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Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

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If you're not busy this weekend, and happen to be in the Okayama prefecture in western Japan, drop by the Kannonin Temple in Saidaiji on Saturday night. It may be the coldest part of the year, but that won't deter thousands of fortune-seeking men from participating in the annual Hadaka Matsuri, or Naked Man Festival, on Feb. 20. Since 1504, masses of men in loincloths have jostled together to splash in the temple's frigid purification pool before swarming the steps like bridesmaids to grab shingi (lucky wooden batons) tossed by the temple priests at midnight into the scantily clad crowds. Spectators will feel welcome, if a tad overdressed.


February 22, 1999

Off The Shelf
Andaman and Beyond: Thailand's remarkable undersea world

Web Crawling
The PADI website should be the first online stop for anyone considering taking up diving

Short Cuts
ASEAN members offer a collective air pass to promote travel to the nine countries

It may be the coldest part of the year, but that won't deter thousands of fortune-seeking men from participating in the annual Naked Man Festival in Japan

Main Feature
A tidal wave of interest in diving has been a boon for destinations like Thailand and the Philippines

ASIANOW Travel Home | TIME Asia home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

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