NHK drama dives into the 'idea' of idols in rural Japan

| Jul 27, 2013

NHK drama dives into the 'idea' of idols in rural Japan

When it was announced last year that entertainment Renaissance man Kankuro Kudo would write the script for NHK’s spring-summer 2013 “TV novel,” a few people probably wondered how the iconoclastic writer-director-actor would respond to the broadcaster’s narrative strictures. In a recent interview with Aera, ...

Ando's joy brings up an old taboo

| Jul 20, 2013

Ando's joy brings up an old taboo

The morning after TV Asahi’s evening news show “Hodo Station” ran an interview with figure skater Miki Ando on July 1, the media was buzzing over the revelation that Ando had given birth in April. The baby was not the ostensible reason for the ...

Democracy hits the Web, but are the 'real' voters listening?

| Jul 13, 2013

Democracy hits the Web, but are the 'real' voters listening?

The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting article on its Japan Real Time blog regarding the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP’s) beef with broadcaster TBS, whom it accused of bias against the ruling party on its “News 11″ program. Reporter Toko Sekiguchi didn’t go into ...

Sins of the father are Rola's burden

| Jul 6, 2013

Sins of the father are Rola's burden

Two weeks ago one of the big stories in the tabloid press was on Jurip Al-Asa, the father of popular TV personality Rola. He was in the news because the Tokyo Metropolitan Police had issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of swindling. ...

Moved by the benefits of mobile-home housing

| Jul 2, 2013

Moved by the benefits of mobile-home housing

The model house sat on an empty patch of brown land along a commercial stretch of road in southern Ibaraki Prefecture. Few people would have identified it as a model house. It had a forlorn, out-of-place look to it. Technically, it was a mobile ...

The media needs to open discussion on GMO issue

| Jun 30, 2013

The media needs to open discussion on GMO issue

More than two years on from the disaster of March 11, 2011, debate continues in the mainstream and social media about the uses of fear to advance agendas. Much of the debate is centered on the environmental crisis surrounding the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactor. ...

NHK discusses gender with a fresh openness

| Jun 23, 2013

NHK discusses gender with a fresh openness

Two weeks ago, the nightly series “Heart Net TV,” which is broadcast on NHK’s educational channel, repeated a program about a 35-year-old Japanese man who married a 70-year-old Dutch man in the Netherlands. The series dedicates several programs a month to sexual minorities, and ...

Miura oldest to climb Everest but some facts overlooked

| Jun 16, 2013

Miura oldest to climb Everest but some facts overlooked

The government has just established a new public award named after alpinist-skier Yuichiro Miura for “adventurers who challenge themselves to the limit of human potential.” Originally the recipients of the prize, whom Miura will select himself, were going to be seniors, but at its ...