Hotelier sees disaster bring out best in Japanese

| Sep 11, 2012

Hotelier sees disaster bring out best in Japanese

As a veteran of the tourism and hotel industries in Japan for more than two decades, Tony Virili says he will “never forget” what took place at one of his firm’s franchise hotels in Sendai on March 11, 2011. The 60-year-old Italian-Australian calls last ...

Kindergartners get language boost with English immersion program

Jul 31, 2012

Kindergartners get language boost with English immersion program

An American English teacher tells a class of 5-year-old Japanese children, each with a whiteboard and pen in hand: “Let’s write down the sentence, ‘I am hot.’ “ “Chris, put a space between ‘am’ and ‘hot’,” the teacher tells a boy, who follows the ...

Psychology, counseling interests unite couple

| Jul 24, 2012

Psychology, counseling interests unite couple

Japanese-American John Shiomi, 40, and his wife, Misako, 32, met in the city of Fukuoka in January last year. Misako had posted a message about wanting a friend in the online version of Fukuoka Now, a free publication for foreigners in the area. After ...

Architect builds Heart House for 3/11 survivors

Jul 21, 2012

Architect builds Heart House for 3/11 survivors

When Richard Bliah visited Ishinomaki last August after the coastal city in Miyagi Prefecture was devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the veteran French architect was quite sure many residents lost not only family and friends but also the “network of people ...

Scholar urges fresh look at rich Ainu heritage

| Jul 10, 2012

Scholar urges fresh look at rich Ainu heritage

Shunwa Honda, a renowned scholar of indigenous ethnic groups, emphasizes that the Japanese people need to create a stage for the nation’s indigenous Ainu, who “still suffer from not having their voices heard properly in society.” Though he looks Caucasian and uses the pen ...

All systems go for happy international campers

| Jul 3, 2012

All systems go for happy international campers

Shiro Matsuoka, 39, from Kawasaki, and Zhang Yi, 33, who hails from Changchung, China, first met in 2004 when they were working part-time at a McDonald’s in Tokyo. Shiro was studying to become a chiropractor and Yi was studying English, and they worked early ...