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Asako Murakami

For Asako Murakami's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Small campus, big dreams

Jul 6, 2003

Small campus, big dreams

IKOMA, Nara Pref. — While many national universities are apprehensive about being transformed into independent administrative corporations next April, Koji Torii, president of Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), sees it as a good opportunity. Torii said the transformation will enable his university ...

Jul 6, 2003

Hope for the future takes root in rice fields

ASUKA, Nara Pref. — The mid-June drizzle had just let up when taiko drum beats marked the opening of the taue (rice-planting) festival. The festival kicks off a series of events scheduled to take place throughout the latter half of the year in an ...

| Jul 4, 2003

Shop redefines the sound bite

KYOTO — Enter the little shop in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward and the world unfolds through sound — the sounds collected around the world, such as ice melting off a glacier, snarling Bangkok traffic, beetles mating, a rhinoceros breaking wind and the silence of a ...

Everyone's a tour guide in ward civic pride drive

| Jun 26, 2003

Everyone's a tour guide in ward civic pride drive

OSAKA — On every fourth Sunday, Osaka’s Hirano Ward turns out to put its best historical foot forward and demonstrate its community pride. As the many visitors converge on the area and meander about clutching hand-made maps to the 15 museums in the area, ...

Big Issue Kansai magazine to help homeless help themselves

Jun 1, 2003

Big Issue Kansai magazine to help homeless help themselves

OSAKA — Hoping to imitate the success of its British namesake, a company was recently set up here to publish a magazine called Big Issue Kansai, which will help homeless people earn money by selling the paper on the street. The 32-page color magazine, ...

Kansai rides the onsen wave

May 25, 2003

Kansai rides the onsen wave

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon, and Spa World in Osaka’s Naniwa Ward is crowded with people of all ages drawn to its 16 different kinds of baths. True to its name, it’s an onsen theme park with a global approach. Scenes from 11 countries ...

Kansai robots on march amid Astro Boy hoopla

Apr 3, 2003

Kansai robots on march amid Astro Boy hoopla

OSAKA — The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, is witnessing a surge in visitors ahead of the April 7 “birthday” of Astro Boy, the humanoid robot for which the late cartoonist is probably best known. The real world has not yet ...