| 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 ...

| Jan 18, 2014

In Jomon and Heian, the times weren't a-changin'

“Man the change-maker.” That is one definition of Homo sapiens. Other creatures are changed — by Nature, by evolution — over vast expanses of time measured in hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Humankind consciously generates change. We innovate, build, invent, destroy, build ...

There's a cloud above our silver generation

| Dec 28, 2013

There's a cloud above our silver generation

Travel back with me, reader, 60 years in time. It’s 1953. Two booms are in full swing: one economic, the other reproductive; the first fueled largely by the Korean War, the second, in part, by the first. Among the 2 million babies born in ...

Society struggles to adapt to post-privacy age

| Dec 14, 2013

Society struggles to adapt to post-privacy age

Individuals are visible as never before, and democratic governments, reeling from successive exposures of state secrets, are struggling desperately to withdraw into the shadows. No democracy has gone further in that direction than Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.