Sumiko Oshima

For Sumiko Oshima's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

History of homegrown Japanese science finally adds up

Aug 10, 2003

History of homegrown Japanese science finally adds up

Think Edo Period, and you think ukiyo-e, bonsai, yakimono and kabuki. Few think of science, or of the technological skill and spirit, which would later hatch Sony, Toyota and a core part of the country’s national identity. For a long time, little attention was ...

Jan 13, 2002

Bureaucrat breaking mold to give public more of a voice

Until six years ago, Nobutaka Murao says, he was just another central government bureaucrat. Then he was posted to the Mie Prefectural Government in July 1995, on loan from the Finance Ministry, and everything changed. When he found out about his posting as chief ...

Unlocking the 'qi'

Nov 11, 2001

Unlocking the 'qi'

Dressed in a white robe, a female qi master calmly stands in a room. Her face a mask of concentration, she puts her hands into a metal box. She quietly waits for three minutes. Then concentrates for seven minutes. Her hands rest on a ...

Country roads take them to new homes

Oct 14, 2001

Country roads take them to new homes

Get away. Away from squeezing yourself into a packed train, making your way in a slow-moving human tide up stairs and through ticket gates. From walking in a crowd like a soldier ant, trotting ahead to avoid cigarette smoke from a man in front, ...

Sep 30, 2001

Anyone for maggots a la Japonais?

However disgusting it may seem, eating bugs is deeply rooted in many cultural traditions. In Southeast Asian and African countries, live insects are sold at markets along with vegetables and meat. At movie theaters in Asia and Africa, people munch roasted insects like they ...

Living in the past, with pleasure

Sep 23, 2001

Living in the past, with pleasure

A short walk along a twisting, narrow stone path branching off a busy road through Tokyo’s Yanaka district brings you to the warm glow of a small andon lamp, its paper shade mounted on a wooden frame. There, in a square hardly bigger than ...

Holding back the years

Sep 9, 2001

Holding back the years

Katsuya Takasu regards his body as a vehicle to carry his mind. So what he had done to his face two years ago was, as he puts it, “just like fixing an old jalopy.” A cosmetic surgeon himself, Takasu gave instructions from the operating ...

Don't let it happen to you

| Aug 12, 2001

Don't let it happen to you

You might think that athlete’s foot is a man’s problem and the bunion, or hallux valgus, is a woman’s problem. You’d be wrong. There are many female patients who knowingly or unknowingly carry the fungal infection on their feet, while some male bunion patients ...

Aug 5, 2001

What's in a name?

A wedding ceremony may be the culmination of romantic love, but it’s also when life within the institution of marriage begins. The official constraints that institution imposes were rammed home to me — yet again — last month when I went to collect my ...

Jul 29, 2001

Every breath you take

The children were considered lucky when they were admitted a place at the popular Sashigaya public nursery in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. Little did their parents know what a high price their young ones might have to pay for the privilege. Two summers ago, in ...