Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman is a fiction and nonfiction writer who has lived in Hokkaido by the sea almost as long as he can remember. He has been contributing regularly to The Japan Times for 10 years. His latest novel is “The Naked Ear” (VBW/Blackcover Books, 2012).

For Michael Hoffman's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

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 ...

/ | 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 ...

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 ...

Will the bullies inherit Japan's top jobs?

/ | Sep 12, 2015

Will the bullies inherit Japan's top jobs?

Why aren’t people nice, good and kind? It sounds like a stupid question, and probably is. Still, you’d think that, having outgrown the feral competition of our “nasty, brutish and short” phase, we’d have evolved in a kinder, gentler direction — as we have, ...