Timely fictional war scenarios that play out in Asian waters

Sep 23, 2012

Timely fictional war scenarios that play out in Asian waters

Tiger’s Claw, by Dale Brown. William Morrow, 2012, 432 pp., $26.99 (hardcover) Red Cell, by Mark Henshaw. Touchstone, 2012, 336 pp., $24.99 (hardcover) Future war fiction — also known as alternate history or military science fiction — has been around a long time. Occasionally ...

Getting food on tables is increasingly difficult

| Sep 16, 2012

Getting food on tables is increasingly difficult

The cover of Nikkei Business of Aug. 27 carried a photograph of a sirloin steak atop a sizzling platter. The meat was artfully trimmed to form the shape of the Japanese archipelago. Atop this mouth-watering graphic are words clearly aimed at curbing the reader’s ...

Will the Takeshima dispute break the Korean wave?

| Sep 2, 2012

Will the Takeshima dispute break the Korean wave?

“There’s something sad, when a political problem goes so far as to spill over to the entertainment industry,” rues journalist Kaoru Kikuchi in Sunday Mainichi (Sep. 9). Kikuchi reported that on Aug. 21, Korean male actor Song Il Gook, who was slated to appear ...

| Aug 19, 2012

Yakuza face new battles within and without

The nation’s largest underworld syndicate, the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi, is 97 years old. Jumping the gun on the gang’s centennial by three years, Shukan Asahi Geino (Aug. 16-23) ran eight pages of historical photos under the title “Yamaguchi-gumi: A Turbulent First Century.” The same magazine ...

Aug 5, 2012

Strange tales emanating from the jungles of Southeast Asia

Border Run, by Simon Lewis. Scribner, 2012, 240 pp., $24.00 (hardcover) Slash and Burn, by Colin Cotterill. Soho Crime, 2012, 290 pp., $25.00 (hardcover) “I’ve always loved that classic noir staple — of doomed characters trying to get away with a crime and just ...

| Aug 5, 2012

Steamy, sleepless nights grind down the nation

Sleeping-goods manufacturer Nishikawa Sangyo Co. Ltd., founded in Omi Province (modern-day Shiga Prefecture) in 1566, got its start in business selling mosquito netting. The company’s Tokyo retail outlet, on the opposite side of the Nihonbashi Bridge from the Mitsukoshi department store, has been in ...

Jul 22, 2012

Taxi facts and figures to impress your driver

Next time you’re in the back seat and tired of watching the meter clock up, use these ice-breakers to get the conversation flowing in your driver’s language. • Tokyo’s 51,950 taxis account for 20.7 percent of the national total, with the categories broken down ...

A century of Tokyo taxis

Jul 22, 2012

A century of Tokyo taxis

The year 1912 is recorded in Japan both as the 45th year of Meiji Era and the first year of the Taisho Era. After a protracted illness, Emperor Mutsuhito expired, age 61, on the night of July 29 (although the official announcement came the ...