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Matt Alt

For Matt Alt's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Miyuki Miyabe's latest puts the history in Japanese horror

Feb 15, 2014

Miyuki Miyabe's latest puts the history in Japanese horror

Better known for her crime and fantasy writing abroad, precious few of the prolific Miyuki Miyabe’s tales of terror have actually made it into the English language. Haikasoru’s publication of “Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo” addresses this oversight. Capably translated by Daniel Huddleston, this ...

Will Cool Japan finally heat up in 2014?

Jan 9, 2014

Will Cool Japan finally heat up in 2014?

After years of talk, 2013 marked a watershed moment in the government’s Cool Japan campaign. Which begs the question: Is Japan cool? As a robot-obsessed kid growing up in the 1970s and ’80s, I always thought so. But for years, the anime and manga ...

Dōmo arigatō, giant robotto

Aug 15, 2013

Dōmo arigatō, giant robotto

My name is Matt, and I have a problem: I’m a grown man who thinks way too much about giant robots. Actually, I’m just kidding — it isn’t a problem at all. Japanese robots literally changed the course of my life. Without robot anime, ...

Summer brings out the creepy crawlies

| Jul 21, 2013

Summer brings out the creepy crawlies

Now that the tsuyu (梅雨, rainy season) has ended and the dreaded heat has descended upon the city, most of us have taken refuge indoors, camped out in front of the eakon (エアコン, air-conditioning) in a desperate attempt to wick away some of summer’s ...

The art of making monsters

Aug 17, 2012

The art of making monsters

Good news for monster fans: Not one, not two, but three separate tokusatsu exhibitions are stomping their way through downtown Tokyo as you read these words. While you may never have heard the word “tokusatsu,” you are likely familiar with what it is. A ...

Urban safari in the concrete jungle reveals Tokyo wildlife

| Apr 30, 2012

Urban safari in the concrete jungle reveals Tokyo wildlife

Tokyo is a city of many things, but “nature”? Not exactly a word that most associate with the metropolis. When it comes to the city’s animal life, most Tokyoites think meiwaku dōbutsu (迷惑動物, pests) rather than yasei-dōbutsu (野生動物, wildlife), associating animal encounters with mischievous ...

| Oct 31, 2011

This Halloween watch out for yūrei of all kinds

Urameshiyā! (うらめしやぁ!) Oops! Didn’t notice you there. Don’t mind me. I was just practicing my Japanese ghost-call. “Urameshiyā!” is pretty much the standard opening line for any self-respecting Japanese ghost. It’s nonetheless a word that is peculiarly tough to translate, but in a nutshell ...