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Raju Thakrar

For Raju Thakrar's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Waribashi: Waste on a gluttonous scale

Jul 30, 2008

Waribashi: Waste on a gluttonous scale

I f I were writing about one of my favorite Tokyo eateries for the JT’s Food Page, this story would mostly focus on its delicious fare. However, as this is the Nature Page, my verbal meanderings here are not about the nosh at cheap ...

Fly fanboys in the living room

| Jul 20, 2008

Fly fanboys in the living room

Parents the world over would surely prefer their children not to throw things about. It’s just plain bad manners, among other things. But Atsushi Kikuchi, a serious-looking father of two boys, positively encourages it. And, he evenmaintains, his sons’ ballistic behavior has produced considerable ...

Grounded rulers of the sky

Jun 22, 2008

Grounded rulers of the sky

His sharp, calm gaze follows yet another aircraft swooping down from the cloudless sky, its tires screeching in clouds of blue smoke as it returns to Earth on Haneda’s concrete runway. One more flight successfully completed, he thinks — and now the next. Despite ...

Get into golf's virtual swing

| Jun 15, 2008

Get into golf's virtual swing

Considering that people can be prosecuted for driving a car under the influence of alcohol, what about those who go hitting golf balls while imbibing? Perhaps it’s just a matter of time before “drink-driving” by golfers becomes the latest buzzword on the greens and ...

Star-studded cast imparts sparkle to Verdi spectacular

Jun 6, 2008

Star-studded cast imparts sparkle to Verdi spectacular

The New National Theatre Tokyo is currently staging the opera “La Traviata” for the first time in four years. Renowned Japanese conductor Toshiyuki Kamioka, making his first-ever appearance at the NNT, will lead a cast peppered with world-famous singers. This work by Italian composer ...

Handsome is not enough: beauticians make the man

| May 18, 2008

Handsome is not enough: beauticians make the man

Perhaps no words send shivers down a company employee’s back more than when your boss gravely tells you that he’d “like to have a chat with you.” So, when mine at the English-language conversation school that I was teaching at said this to me ...

Bestowing beauty on a fearful blade

Apr 27, 2008

Bestowing beauty on a fearful blade

If you were to call 51-year-old Yoshihiko Usuki a makeover maestro, he’d probably just chuckle, go back to his hunched position and continue sliding the sword clasped in his hands over a polishing stone. Yet togishi (sword-polishers) like Usuki are essential players in the ...

Musashi: A do-or-die warrior not to be crossed

Apr 27, 2008

Musashi: A do-or-die warrior not to be crossed

When he killed his first man, Miyamoto Musashi was a mere boy of 13 — in present-day terms, a first-year junior-high-school student. Musashi’s exploits are immortalized in countless manga and movies, including Eiji Yoshikawa’s 1935 novel “Musashi,” which has been translated into 14 languages, ...

Deadly weapons forged as art

Apr 27, 2008

Deadly weapons forged as art

The slow, rhythmic thrust of a piston covered in tanuki (raccoon dog) skin blasted air from box bellows onto the searing-hot charcoal. A casual glance at his forge was, however, all that Yoshindo Yoshihara needed to know the fire’s exact temperature. His sharp eyes ...