Media's gender roles push LGBT groups into corners

| Mar 25, 2012

Media's gender roles push LGBT groups into corners

Last week, NHK aired all 22 episodes of the second season of “Glee” over seven consecutive nights. “Glee” is an American TV series centered on a high school glee club whose members are considered outcasts because of their love of singing. One member is ...

| Mar 18, 2012

Quake insurance is but a token offering

As the government continues to push for an increase in the consumption tax, a question related to last year’s disaster is still being debated: How much of the burden for rebuilding should be shouldered by taxpayers? We live in a resolutely capitalist country that ...

| Mar 11, 2012

Public wary of official optimism

Ambition can sometimes be measured by the amount of deference paid to the established order, so the recently published book “Genpatsu Kiki to Todai Waho,” which irreverently analyzes the “parlance of the University of Tokyo” as it was utilized during the early days of ...

Japan prepares to commemorate Tohoku tragedy

Mar 9, 2012

Japan prepares to commemorate Tohoku tragedy

This Sunday is the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the coastline of northeastern Japan and killed more than 15,000 people. In January, the central government announced that it would hold a memorial service on March 11 at the National Theater, ...

Don't judge a house by its exterior

| Mar 6, 2012

Don't judge a house by its exterior

The house stood out among its neighbors: not because of its box shape or the tall ham-radio tower planted in the parking space, but because of its bold two-tone exterior of wine red interrupted by sections of gray. The company that built it keeps ...

| Mar 4, 2012

Japan's lonely people: Where do they all belong?

In recent weeks, three cases of kodokushi, or “lonely deaths,” have been covered extensively in the news. One involved a Saitama Prefecture family of three whose bodies were found in their apartment several months after the electricity and gas were turned off for nonpayment. ...

Job-seeking comedy avoids real issues

| Feb 26, 2012

Job-seeking comedy avoids real issues

In 2004, novelist Ryu Murakami published “13-sai no Hello Work,” a job guide for 13-year-olds, though most of the copies were bought by adults. The book did not offer practical advice, but rather job descriptions in all lines of work, from engineer to prostitute, ...

| Feb 19, 2012

Feeding tube politics an awkward subject

On Feb. 6, Nobuteru Ishihara, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, recounted on a BS Asahi talk show a visit he recently made to a medical facility where patients were hooked up to gastric feeding tubes, or irō. He said it reminded him ...

Todai calls for change, but will others follow?

| Feb 5, 2012

Todai calls for change, but will others follow?

Spring approaches, and the thoughts of the media, which like nothing better than the warm comfort of a predictable news cycle, turn to education. Students are wrapping up the scholastic year and some are taking tests that will determine their lives. Last year, reporters ...