Jan 7, 2010

Okinawans frustrated by Futenma standoff

GINOWAN, Okinawa Pref. — When the U.S. took over the airfield here in the closing days of World War II, it was surrounded by sugar cane fields and the smoldering battlegrounds of Okinawa. It is now the focus of a deepening dispute that is ...

JCP basks in discontent as faith in capitalism crumbles

Apr 22, 2009

JCP basks in discontent as faith in capitalism crumbles

Under a big red flag, the Japanese Communist Party’s headquarters stand as the center of a vibrant grassroots movement. The party’s ranks are swelling, it has 24,000 branch offices and more than 1 million people read its newspaper. Only one party — the one ...

Nation grapples with pot-smoking sumo wrestlers

Feb 12, 2009

Nation grapples with pot-smoking sumo wrestlers

Sumo wrestlers with pot bellies, yes. Sumo wrestlers with pot? Now that’s harder to grapple with. In the past six months, four wrestlers have been kicked out of the ancient sport for allegedly smoking marijuana, creating the biggest drugs-in-sports scandal that Japan has ever ...

Nov 8, 2008

Ashes of USS Indianapolis survivor buried at sea

YOKOSUKA, Kanagawa Pref. — When the submarine USS Ohio surfaced at sea and Machinist Mate 1st Class Jason Witty emerged from the hatch to look around, he saw calm, blue water under a peaceful sky — perfect for the solemn task he was about ...

Critics dispute Michelin regard for Tokyo

Aug 29, 2008

Critics dispute Michelin regard for Tokyo

Paris might still be good if you’ve got a big wad of cash and want the best of the best. But Tokyo is really where it’s at foodwise, at least according to the French people who keep track of these things. When the venerable ...

Tokyo's Lolita scene all about escapism

Aug 7, 2008

Tokyo's Lolita scene all about escapism

The look is weird, and very Tokyo. Growing up — forget it. Looking sexy, too. And appearing as though you might have a pulse? Better to glow blue like porcelain. Or to break out the black lipstick. Check out any place where young women ...

Jun 17, 2008

Akihabara attack threat lost in message deluge

To most of Japan, the deadly stabbings in Tokyo on June 8 were an incomprehensible act of sudden and indiscriminate violence. But to readers of an obscure Web site called Extreme Exchange, Revised, the attack in the popular Akihabara shopping district that left seven ...

When natural beauty just isn't cutting it . . .

Mar 27, 2008

When natural beauty just isn't cutting it . . .

Ines Ligron is the ultimate Miss Universe insider, and she does not believe much in secrets. One of her favorite stories is of a contestant who could have won but opted for last-minute cosmetic surgery, and thus was barely able to lift her arms ...

Tree goes up for 70th Christmas

Dec 24, 2007

Tree goes up for 70th Christmas

Warren Nobuaki Iwatake’s family has seen more than its share of calamity. When he was still a child his father was lost at sea off Hawaii. With no breadwinner, his family was forced to move to Japan, where Iwatake was drafted during the war. ...

Suribachi photog's grave hunted

Jun 27, 2007

Suribachi photog's grave hunted

A U.S. team is slashing its way through thick, thorny underbrush to find a cave where a marine combat photographer was believed killed by Japanese machinegun fire nine days after he filed the iconic World War II flag-raising 62 years ago on Mount Suribachi ...