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Philip Brasor

For Philip Brasor's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Home is where the hard work is

| Aug 16, 2014

Home is where the hard work is

Earlier this year, house builder Asahi Kasei Homes produced a video “white paper” based on a survey of 1,371 “double-income families” with children. Seventy percent of the husbands surveyed said they had been subjected to kaji-hara, or “housework harassment,” by their wives. AKH defined ...

Critics get frank when it comes to Godzilla

| Aug 9, 2014

Critics get frank when it comes to Godzilla

Because Japanese media are incestuous in their inter-corporate dealings, those writers referred to as hyōronka (critics) tend to be less critical about popular culture than their counterparts in North America and Europe. They are more likely to engage in punditry or public relations, because ...

Is the next stop 'brokesville' for the maglev?

| Aug 2, 2014

Is the next stop 'brokesville' for the maglev?

Robert Moses, the civil servant who built the great park-expressway-bridge network in New York state during the middle of the last century, succeeded by gaming the system. Understanding how politics would make it difficult for him to fulfill his vision, he often started a ...

Ticking the right tax boxes

| Aug 1, 2014

Ticking the right tax boxes

In most places in the world, property taxes, which are levied on buildings and land, are administered and collected by local governments for the benefit of local governments. This is also true in Japan, but it's useful to keep in mind that property tax ...

Art vs. morals debate plays out in the press

| Jul 26, 2014

Art vs. morals debate plays out in the press

In her semiautobiographical feature film “Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?,” Anna Margarita Albelo plays a struggling film director who makes ends meet by screening her movies in art galleries where she shows up dressed as a vagina. Though the story is mainly about relationships, ...

Health care system needs a new diagnosis

| Jul 12, 2014

Health care system needs a new diagnosis

In March 2007, the city of Yubari in Hokkaido became the first Japanese municipality to declare bankruptcy, letting loose a flood of media coverage characterized by expressions of sympathy for residents. Yubari’s debt had reached ¥63 billion, the result, according to national press reports, ...

Fiery Shinjuku protest goes global without NHK

| Jul 5, 2014

Fiery Shinjuku protest goes global without NHK

Until the Great East Japan Earthquake, social media didn’t have much purchase on Japanese social life. But disasters are transformative, and in a country where the mass media is cautious about its role vis-a-vis the authorities, social media came into its own after the ...

When should we make noise about loud neighbors?

| Jul 4, 2014

When should we make noise about loud neighbors?

In August 1974, a 46-year-old man living on the fourth floor of a public apartment building in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, forced his way into the unit below him and killed two little girls and their mother. After attempting suicide he was arrested, and he ...

Sexist remarks seen through a clouded lens

| Jun 28, 2014

Sexist remarks seen through a clouded lens

It’s assumed that the heckling of Tokyo assembly member Ayaka Shiomura by some of her male colleagues on June 18 became a major news story in Japan only after the foreign press picked it up as an example of intractable Japanese sexism. The situation ...