Joseph Badtke-Berkow

For Joseph Badtke-Berkow's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jul 20, 2007

Tokyo hosts world's top refugee film fest

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) counts about 33 million refugees in the world today. There is an even larger multitude saddled with the chillingly bureaucratic title “internally displaced persons.” Shocking as those numbers should be, they provide little insight into the ...

Soundtrack of the summer: Bi Kidude

| Jun 21, 2007

Soundtrack of the summer: Bi Kidude

The rich cultural history of Africa’s spice islands comes to life in the gravelly, deep-throated singing of Bi Kidude. Now in her 90s (her exact age is unknown), Kidude is considered the embodiment of Zanzibari Tarab singing, a genre drawing on African, Middle Eastern ...

Multicultural psychosis

Apr 6, 2007

Multicultural psychosis

Eugene Hutz is a difficult man to pin down. He is rarely in the same country, let alone the same city, for more than a few weeks at a time, touring with his band Gogol Bordello across time-zones and cultures on four different continents ...

Up, up and away

Mar 30, 2007

Up, up and away

For the length of the Occupation of Japan, from defeat in 1945 to the return of sovereignty in 1952, the skies belonged to the Allies. Among the less well-known punitive measures implemented by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the American GHQ from their roost in ...

A place apart from you

Mar 9, 2007

A place apart from you

Where are the wildernesses of lore? The late scholar of curios, W.G. Sebald, wrote wistfully of the high forests of the Dalmatian Coast, the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa where fir trees rose like the spires of cathedrals to heights of over 50 meters. ...

An upheaval of creativity

Nov 16, 2006

An upheaval of creativity

History is full of lies but, there’s at least one truth you can count on: times of great upheaval and change often lead to, and are on occasion born of, great flowerings of human genius. In case anybody was asleep during that part of ...

Shomei Tomatsu retrospective traces post-war experience

Oct 19, 2006

Shomei Tomatsu retrospective traces post-war experience

At age 15 in 1945, Shomei Tomatsu was working at an aircraft assembly plant in Nagoya. U.S. B-29s were bombing the industrial city so relentlessly that by the end of World War II, nine out of 10 of its buildings were destroyed — compared ...

Fumio Nanjo's vision comes to the fore

Oct 12, 2006

Fumio Nanjo's vision comes to the fore

The departure of director David Elliott from the Mori Art Museum to take over the Istanbul Modern in Turkey is the first major leadership change at Japan’s largest privately endowed cultural institution. Though it was not without controversy, Elliott’s tenure saw the 3-year-old museum ...

Departing director created a new platform for contemporary art in Tokyo

Oct 5, 2006

Departing director created a new platform for contemporary art in Tokyo

It would have been difficult to find a more dramatic backdrop for last week’s press conference announcing that Mori Art Museum’s British-born director David Elliott will be leaving after October, and that his second-in-command, Fumio Nanjo, will take over the helm of Japan’s largest ...

Fumio Nanjo to replace David Elliott

Sep 28, 2006

Fumio Nanjo to replace David Elliott

The Mori Art Museum’s director, David Elliott, will leave his post at the end of October to take a position as the new director of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in Turkey. The news was announced Wednesday at a press conference at Roppongi ...