigata, Hyogo and Hakodate, would be opened to foreign trade with the west.
In 1859, the port of Yokohama was opened as the port of Kanagawa. However, Yokohama was a small village having only about 100 houses at that time. There were several reasons why Yokohama may have been selected. One reason may be that Yokohama was not too close to Edo (current Tokyo) where the shogunate was located. Another reason may be that Yokohama had good conditions for anchoring large ships. For example, the depth of the sea was large in Yokohama compared with other areas in Kanagawa. In addition, the mountains surrounding Yokohama blocked troublesome wind to the anchored ships.

Raw Silk Trade

Raw silk was the largest export from the port of Yokohama. The ratio of raw silk in total exports was 65% in 1860 and increased to 86% in 1862. The raw silk exports were increased by 5.6 times in 5 years from 1860 to 1865.
The drastic development of the raw silk trade in Yokohama was based on a combination of several factors. In Europe, there was a large demand for raw silk. However, the raw silk manufacturers in Europe were seriously damaged by a pandemic of silkworm disease in 1850s. In addition, China also had a difficult time, due to wars, for producing enough raw silk exports. On the other hand, in Japan, the technologies for manufacturing high quality raw silk had been developed during the Edo Era under the shogunate. This was especially true because of large demand of traditional textiles in Kyoto. Furthermore, the transport routs by land and water between Yokohama and the raw silk manufacturers in the northern areas were easily established after the opening of the port. These conditions were advantageous for the raw silk trade to occur Yokohama.
The Silk Museum in Yokohama (, which was built in 1959 for celebrating the 100 th anniversary of the opening of the port, provides visitors with various silk materials.

First-time in Japan

The port of Yokohama was the entrance for new things from the world. In 1862, the first photo studio in Japan was opened in Yokohama. On May 9 th in 1869, the first ice cream in Japan was sold in Yokohama. Now every year, events for celebrating the anniversary of ice cream are held on May 9 th in several cities in Japan.
In 1871, the first daily newspaper was published in Yokohama. In 1872, the first street gas lamps in Japan were installed in Yokohama. In the same year, the first railway in Japan was opened between Yokohama station (current Sakuragi-cho station) and Shinbashi station in Tokyo. 92 years later, the first Shinkansen was opened in 1964, just 9 days before the opening of Tokyo Olympics.

Disaster and Recovery

In 1923, the Great Kanto earthquake struck Japan. Yokohama, having many landfills, was seriously damaged. The Yamashita Park was built in 1930 by using rubble from the earthquake (
In 1945, at the end of the World War II, Yokohama was seriously damaged again, this time by bombing. While the recovery after the war was not easy, Yokohama reconstructed its infrastructure and developed its heavy and chemical industries in the coastal areas.
In 1959, Yokohama Marine Tower, having a height of 106m, was built celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Yokohama port ( Near the Yokohama Marine Tower, the retired Japanese cruise ship named “Hikawa-maru” is moored. The famous actor Sir Charles Chaplin enjoyed boarding the “Hikawa-maru” when he visited Japan in 1933.


The Pacifico Yokohama, where the LES International annual conference in 2019 will be held, was built in 1991. The hotel, the conference center, and the exhibition hall of the Pacifico Yokohama were designed in the images of a sail, a seashell and waves, respectively.

Yokohama Landmark Tower, having a height of 296m, was built in 1993 ( You can enjoy a nice view on the observation floor at a height of 273m.
Nissan Stadium was built in 1998, where football games including the final of the 2002 FIFA World CupTM were held ( Games of the Rugby World Cup 2019 TM will also be held at Nissan Stadium in 2019.
As introduced above, Yokohama has developed to become the second largest city in Japan, beginning with the small village 160 years ago. We look forward to seeing the LESI members in Yokohama!

*Editor / Patent Attorney, Haruka Patent & Trademark

A Yokohama Local’s Food Guide for LES Members

By Shoichi Okuyama, Ph.D.*

Yokohama was a small fishing village but became the first point of contact with the world for Japan some 150 years ago. It is now a cultural hub and a gourmet town.

Yokohama Chinatown

Japan’s largest Chinatown is just three subway stops away from Minatomirai Station on the Minatomirai Line, at Motomachi-Chukagai Station. More than 250 Chinese shops and restaurants line the narrow, colorful streets, which are often very crowded on weekends.
Try one of the many excellent small Chinese restaurants if you have a good local guide or are in an adventurous mood. Otherwise, a safer bet is large established restaurants such as Heichinro Yokohama Honten and Manchinro Honten that serve haute Chinese cuisine. Heichinro serves dim sum as well.
(select desired language)

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

Take the JR Yokohama Line four stops from Yokohama Station to Shin-Yokohama Station, and you will find the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, which houses nine ramen noodle restaurants showcased in a streetscape of 1950s Tokyo. If you are a fan of ramen, this place is a must.

Cupnoodles Museum

Just a 7-minute walk from our LES venue, this museum commemorates Mr. Momofuku Ando, inventor of instant noodles (Chicken Ramen) in 1958 and Cup Noodles in 1971. You can sample noodles from around the world on the fourth floor and compose your own Cup Noodles to take home with you!

Japanese Restaurants

I recommend the following five Japanese restaurants:
Masago Saryo near Kannai Station
Nihon Ryori Bairin near Kannai Station
Kyokaiseki Minokichi, Landmark Plaza
Tuna wholesaler Megumi Fisheries,
in the Minatomirai district
Sushidokoro Ginza Fukusuke
near Yokohama Station

Masago Saryo and Bairin are traditional Japanese restaurants. I recommend choosing one of the courses, and the server will note your dietary preferences so the chef can tailor the course. Dinners are 10,000 to 18,000 yen per person at Masago, which has two Michelin stars. Dinners at Bairin are 5,400 to 14,000 yen. These restaurants are very popular, so make reservations well in advance.
Minokichi is in Landmark Plaza, a ten-minute walk through the shopping mall from our venue. Kyoto-style traditional courses are served, and there is a menu of good sakes and wines (preferable to the house wine). It also serves shabu-shabu (very thinly sliced Japanese beef cooked in a broth hotpot with vegetables). Dinner courses range from 7,000 to 16,000 yen. Reservations recommended.
Megumi Fisheries is on the 4th floor of the MARK IS shopping mall next to Minatomirai Tower, about a 10-minute walk from our LES venue. You can have your fill of fresh sushi for 4,000 yen or less at this popular conveyor belt sushi restaurant. No reservations are taken.
Fukusuke is a traditional sushi restaurant located on the 8th floor of the Yokohama Takashimaya Department Store near Yokohama Station. Dinners are 3,000 - 7,000 yen. This restaurant takes reservations.

Bon Appetit!

*Editor / Patent Attorney, Okuyama & Sasajima

(Source of map: Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau)

What to do? Contacting with “Japanese Traditional Culture”

By Hideko MIHARA*

“Grand Sumo Tounament”, “Kabuki”, “Bunraku” and “Tea-ceremony” are mentioned as typical Japanese Traditional culture.

“Grand Sumo Tournament”

Sumo is Japan's national sport, which is like a wrestling. But there are no body weight restrictions nor classes, and therefore body weight gain is an essential for Sumo wrestlers.
The May Tournament lasts 15 days from May 12, 2019 at Kokugikan in Tokyo. On the final day May 26, 2019 the play-off game will be conducted.

The ticket for Japanese style box (sit on the floor) costs \38,000 or more, the ticket for an arena seat costs \3,800 or more (Official ticketing site: There is “Sumo Museum ” on the first floor of Kokugikan (open 10:00 AM ~ 4:30 PM, closed on Saturdays, Sundays, National Holidays). For more information about Sumo please check


Kabuki is a representative of Japanese performing arts, and is a type of theater. The audience enjoys its story, dance, and music. Kabuki is listed under UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage together with washoku (Japanese cuisine) and Noh. Kabuki starts its history at around 1600, namely over 400 years of history. In its early years Kabuki was performed by female, but it was banned and changed to be performed by male only in every parts. In addition to the various type of traditional Kabuki plays, now for the younger audience Kabuki plays based on popular manga or anime, such as “One-piece Kabuki”, are performed. In May, do visit and see live Kabuki at Kabukiza Theatre (Tokyo). For performing schedule and ticket, please check

“Noh” and “Bunraku”

Noh is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Today the program generally includes two Noh plays and one kyōgen piece (comedic play), and the story is usually based on tales from traditional literature.
Noh has very unique Performance elements, such as Masks, Stage, Costumes, Props, Chant and music.

Noh performance at the Sado (Noh Village

Do visit and see National Noh Theater (Tokyo), where you will be able to enjoy live performance of Noh and also Bunraku.
Bunraku starts its history from the art of joruri in which a single person recites a story in collaboration with shamisen (similar as a guitar, but has three strings) music. Then it was combined with various performing arts and merged with the art of doll manipulation in around the 1600s. Bunraku stage has several structures used by performers and puppets. The performers consist of narrators, shamisen players, and puppeteers. You will be interested in what kind of tricks give life to the dolls and their dynamic movements by puppeteers.
For more information about Noh and Bunraku, including schedule and ticket, please check
Together with Ginza-shopping, you may enjoy Noh at KANZE Noh Theater in GINZA SIX.

Japanese “Tea-ceremony”

Tea-ceremony (Chadō) has been held in Japan for over 1000 years, the tradition remains. The Tea-ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the Tea-ceremony. There are two Tea gatherings, an informal “chakai” (a relatively simple course of hospitality including confections, thin tea, and a light meal) and a formal “chaji” (much more formal one, usually including a full-course kaiseki meal followed by confections, thick tea, and thin tea). A chaji can last up to four hours.
Chadō is counted as one of the three classical Japanese arts of refinement, along with kōdō for incense appreciation, and kadō for flower arrangement.

*Editor / Patent Attorney, MIHARA Patent Office

A Story KAMAKURA: People and Treasures

By Jinzo Fujino*

The LES Japan has scheduled a day-trip to Kamakura as a post-conference tour of the 2019 LES International Conference in Yokohama. (See, Kamakura is an ancient city filled with old temples and shrines. You might be interested in joining the tour to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere of the city. This article introduces parts of the history of Kamakura to help you decide your itinerary for the tour.

The First Samurai Government

Ancient Japan was a nation ruled by the nobles. In the 12th century, armed individuals arose to challenge local lords all over the nation. Those individuals gradually formed the class of Samurai or warriors. At that juncture, local lords were the foundation of aristocracy. The aristocratic government in Kyoto was eager to crush the riots.
Minamoto Yoritomo (Lord Yori) was born in 1148 as the first son of a high-ranked Samurai family. His father led a riot against the Establishment but was killed during the battle. Lord Yori and his younger brother, Minamoto Yoshitsune (Tsune), were punished because of their father’s treason against the authority. Lord Yori was sent far away to Izu which was an uncivilized local district in the central part of Honshu, the main island. Tsune was also sent to a small temple located deep in the mountain of Kyoto. He read books and worked hard to be a good Samurai.
Lord Yori grew up there as a leader of the Samurai and became known among neighboring districts. His fame grew bigger and bigger through battles and struggles with local lords. He finally had a chance to begin a feud with Heike, the most powerful family in Kyoto and western part of Honshu. For Lord Yori, Heike was the enemy and he wanted to destroy them in revenge for his father’s death.
Tsune joined the battles with Heike and his performance was outstandingly remarkable. Many books wrote about his legendary performance during the conflicts. Despite his outstanding contribution, however, Tsune was not recognized for his bravery. Lord Yori envied Tsune and was concerned about his possible treason in the future. Knowing his brother’s envy, Tsune fled the districts under Lord Yori’s control. He sought a protection from the Fujiwara clan in Hiraizumi, 400 kilometer north of Kamakura. The founder of the Fujiwara clan warmly accepted him and instructed his sons and men to protect him.
After the conquest of Heike, Lord Yori’s next target was the Fujiwara clan that had been enjoying independence in the north for over a century. Financially backed by the abundant production of gold in his districts, the Fujiwara clan constructed many temples and shrines. Some of them were comparable to those in Kyoto. One of them was the Golden Hall (Kon Jiki Do). The Golden Hall, after repeated repairs and reconstructions, remains in great condition even today.
Lord Yori demanded that the Lord of the Fujiwara clan send Tsune back to Kamakura. His demand was ignored initially but, in the end, the Fujiwara clan decided to remove Tsune from Hiraizumi. Against the will of the founder, the Fujiwara clan killed Tsune and sent his head back to Kamakura with a letter of surrender.
Lord Yori used the incident of Tsune’s killing as an excuse for the attack of Hiraizumi. He mobilized many large armies from the rest of the nation and led them to Hiraizumi. The Fujiwara clan were not able to resist. This meant the Fujiwara clan were no longer the ruling Lords.
In Hiraizumi, Lord Yori was very impressed with mature culture in town. Temples and shrines were very prominent and statues and ornaments were colorfully decorated. Everything was new and exciting for Lord Yori. Upon return to Kamakura, he started to work on the development of his town and build temples and shrines there. In 1192, the Kamakura Shogunate was inaugurated, which was the first central government of the Samurai class in Japan.

Photo 1: Lord Yori, the Commander-in-chief (1148-1199) (source: Wikipedia)
Culture Transfer

During his life, Lord Yori constructed three major buildings in Kamakura: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Sho-Chojuin Temple and Eifukuji Temple. The first one still remains (see, photo 1) but the last two no longer exist. Since it was burned in 1405, Eifukuji Temple has not been reconstructed. A history book tells that it was a two-storied big hall copying its counterpart in Hiraizumi. Recent scientific research revealed that the base stones and cornerstones buried in the site of Eifukuji Temple had the same dimensions in length and depth as those of the counterpart in Hiraizumi. In addition to the building, its pond in the front yard was an exact copy of the pond of famous Motsuji Temple in Hiraizumi. Even now, the area in which Eifukuji Temple was build is called Nikaido which was named after the genuine hall in Hiraizumi.

Photo 2: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (source: Wikipedia)

The government established by Lord Yori did not last long however. Political power gradually shifted to the hand of the Hojyo clan from which Lord Yori’s wife came. The Hojyo clan encouraged industrial development and expanded trade with China. Increased foreign trade resulted in the flow into the area of foreign commodities, Zen Buddhism and other things.
Zen Buddhism was a form of mental discipline and became popular among the ordinary people. As Zen Buddhism became popular, the construction of Zen temples spread all over Kamakura. There are five well-known Zen Temples in Kamakura: Kenchoji Temple, Enkakuji Temple, Jufukuji Temple, Jyochiji Temple and Jyomyoji Temple. They are classed as highly important temples, and called Kamakura Gozan (temples in the five mountains) which were officially accredited and supported by the government. The Kamakura Gozan are often compared to their counterparts in Kyoto (Kyoto Gozan).

Photo 3: Enkakuji Temple (source: Wikipedia)
Tips for Prayers

In Kamakura and elsewhere, it is suggested you follow the etiquette of the temples and shrines. Here are some tips for visitors.
1) Go to worship in a quiet and respectful manner. Shrines and temples are regarded as sacred places where the God and Buddha are enshrined. They are not mere sightseeing spots. Before you enter the precincts of the building, you should have a little bow. Then you may go in to worship.
2) Rules are there to protect valuable cultural assets. You should follow the rules which shrines and temples have established. Example: “Keep Out” and “No Tripods.”
3) Kamakura has an 800-year history as the ancient capital of the Samurai. Consider the history when you are in front of the shrines and temples. You may learn something new when you think of the history of the area.

*Editor / Office of Fujino IP Management

Editors’ Note

This issue includes articles entitled “History of Yokohama”, “A Yokohama Local’s Food Guide for LES Members”, “What to do? Contacting with Japanese Traditional Culture”, and “A Story KAMAKURA: People and Treasures.”
Thank you for your support of “WINDS from Japan.” This newsletter will continue to provide you with useful information on activities at LES Japan and up-to-date information on IP and licensing activities in Japan.

If you would like to refer to any back issues of our newsletters, you can access them via the following

WINDS from Japan Editorial Board Members, 2019

Editor in Chief:
Yasuo Fujii

Jinzo Fujino; Shoichi Okuyama;
Junichi Yamazaki; Kei Konishi;
Robert Hollingshead;
Naoki Yoshida; Mitsuo Kariya;
Takao Yagi; Hideko Mihara;
Yoko Natsume; Hisashi Watanabe