Yoshitaka Amano: The World Beyond Your Imagination

Jan 10, 2015

Yoshitaka Amano: The World Beyond Your Imagination

Yoshitaka Amano, Illustrations by Yoshitaka AmanoPie Books, Nonfiction. Yoshitaka Amano has cultivated a reputation as one of Japan’s premier character designers for his work on renowned series such as “Vampire Hunter D” and “Final Fantasy.” This book presents a comprehensive retrospective of Amano’s more ...

'Kawaii' gets a landmark

Dec 25, 2014

'Kawaii' gets a landmark

While Japanese cool hunters might lament the lack of pop cultural exports in recent years — all the more conspicuous when compared to K-Pop’s successful forays westward — kawaii (cute) culture has quietly permeated into global consciousness with all the effortless grace of singer ...

Rivers

Dec 20, 2014

Rivers

Rivers, by Teru Miyamoto, Translated by Roger K. Thomas and Ralph McCarthy.Kudodahan Press, Fiction. Although relatively renowned and celebrated domestically, Teru Miyamoto hasn’t received much attention abroad as English translations of the novelist’s works are still sparse. This latest publication goes some way toward ...

Rock, J-pop and dance: Albums we liked in 2014

Dec 16, 2014

Rock, J-pop and dance: Albums we liked in 2014

The year-end album charts in Japan have a tendency to prop up the same acts year after year: Exile, anything that ends in a “48,” and almost every group from the Johnny & Associates stable of boy bands. Writers at The Japan Times, however, ...

Musician Rory Viner turns Japan's suicide statistics into a song

Aug 19, 2014

Musician Rory Viner turns Japan's suicide statistics into a song

Train delays due to jinshin jiko, which euphemistically translates to “human accident” — often a suicide on the tracks — are far from an infrequent occurrence in Tokyo. Reaction to such suicides — of people you never knew — depends on the individual, whose ...

Two weddings and a 'Funeral' at Fuji

Jul 29, 2014

Two weddings and a 'Funeral' at Fuji

It’s hard to know what the organizers at Fuji Rock Festival were thinking when they decided to have Jack Johnson headline the main stage on the event’s last day. Not the infectious cheer and endearingly kitsch theatricality of The Flaming Lips, who performed directly ...

Cheer on the Samurai Blue at events across the country

Jun 5, 2014

Cheer on the Samurai Blue at events across the country

It may be nicknamed the “beautiful game,” but these days it can sometimes be hard to see soccer as anything but ugly. As well as all the usual cliches about preening, overpaid prima donnas, there are also the persistent, disturbing bouts of racism and ...