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Liane Wakabayashi

For Liane Wakabayashi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

For special kids, his music is the message

| Mar 1, 2002

For special kids, his music is the message

Ramsey King Montana’s funky fashion sense might be a bit overwhelming for some parents who sign their children up for his family music classes. He wears checkered pantaloons, a fierce studded leather belt, a pierced earring that belonged to his mother (a Blackfoot Indian) ...

Shitamachi schoolmates still together at 70

| Feb 15, 2002

Shitamachi schoolmates still together at 70

What is the secret of lifelong friendships that form in elementary school? I would never have thought to ask myself that question until my father-in-law announced he wouldn’t be home for Sunday’s family dinner because he was attending a party. Though he put it ...

Kids learn from embracing the differences

| Feb 1, 2002

Kids learn from embracing the differences

The first thing you notice about the students at Musashino Higashi Secondary Vocational School is their uniforms. No matter the subject — be it gymnastics or computer science — the learning is done in a light-blue tracksuit. That a healthy mind can only exist ...

Medic's lifesaving mission

Jan 4, 2002

Medic's lifesaving mission

Human rights activist Dr. Masaki Tada leads a double life. He has just returned from Peshawar, Pakistan, where he struggled to save the lives of Afghan refugees with the meager resources at his disposal. In Japan, he plays a very different role — as ...

| Dec 21, 2001

Children learn life's hardest lesson

On a recent Friday, I swung open the gate to my daughter’s school yard. I was expecting to find the usual crowd of mothers milling outside in the garden. But I knew something was dreadfully wrong when a teacher solemnly ushered me toward a ...

New b-boys and b-girls on the block

| Dec 7, 2001

New b-boys and b-girls on the block

The hippest of hip-hop dancers perform pure magic. They do somersaults, cartwheels and flips. They’re dramatic, eccentric, funny and highly creative. They slide in any direction, send electric shock waves through their limbs, glide across the ground like moonwalkers and twirl into body-punishing spins. ...

Pioneer still speaking up and acting out

| Nov 23, 2001

Pioneer still speaking up and acting out

Almost 20 years ago, Teri Suzanne stood in front of a packed audience in Tokyo at the Association of English Teachers of Children, and unveiled her “English in Action” method with what was then a radical declaration: “I know that young children have the ...