Hunter and hunted: Where are they now?

| Dec 5, 2015

Hunter and hunted: Where are they now?

The mutilations are frightful — dog, cat, rabbit and pigeon corpses missing heads, tails, limbs, ears. Weekly Playboy magazine reports nearly 40 sightings in the past four months in the Kanto region alone. Who’s out there doing these things? With what thoughts in mind? ...

Japan's children face a dementia boom

| Nov 28, 2015

Japan's children face a dementia boom

Confucius said it’s not enough merely to provide for our parents. We must revere them. To fail in filial reverence, he said, is to be no better than the animals. What did Confucius know? He lived 2,500 years ago, when life expectancy at birth ...

More couples saying, 'I do ... but not yet'

| Nov 14, 2015

More couples saying, 'I do ... but not yet'

“Just the other day I had a date with a woman. We were planning on seeing a movie but it was such a beautiful day that I said, ‘We can see a movie anytime, let’s watch the sunset instead.’ She was furious: ‘Why didn’t ...

| Nov 14, 2015

Surviving a sudden transition to democracy

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to humankind? History is long and frequently awful, but a war that consumed 60 million people and added “Hiroshima,” “Nagasaki” and “Auschwitz” to the world’s vocabulary surely stands apart. And suddenly it was over. Suddenly ...

Without doubt, company executives will just go with the flow

| Nov 7, 2015

Without doubt, company executives will just go with the flow

Asahi Kasei. Toyo Tire & Rubber. Toshiba. What’s the connection? Executives lined up before the cameras, bowing their heads in shame. Shame for what — their wrongdoing, or their exposure? That’s their business. A sordid picture either way — substandard construction, falsified data, bogus ...

Media vultures circle over battered SEALDs

| Oct 24, 2015

Media vultures circle over battered SEALDs

That’s it? It’s over? “Scattered like leaves in the autumn wind,” sighs Shukan Shincho magazine, speaking of the massive nationwide demonstrations that, through the summer, heralded (to some) a new political awakening of the Japanese masses (or something). The protesters’ immediate target was new ...

It's a small world, with no respect for islands

| Oct 10, 2015

It's a small world, with no respect for islands

To what extent are your problems my problems? To what extent are Syria’s troubles Japan’s? To no extent at all, judging by the paltry number of refugees Japan admits. Europe, of course, is engulfed. But that’s Europe’s problem. Is it still possible to think ...

Ashes to diamonds and the cost of death

| Sep 26, 2015

Ashes to diamonds and the cost of death

‘Where do we go when we die?” Every child, or the child in all of us, asks that at some point, with parents and philosophers saying this or that in reply: “We go to heaven,” “We merge with the Absolute,” and so on — ...

| Sep 19, 2015

Government's affinity to the universe, religion

Supposing we think of the universe this way: there is Heaven and there is Earth; nothing else — no other worlds, no gods. “Heaven” is roughly analogous to what we moderns call “Nature.” Heaven’s laws, however, unlike Nature’s, are moral, not physical. Two substances ...