Hit product lists laud the year's marketing successes

| Jan 14, 2013

Hit product lists laud the year's marketing successes

Toward the end of every year, Japan’s print media and many business organizations look back on “hit products” whose successes helped define consumer spending over the previous 12 months. The term hitto shōhin (hit products) is credited to the 日経流通新聞 (Nikkei Ryutsu Shimbun, Nikkei ...

| Jan 13, 2013

Magazines struggle to maintain relevance

The print edition of venerable U.S. weekly news magazine Newsweek is no more. From the Jan. 4 issue it relaunched as a digital-only publication. Writing in the final print edition of Dec. 31, 2012, Editor in Chief Tina Brown wrote, “A magazine that will ...

Alternative histories about JFK

| Dec 23, 2012

Alternative histories about JFK

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy next November is expected to see a flood of new works on that topic. Two alternative history novels have already appeared on this theme. In Stephen King’s “11/22/63: A Novel” (Scribner), Maine ...

| Dec 17, 2012

Buzzwords show the changing face of Japanese in 2012

While hamming it up before the TV cameras on a diving board last September, entertainer “Sugi-chan” (real name: Eiji Sugiyama) suffered a fractured thoracic vertebrae. Wild, right? Or as the chunky 39-year-old entertainer — easily recognizable in his blue denim shirt with cutoff sleeves ...

Japan loses its cool as South Korea heats up

| Dec 16, 2012

Japan loses its cool as South Korea heats up

Last month, a nationwide survey of 3,000 people by the Cabinet office found that the percentage of Japanese who do not view South Korea on friendly terms rose to 59 percent, up by 23.7 points from 2011. The sharply negative shift appeared to reverse ...

| Dec 9, 2012

New breed of 'criminal elements' emerging from the shadows

Don’t look now, but some new bad guys have come to town. Referred to as han-gure, they’ve actually been around for a while already, flying under the radar of the mainstream media. Atsushi Mizoguchi, an investigative journalist specializing in coverage of organized crime, is ...

Dec 9, 2012

Serious business of murder turned into entertainment

THE INCENSE GAME, by Laura Joh Rowland. Minotaur Books, 2012, 290 pp., $25.99 (hardcover) ONE RED BASTARD, by Ed Lin. Minotaur Books, 2012, 280 pp., $25.99 (hardcover) Since publication of her first mystery, “Shinju,” 18 years ago, Laura Joh Rowland has churned out about ...

The convoluted crime spree of Amagasaki's 'piranha family'

| Nov 25, 2012

The convoluted crime spree of Amagasaki's 'piranha family'

By next week, the media will start compiling lists of the top news stories of 2012. The short list can be expected to include natural and manmade disasters, political bombshells, international disputes, indiscretions by celebrities in the worlds of sports and entertainment and, of ...

| Nov 18, 2012

Yoshiwara busts send message: 'Keep it clean'

On May 24, 1956, the Diet voted Japan’s anti-prostitution statute into law, effective from April 1, 1957; but enforcement was postponed a year to give sex workers time to seek new livelihoods. “On its last night of business, after the 106 houses — with ...