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Janet Ashby

For Janet Ashby's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

/ | Apr 14, 2002

Desperate times call for innovative measures

No quick recovery is on the horizon for the slumping Japanese book business. That is the consensus of commentator Kazuhiro Kobayashi, writing in Shuppan News (January), and of three experts discussing the matter in Tsukuru (March) — Yasuo Ueda, Yoshiaki Kiyota and Hiroyuki Shinoda. ...

Mar 17, 2002

The global village: small, but not always beautiful

The current No. 1 best seller in Japan is the cheery picture book “Sekai ga moshi hyakunin no mura dattara” (“If the World Were a Village of 100 People”; Magazine House), a retelling of a bit of “Netlore.” Several years ago, the environmentalist Donella ...

/ Oct 14, 2001

Kenzaburo Oe: Bridging the generation gap

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in America, large bookstores have put together special displays on Islam and terrorism, while the cult idolization of the prime minister continues with the publication of a coffee-table book of Koizumi photos (Jun-chan lounging in a robe!). ...

Sep 9, 2001

This is the season of our national discontent

Last week’s edition of Aera (Sept. 3) looked at the current “Age of Discontent,” while Bungei Shunju published a special issue in August on ways to find happiness. Both themes currently feature on the shelves of Japanese bookstores as well. A story in Aera ...

/ Jul 15, 2001

Controversial textbooks are big sellers for Fusosha

The latest best seller, oddly enough, is a junior high school history textbook. After going on sale on June 1, “Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho” has been at or near the top of the best-seller list and the related social studies text “Atarashii Komin Kyokasho” in ...