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Rob Gilhooly

Rob Gilhooly is an award-winning British photographer and writer whose work has appeared in publications around the globe, including the Guardian and New Scientist. He was formerly a staff writer at the Japan Times and has contributed as a freelance since 2002. In 2004, he obtained an MA in journalism. His website can be found at

For Rob Gilhooly's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

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 ...

Aug 19, 2001

Deep and meaningful

Dull, bleak, gray and cheerless are a few of the words that could describe Tokyo’s architectural landscape. Glaring neon aside, it is a city seriously lacking in color. It’s ironic, then, that one of the most imaginative and colorful public art projects in the ...

Grains of wisdom

Aug 19, 2001

Grains of wisdom

From a distance, Kim Chang Young’s “Sand Play” seems to defy the law of gravity. Embedded into the tiled wall at the entrance of Ushigome-Kagurazaka Station is what at first glance appears to be a beach. The 10-meter-long, 2-meter-high work resembles a stretch of ...

Aug 19, 2001

So what's your angle?

Yukihiro Yoshihara’s “Technoetic Trees” is one of the few artworks on the Oedo Line located away from the ticket gates of the station. Yukihiro Yoshihara talking about his piece, “Technoetic Trees” Which is probably just as well. To appreciate the three identical sculptures that ...

Aug 5, 2001

A funny thing happened on the way . . .

It was a sunny June afternoon in northern Japan, and the perfect setting for a wedding reception: an airy room with large French windows opening onto a garden; mountains of flowers and a cake with more tiers than a Balinese rice field. Then, one ...