Oct 6, 2000

Sansei make busy visit for the sake of relations

Most of them can’t speak Japanese, or can’t speak it very well. Some have only been to Japan a few times. But the tug of cultural roots and a request from the Foreign Ministry brought a dozen third-generation Japanese-American community leaders to Japan on ...

Sep 26, 2000

U.S. teacher provides lesson for combating class collapse

William was an impatient junior high student in Karol DeFalco’s Connecticut classroom, constantly bringing questions to her while she was in the middle of helping other students. Experts on classroom collapse speak Friday at a Tokyo symposium. After she said, “Not now, William, go ...

Aug 31, 2000

Tsutaya eyes ads on cellphone Web sites

A graphic small enough to be hidden under your thumb is expected to bring in millions of yen in revenues for Japan’s biggest rental video chain, Tsutaya. CEO Takehiko Ogi (left) sits with Takashi Miya, general manager of corporate strategies, in Tsutaya Online’s office ...

Aug 2, 2000

Train conductors left behind as Toei Subway becomes automated

In another verse from the machine-replaces-man songbook, Toei Subway is replacing the conductor on half of its Tokyo lines with a bevy of machines, including a safety wall that has been making its way through Toei Mita Line stations across Tokyo this summer. Behind ...

Jul 18, 2000

Personal relationships are everything

STAKEHOLDING: The Japanese Bottom Line, by Robert J. Ballon and Keikichi Honda. Tokyo: The Japan Times, 2000, 240 pp., 38 tables, 6 figures. 3,000 yen (cloth). One year, an acquaintance recalls, her family started getting an unusually large number of “oseibo” (yearend presents) and ...

May 23, 2000

The new China, from hamburgers to lonely hearts

THE CONSUMER REVOLUTION IN URBAN CHINA, edited by Deborah S. Davis. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000, 379 pp., 35 b/w photos, 21 tables, $22 (paper). McDonald’s is the great equalizer. Wherever you go in the world it tastes exactly the same. The same ...

May 2, 2000

'Manga' role-playing draws date-seeking 'otaku' together

The model who goes by the alias Ai O-totsu, or Bumpy Love, is dressed in the crimson high school uniform of her video game personality today, but instead of acting out pubescent fantasies on the computer screen like her electronic double, she’s posing for ...

Mar 15, 2000

The marketing that made Japan

ASSEMBLED IN JAPAN: Electrical Goods and the Making of the Japanese Consumer, by Simon Partner. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000, 317 pp., $19.95/12.50 British pounds (paper). I was standing on the corner by the Hachiko exit of Shibuya Station, looking at two giant ...

Feb 16, 2000

Don't give up hope for China's democrats

CHINA’S TRANSITION, by Andrew Nathan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999, 313 pp., $19.50, 13.50 British pounds (paper). China is like Chernobyl, Andrew Nathan writes. The more you learn about it, the worse it gets. Nathan, once described in an open letter signed by ...

Nov 24, 1999

British bulldogs in a China shop

BRITAIN IN CHINA: Community, Culture and Colonialism 1900-1949, by Robert Bickers. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1999; 276 pp., 45 pounds (hardcover), 15.99 pounds (paper). When Lord Macartney opened his British Embassy in China in 1792, he was told to ask for ...