Confessions of a 'queen'

Jul 8, 2001

Confessions of a 'queen'

Karen’s father never had any reason to go into her bedroom closet. Whenever he stayed at his daughter’s Tokyo apartment while on business trips, she always told him not to bother putting away the futon in the morning and unfailingly reminded him not to ...

Men in suits spell air-con office woe

Jul 1, 2001

Men in suits spell air-con office woe

It’s summer. Get ready for the big chill. It may be 32 degrees outside and shirt-drenchingly humid, but for some people this is the season for frozen fingers, sore throats, headaches and a host of other nasty niggles. Reibo-byo (air-conditioning syndrome) is a common ...

All in a (24-hour) day's work

Jun 24, 2001

All in a (24-hour) day's work

I’ve barely sat down with Ken Joseph Jr. and taken a sip of my coffee when his cellphone rings. “I think I have AIDS,” the male caller says. “What makes you think that?” Joseph asks. “Because I have a sore throat and my glands ...

Jun 24, 2001

An A-Z of helping out

Many foreign residents in Japan with a genuine desire to take part in volunteer activities probably stumble at the same hurdle: where to find out what options are available. “The Volunteering Directory,” compiled and published by the nonprofit organization Foreign Executive Women, holds the ...

Jun 17, 2001

From rice to riches

A small light bulb lit up above the head of Susumu Takeuchi when he was barely 24. And last year, his modest little business idea brought in 400 million yen. “I had seen rice dealers going around neighborhoods taking orders and often wondered why,” ...

A la cart

Jun 17, 2001

A la cart

Masaru Tanaka’s yatai has been open for business at the same roadside spot in central Tokyo almost every evening for the past 40 years or more. Though it’s dimly lit and cramped, and a scent resembling old socks wafts in from his vat of ...

Clearing the shelves

Jun 3, 2001

Clearing the shelves

Many business owners on the verge of financial ruin probably are loath to close the book on their companies. Yet, for long-term Nagoya resident Marvin Harvest, endeavors to write the ending to his 10-year business have dragged on like a bad saga. “I’ve been ...

High style at a price that suits

Jun 3, 2001

High style at a price that suits

Makoto Kobara is rather pleased with his Comme des Garcons suit. Yet the 24-year-old’s favorite thing about it is not the chic design or subtle color, but the fact that it cost him under 26,000 yen. “I couldn’t — and wouldn’t — buy the ...

Old-books trade turns over a new leaf

Jun 3, 2001

Old-books trade turns over a new leaf

In case you haven’t noticed, the little used bookshop around the corner has some serious competition. The new kids on the block are so spacious, brightly lit and spotlessly clean that they could easily be mistaken for convenience stores. In the business world, the ...

May 27, 2001

Sleep on the job -- it's good for you

At some businesses around the globe, you’ll find employees sleeping on the job right under their boss’s nose. There’s little fear of a reprimand: The boss is probably taking a snooze, too. With an increasing realization that we are a largely sleep-deprived society and ...