Timid he's not, CNN's Quest calls them out as he sees them

Nov 28, 2006

Timid he's not, CNN's Quest calls them out as he sees them

There was no question it was the right floor at Tokyo’s Intercontinental Hotel. The voice booming through the walls could only belong to one man. “I want life!” CNN anchor Richard Quest blared out in his signature English accent to a reporter whose question ...

Education bill shifts power to the state

Nov 18, 2006

Education bill shifts power to the state

In the wake of Thursday’s Lower House passage of the education reform bill, critics wonder whether news management may have been used to clear the path for what one commentator alleged to be a “fascist” power grab by the central government. The concerns arise ...

An ambassador of enlightenment

Nov 16, 2006

An ambassador of enlightenment

When I was a teenager living in New York some 20 years ago, I bought a tiny introduction to Zen Buddhism from a bookstore in midtown Manhattan. A $1 clearance-sale copy, it was so small that I could slip it into my back pocket. ...

Noodles with attitude

| Sep 17, 2006

Noodles with attitude

Chairman Mao Zedong — who back in 1935 wrote that his nation’s basic task was “to oppose the attempt of Japanese imperialism to annex China” — obviously had some, shall we say, issues with the Middle Kingdom’s diminutive neighbor to the east. So the ...

An 'outsider' speaks out

| Sep 3, 2006

An 'outsider' speaks out

Later this month, when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi concludes what may have been Japan’s most flamboyant premiership ever, pundits aplenty are sure to lavish his five-year term with glowing praise. They’ll likely enthuse that, on Koizumi’s watch, the mountain of bad debts at banks ...

Blind doctor finds new ways of seeing

| Aug 27, 2006

Blind doctor finds new ways of seeing

This story is part of a package on “Disability in Japan”. The introduction is here. When child psychiatrist Seiji Sakai meets with his clients, he listens to their life stories with the intensity of a sage in meditation — silently absorbing words like a ...

There's gold being panned in them thar hills

| Aug 20, 2006

There's gold being panned in them thar hills

There may be many perfectly good reasons to spend a weekend sloshing around in water panning for gold. Trying to get rich isn’t one of them. Such was the prime nugget of wisdom I came away with after spending one recent sunny morning in ...

Lanterns

| Aug 15, 2006

Lanterns

Dear Japan Times, What the heck are those lanterns strung up in the streets of my neighborhood at this time of year? Some line each side of the street from one power pole to the next, so I thought they were simply summer decorations. ...