| May 27, 2016

'Historical Unknowns: Historia'; 'Morning Comes'; DHC

Kumamoto Castle, which was seriously damaged in last month’s earthquake, is one of Japan’s most beloved and iconic landmarks. Originally built in the 15th century, the structure is one of the largest fortifications in Japan and covers a big piece of land. It is ...

May 20, 2016

'Evening Smoke Bus Tour'; 'Gold Woman'; Suntory

It seems any kind of professional can be a detective in Japan. The latest vocation is tour bus guide, as exemplified by Sayaka Sakuraniwa (Hisako Manda) in the two-hour mystery “Yukemuri Bus Tour” (“Evening Smoke Bus Tour”; TBS, Mon., 9 p.m.). Sayaka and her ...

Cracks appear in media's view of disasters

| May 14, 2016

Cracks appear in media's view of disasters

The Great East Japan Earthquake was Japan’s first major natural disaster since the rise of social media, and emergency planning outfits have been studying the data from March 11, 2011, in order better use SNS to save lives and help survivors. Online activities related ...

| May 13, 2016

'Angel or Devil,' 'Cambrian Palace," Y!mobile

Recently, an artificial intelligence program developed by Google defeated several champions of the Asian board game go. The program’s achievement made headlines all over the world since go is considered a very complex game. The programmers, in fact, thought it would take much longer ...

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

| May 7, 2016

Japan's resident Koreans endure a climate of hate

Later this month, the Diet’s Upper House will pass a bill submitted by the ruling coalition addressing the problem of hate speech, specifically directed at non-Japanese. As sociologist Takehiro Akedo explains in his article for the Web magazine Synodos, the Liberal Democratic Party isn’t ...

| May 6, 2016

'Chibi Maruko-chan,' S.T. Corp

Vacation is almost over, so it’s back to the usual animated TV show grind. This week’s episode of “Chibi Maruko-chan” — the 1051st! (Fuji TV, Sun., 6 p.m.) — finds the eternal elementary school student coming home from class on Saturday to an almost ...

Idols put Band-Aids on fragile male egos

| Apr 30, 2016

Idols put Band-Aids on fragile male egos

Two cities in Tottori Prefecture have set up a facility called the Tottori Deai Support Center, which is a kind of matchmaking service for young residents. In December it published a pamphlet to help people looking for mates better understand what the opposite sex ...