During an emergency or when there is breaking news that just can't wait until the next edition, Japanese newspapers print out and distribute for free a several page, special edition.
These are called "gogai" in Japanese.
When this happens, you will see teams of young people wearing hats or vests identifying themselves as being part of the Asahi Shinbun, for example, and yelling "Gogai! Gogai!" as they give out the papers to commuters and passersby.
A typical example would be damage from a large earthquake, when a new prime minister is elected, just after the Akihabara rampage, and even when Barack Obama won the recent election in the United States.
Much to our surprise, though, was the "gogai" we received near Kyobashi Staion in Osaka - a special issue full of half-dressed women.
The "theme" of the Sun Sports "gogai" was women - and how to meet them.
Or, rather, how to pay to meet them.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008