Resident of last Dojunkai laments passing of '20s icons

Jun 17, 2012

Resident of last Dojunkai laments passing of '20s icons

“One of the members of the residents association once told me that we shouldn’t talk to journalists, but I have nothing to lose now.” Helmut Rudolph was sitting on a low couch, surveying the interior of his tiny, 20-sq.-meter apartment. It seemed as though ...

Tsunami-spoiled pics given new life

Jun 7, 2012

Tsunami-spoiled pics given new life

Of all the many and varied recovery and repair efforts now under way following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, few would be as fiddly as the Rikuzentakata Disaster Document Digitalization Project. Each Wednesday night and on weekends, a ...

Play reveals <em>manzai'</em>s U.S. roots

May 25, 2012

Play reveals manzai's U.S. roots

Watching the fast-paced, two-person manzai routines that characterize much of Japanese TV comedy these days, it’s difficult to imagine that two key influences on that genre’s birth were stars of cinema’s silent era: Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin. It’s also difficult to imagine that ...

Makoto Morimura literally finds hope in the news

May 10, 2012

Makoto Morimura literally finds hope in the news

Osaka-based artist Makoto Morimura was surely not alone last year in feeling that the newspapers were full of gloom and doom. But he probably was the only person who in response set for himself the task of searching for hope, literally. Morimura began purchasing ...

Otosan, Japan's top dog

Apr 29, 2012

Otosan, Japan's top dog

Upper House election night, 2010. All over the country people are watching television and waiting to see if there will be an upset as the results from polling stations slowly trickle in. Suddenly there’s a cut to newsreader Shunji Miyagawa in what appears to ...

Comic plays mark anniversary

Apr 20, 2012

Comic plays mark anniversary

While the most prominent of entertainment company Yoshimoto Kogyo’s myriad business interests are the near endless TV appearances by its contracted comedians, the real heart of its operation lies not in the studio but on the stage. It was exactly 100 years ago this ...

Ballet students poised for giant leap abroad

Apr 15, 2012

Ballet students poised for giant leap abroad

The moment Birmingham Royal Ballet principal dancer Robert Parker began talking about cartwheels, everything seemed to change. By then the formal stage of this year’s first-ever Japanese auditions for the world-renowned Elmhurst School for Dance in England’s second city of Birmingham had concluded. Next, ...