| Oct 11, 2013

A really long name — as long as the Mississippi

Small islands in the Seto Inland Sea such as mine are visited periodically by health care boats with doctors, nurses and medical equipment on board to offer health exams for islanders. The boat makes the rounds of all the small islands that belong to ...

| Sep 27, 2013

FYI: Agricultural World Heritage status

After our 3,776-meter-tall friend Fuji-san won the coveted UNESCO World Heritage status this year, many people are wondering what site will win the status next? Only one Japanese site per year can be nominated for the award, and recent reports have said the government ...

| Sep 13, 2013

The dysfunctional family of Mother Nature

“From now on, I will carry my own water bottle,” I promised Mother Nature. She had just scolded me as I came around the corner by presenting me with an angry beach covered with garbage. And this was not the first time she has ...

| Aug 16, 2013

What being a minority allows us to see

Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before — many times. Someone called your child hafu (half) and you take offence. Or your contract is only one-year renewable, whereas your Japanese coworkers have “lifetime employment.” Or maybe someone called you a gaijin as you walked ...