A pack of dog statues

| Apr 21, 2005

A pack of dog statues

Dear Alice, Please do me a personal favor and go to Tokyo Tower and find out the story behind that pack of dog statues at the entrance. I know what you’re thinking: “A pack of dog statues? She must mean a statue of a ...

Tails of alley cats

| Mar 17, 2005

Tails of alley cats

Dear Alice, I’m crazy about cats but my landlady won’t allow pets. I’ve tried to make nice with the neighborhood nora-neko (alley cats) but, to be honest, their stumpy twisted tails gross me out. What the heck is that, anyway? Some kind of infection? ...

Brr -- diving in Atami in winter

Feb 11, 2005

Brr -- diving in Atami in winter

As any scuba diver knows, when the diving itch hits, you just gotta scratch. But what if the itch strikes in midwinter when you have neither the time nor funds to fly to a tropical resort? Not to worry. Not only is it possible ...

| Jan 21, 2005


Dear Alice, I recently noticed a large ball hanging from the eaves outside my favorite sake shop. It seems to be made of carefully clipped evergreen branches. I quizzed the shop owner about it, but we didn’t understand each other. I asked a Japanese ...

| Dec 16, 2004

Reflections on rich learnings we all shared

When I began writing this column, I thought it would be a one-year gig. My editors thought so too. But things went well, and for nearly four years now I’ve reported in this space about my children’s experiences in Japanese school. I’ve penned more ...

| Nov 18, 2004

The right way to teach values in school

How do you teach a child right from wrong? I certainly don’t have all the answers. In our home, we’re still working on why you can’t hit your brother, even when he’s being deliberately annoying — as he has been all this week, answering ...

| Sep 16, 2004

Reading-out-loud renaissance falls upon deaf ears

I’m a fan of “Doraemon,” the long-running children’s television show about a blue robot cat from the future, who lives with an average family on the outskirts of Tokyo. The Japanese is relatively easy to understand, and I love Doraemon’s magic pocket, from which ...