Study app business brisk, prepping youths from all walks for college

Oct 24, 2013

Study app business brisk, prepping youths from all walks for college

The smartphone application business targeting students preparing for college entrance exams is buoyant amid a steady increase in smartphone users among high school students. Naoki Miyauchi, an 18-year-old high school senior in Okayama, attends one of Japan’s major preparatory schools and is studying for ...

Herbs the latest fad for pampered canines

Sep 26, 2013

Herbs the latest fad for pampered canines

What’s good for humans sometimes proves the same for their canine friends, and dog lovers have started experimenting with herbal treatments to improve their pets’ well-being. “Your beloved dogs should feel relaxed when you wrap them in a towel soaked in herbal water,” an ...

'Karuta' card store still going strong 90 years on

Sep 4, 2013

'Karuta' card store still going strong 90 years on

Nobuo Okuno, 82, has been selling traditional “karuta” playing cards at a store that has been operating in Tokyo’s Kanda-Jimbocho district for more than 90 years. “Playing karuta, you have to use your eyes, ears and brain, so you can enhance concentration,” Okuno said. ...

Calculated move: Interest in 'soroban' picks up

Aug 21, 2013

Calculated move: Interest in 'soroban' picks up

The “soroban,” Japan’s traditional abacus, is drawing renewed interest as a tool to promote the development of children’s mental capacities and to help fight dementia in the elderly. At a soroban class in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, early elementary school children practice a mental calculation ...

Tie maker's founder got early start

Aug 12, 2013

Tie maker's founder got early start

Aya Ohzeki was still just a 17-year-old high school student when she founded her necktie company. “A company will go down if it fails to earn money, so it’s important to try to keep creating something special and unique that no one else can ...

Parents give kids early start in English

Jul 10, 2013

Parents give kids early start in English

More and more parents are interested in having their children start studying English even before they turn 1, with an eye on giving them an advantage in their future careers. At S&S International School, an English school for infants in Yokohama, 2-year-olds were fluently ...

NPO helps granddads learn child-rearing skills

Jun 27, 2013

NPO helps granddads learn child-rearing skills

A Tokyo-based nonprofit organization is promoting a program to help grandfathers learn the basics of nurturing babies. The NPO, called Egalite Otemae, began the program in 2010 to address the growing need for grandparents to get involved in child-rearing as the number of working ...

Jun 14, 2013

Pet insurance beginning to mimic policies for people

Early this year, a woman had her rabbit treated for a stomach ailment in a pet hospital for a week, costing her around ¥80,000. But the financial hit didn’t pose a problem for the Osaka store clerk because she had pet insurance. “I was ...

Website capitalizes on space business

Jan 18, 2011

Website capitalizes on space business

Yoshihide Ito sometimes makes ¥40,000 a day selling organic vegetables from the tailgate of his vehicle in a space he rents in front of a beauty parlor when it isn’t open for business. “Won’t you have some rare organic vegetables?” he calls out from ...