Sakura Watanabe

For Sakura Watanabe's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Interbreeding threatens survival of Japan's 'living fossil' salamander

Dec 4, 2014

Interbreeding threatens survival of Japan's 'living fossil' salamander

The Japanese giant salamander, a rare amphibian often called a “living fossil,” could disappear as a distinct species as interbreeding with its Chinese relative increases. Over the years, Japanese and Chinese giant salamander hybrids have proliferated in western Japan, triggering alarm bells and a ...

Blues singer inspired by ancient tomb mounds

Jul 28, 2014

Blues singer inspired by ancient tomb mounds

Blues singer Marikofun finds inspiration in a unique place — Japan’s ancient tomb mounds, known as kofun in Japanese. She has visited more than 1,000 ancient tomb mounds across Japan over the past seven years — a dedication expressed in the line of one ...

Truants get fresh start in Shikoku

Aug 30, 2009

Truants get fresh start in Shikoku

KOCHI — The town of Niyodogawa, Kochi Prefecture, hosts a “free school” called Ikegawa Shizen Gakuen, where seven second-year and third-year junior high school truants are living together seeking a new way of life with the aid of four staffers. The late father-in-law of ...