Oct 28, 2001

Kazuo Ishiguro: In praise of nostalgia as idealism

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki in 1954, and at age 5 he moved with his parents to London, where he has lived ever since. In 1986, his second novel, “An Artist of the Floating World,” was nominated for Britain’s leading award for fiction, ...

10,000 views of Mount Fuji, rising through the steam

Oct 7, 2001

10,000 views of Mount Fuji, rising through the steam

The view from the bath is picture-perfect. Through the thick steam rising from the piping hot water, foothills dotted with lush pines and rolling fields of greens and gold give way to a turquoise-blue ocean. From the center rises Mount Fuji, its snow-dusted peak ...

Love, love them do

Sep 30, 2001

Love, love them do

Ask Kyoshi Matsushita about “Beatlemania” and he’s far more likely to wax lyrical about Lucanidae, Silphidae, Scarabaedae and Dorcus titanus than John, Paul, George and Ringo. “They’re cool, they’re beautiful,” the 32-year-old signwriter enthuses about his pinups as he strokes a fearsome-looking 120-mm-long rhinoceros ...

Dream weavers of a bygone era

Sep 23, 2001

Dream weavers of a bygone era

When made up for work, Norie is perhaps as close to the classic image of Japan as you could wish. Clad in a colorful yet demure kimono, wooden sandals and a jet-black wig that provides a striking contrast to the white makeup lavished on ...

Sep 16, 2001

Divination business thriving, for the foreseeable future

Head bowed, eyes closed, silently intoning my birth date and a prayer-like plea for good fortune; I feel a little silly, but I’m doing as I’ve been told. Sitting in a small, dimly lit cubicle beneath the streets of Harajuku, I could be in ...

Aug 31, 2001

AP boss looks back on eight-year stay

For foreigners who have never been to Japan, news wire services and other media often provide their only view of this country. Yet, for James Lagier, outgoing chief of the Associated Press’s Tokyo bureau, that view can sometimes be distorted. “There are some journalistic ...

Aug 26, 2001

Living on the edge

It’s 6 a.m. on Saturday, and Teruyuki Kato is woken at home by the beeping of his government-issued pager. The University of Tokyo professor of geophysics knows he must act fast. He calls the local police, who arrive within minutes and transport him, sirens ...

Aug 26, 2001

Concerns mount over Fuji's recent rumblings

When both Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures held disaster drills earlier this year, they were not rehearsing for an earthquake. The 15,000 Yamanashi participants included officials and residents from a number of towns around Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak rising to 3,776 meters. The drill ...

Aug 22, 2001

Conductor Comissiona passes the youth baton

When Sergiu Comissiona arrives in Japan later this month to embark on the final leg of this year’s Asian Youth Orchestra tour, it’s likely that the baton he always conducts with will feel a little heavier than usual. This year marks the acclaimed Romanian-born ...

Light at the end of the tunnel

Aug 19, 2001

Light at the end of the tunnel

For Cho Kyong Hee, artists displaying work in public spaces have a special responsibility: Installations should not impose. For those people who may pass by an installation daily on their way to and from work, for example, the work should be nothing more than ...