Convenience stores give our nation pride

| May 10, 2014

Convenience stores give our nation pride

Japan’s prime minister is an unabashed patriot, as outspoken in his love for his country as in his desire to instill that love in his compatriots. Are his compatriots receptive? Opinion polls on attitudes toward pending revisions of long-standing interpretations of the pacifist Constitution, ...

Mini-revolutions may add up to a change

| Apr 26, 2014

Mini-revolutions may add up to a change

1949. The war was over. Slowly, a numbed populace rose from the dead. That year, 2.7 million babies were born — a record high, never surpassed. Those times seem very distant from us now. The number of births in 2013 was 1.037 million — ...

How should a civilized nation treat women?

Apr 19, 2014

How should a civilized nation treat women?

In 1872, a Peruvian ship transporting Chinese coolies docked at Yokohama for repairs. One of the coolies jumped overboard and sought refuge, complaining of gross ill-treatment. What to do?

The truth is, we have gotten too used to lying

| Mar 29, 2014

The truth is, we have gotten too used to lying

Philosophers love truth — that’s a truism. What about the rest of us? Do we love truth or falsehood? Truth, we naturally affirm. So why are we swimming in falsehood? Last fall, a peculiar scenario played out involving restaurant menus. They weren’t true. You’d ...

Japan's future may be stunted by its past

| Mar 15, 2014

Japan's future may be stunted by its past

Is time carrying us forward, or backward? Or both at once? Technology propels us forward, politics thrusts us back. In east Asia, World War II reverberates. Elsewhere, as the Ukraine crisis unfolds, the Cold War, history only yesterday, looks today like tomorrow's threat.

| Feb 15, 2014

Once upon a time, China anointed a 'King of Japan'

In 1401, barely a century after the Mongols’ aborted invasions of Japan, and 600-odd years before Japan and China fell out over the Senkaku islets, a Chinese emperor conferred upon a Japanese shogun the title “King of Japan.” Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408) was overjoyed at ...