Telling another side of the story

Oct 12, 2006

Telling another side of the story

James Bradley wrote the book “Flags of Our Fathers,” on which one of Clint Eastwood’s new films is based. “Flags” tells the true story of what is arguably the most famous photo in warfare, taken as his father and five other marines raised the ...

His Emperor's reluctant warrior

Aug 13, 2006

His Emperor's reluctant warrior

Samurai-born and steeled in Japan’s harsh military culture, Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi had lived five years in North America but was largely unknown to Washington’s leaders when he was ordered to defend Iwo Jima “at all costs.” The U.S. would pay dearly for underestimating him. ...

Iwo Jima: 'A futile battle' fought without surrender

Aug 13, 2006

Iwo Jima: 'A futile battle' fought without surrender

August 15 is the 61st anniversary of Emperor Hirohito’s capitulation speech that ended World War II. Yet even in a world assailed ever since with ghastly images of conflicts, few rank with the ferocity both sides showed in the battle for a remote Pacific ...

'Even the dead were being forced to fight'

Aug 13, 2006

'Even the dead were being forced to fight'

Satoru Omagari was a 23-year-old mechanic and a sub-lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force when he was ordered to the defense of Iwo Jima in 1944. Before he was drafted into the military he was a university student. Here, published for the ...

Japan media focus blurred on big issues

| Aug 8, 2006

Japan media focus blurred on big issues

All the pain of the tragedy that has befallen their family is etched in the crumpled faces of Shigeru and Sakie Yokota. Most parents can only imagine the horror of losing a child, but after years of believing daughter Megumi was the victim of ...

Japan ready to battle 'culinary imperialists'

| May 30, 2006

Japan ready to battle 'culinary imperialists'

Earlier this year I was commissioned by a British newspaper to research a Japanese company called Hakudai, which was reputed to be putting whale meat into dog food. I found the company in Chikura, a sleepy fishing town in Chiba Prefecture with a long ...

Local fury at Hardy perennial

| May 9, 2006

Local fury at Hardy perennial

Last month, as they have every year for decades, a small crowd of people gathered under fat cherry blossoms in Tokyo’s Aoyama Park, carrying red lanterns, placards and peace symbols. From a distance the gathering could have been a hanami party, but the perfumed ...

Imelda Marcos: Still angry after all these years

Apr 23, 2006

Imelda Marcos: Still angry after all these years

The beautiful half of one of the 20th century’s most notorious dictatorships, Imelda Marcos has spent two decades fighting attempts to jail her and trace a reputed fortune of billions. On the 20th anniversary of the revolution that ousted her and Ferdinand Marcos from ...

Musical match for Japan Goliath

| Apr 18, 2006

Musical match for Japan Goliath

Tetsuo Tanaka has been protesting his dismissal from an electronics company for a quarter of a century. Now his struggle, one of the longest one-man campaigns in Japanese history, is to be the subject of a documentary It’s a Friday morning in Takao, west ...