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Ben Stubbings

For Ben Stubbings's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

How did we end up here, in 'Hashimotopia,' 2022?

| Aug 28, 2012

How did we end up here, in 'Hashimotopia,' 2022?

Walking home the other night, I glanced furtively over my shoulder and clocked the notorious tattoo-enforcement police heading in my direction. I ducked into a nearby konbini and cursed that bad decision inked onto my forearm in the 1990s. Ah, the ’90s, when all ...

Help for Haiti from half a world away

| Feb 16, 2010

Help for Haiti from half a world away

A plain black bow adorns the coat of arms on the door of the Haitian Embassy in Tokyo, a poignant reminder to visitors of the hundreds of thousands who have died in the country since the devastating earthquake of Jan 12. It is a ...

Is it all over for Nova?

| Sep 25, 2007

Is it all over for Nova?

“The dark clouds that have been hanging heavily over us will be cast aside,” reads the English translation of Nova Corp. CEO Nozomu Sahashi’s memo faxed to staff Friday. “I said previously ‘the darkest time is before the dawn,’ and finally the first light ...

Foreigners march for worker rights

Mar 13, 2007

Foreigners march for worker rights

Workers from all parts of the globe battled wind and rain Sunday to give speeches, performances and then trudge through the streets of Shibuya, Tokyo, calling for job security and equality for all. “This march is about raising people’s awareness about the job situation ...

Waving goodbye to the city

Jul 21, 2006

Waving goodbye to the city

The sound of waves lapping on the shore. The cool sea breeze. Beautiful people wearing very few clothes. Overdressed cocktails. What better way could there be to while away a hot summer’s day than a beach-bar crawl along Shonan Bay? The beaches of Shonan ...

Lost in the K-hole

Apr 7, 2006

Lost in the K-hole

Bernard Sumner of U.K. dance-pop group New Order credits the late, great Ian Curtis with introducing Joy Division — later to become New Order after Curtis’ suicide in 1980 — to the then-revolutionary synthesizer sounds of Kraftwerk. In the 1994 “NewOrderStory” documentary, Sumner recounts ...

Cosmopolitan city comes to life

Sep 30, 2005

Cosmopolitan city comes to life

Before Aug. 9, 1945, Nagasaki was best known for its churches, Chinatown and a tasty noodle dish called champon, and but for heavy cloud cover that day over the nearby city of Kokura — which was slated to be the world’s second atom-bombed city ...