Mayumi Saito

For Mayumi Saito's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Lavatory scrub joins kids' curricula

Dec 16, 2009

Lavatory scrub joins kids' curricula

The clock struck 1:25 p.m., and six fifth-graders at Minami Elementary School in Yokohama headed for lavatories carrying brushes, mops, dustpans and toilet paper. The three boys and three girls, each in a separate lavatory, scrubbed the toilets, mopped the floors and refilled the ...

Half a room, without a view

| Sep 8, 2009

Half a room, without a view

If you live or travel on a budget and are looking for the cheapest digs in Tokyo, why not try staying in the closet? Cheaper than a regular gaijin house and more comfortable than the couch at an Internet cafe, oshiire (closet) houses provide ...

'Nursing taxis' popular but status shaky

Sep 26, 2002

'Nursing taxis' popular but status shaky

As taxi driver Hirohisa Mitsuda washes his vehicle prior to a day’s work, he tries to make sure the windows are spotless because his passengers hardly ever get to enjoy the outdoors. “This is a rare chance for the passenger to go outside and ...

Apr 25, 2002

Lie detection infiltrating everyday life

When Bill Clinton first said, “I never had sexual relations with that woman . . .” back in 1998, a report flushed that a new Israeli lie detector figured he was being truthful. Looking back on the contradicting outcome, Katsuhisa Katoh, manager of AlphaOmega ...

Apr 11, 2001

K-pop, ya don't stop

BoA Last month, 500 members of the media gathered for the debut of singer BoA at the Roppongi club Velfarre. Although it may seem that an unusually named pop idol is born in Japan every minute, this occasion was different. Engineered by a major ...

Nov 24, 2000

Stalking victims now legally recognized

A long-awaited law to combat stalking, which for the first time recognizes it as a crime and punishes offenders, takes effect today. According to the National Police Agency, 346 stalking suspects have been identified in the first six months of this year. The number ...

New garter-free stockings get a leg up on the market

Sep 28, 2000

New garter-free stockings get a leg up on the market

Japanese women have long been attached to nylon pantyhose, wearing them even during the hot and humid summer months. Despite the fashion for bare legs and sandals, many working women continue to wear pantyhose to the office in the sweltering heat. Recently, however, a ...

Aug 16, 2000

Online content migrates offline into book sales

In the era of the Internet, self-publishing online is easy. Yet for those who still want the added legitimacy (and legacy) of hard copies, there is good news. Weblishers Corp., which started up last month, picks interesting Web sites and turns them into books. ...

Aug 3, 2000

Eco-conscious but comfortable: making environmentalism hip

Last year when advertising agencies asked Kazumi Oguro what his rival magazine was, he replied: “I wouldn’t have to put out a new magazine if there was a rival.” Sotokoto magazine Sotokoto, the new magazine, is selling the concept of hip ecology to consumers ...

Jul 2, 2000

His first dance with the bulls

Last October, one Japanese graced the covers of several local newspapers in Huelva, Spain. Taira Nono made headlines in his debut fight by kneeling on the ground and confronting the bull. It was a breathless moment for 2,000 spectators. The newspapers praised the Asian ...