Tomoko Otake

Tomoko Otake is a staff features writer. Originally from Japan’s ancient capital of Nara, she graduated from the University of Montana with an M.A. in journalism.

For Tomoko Otake's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

18 looms as new age of majority

| May 4, 2015

18 looms as new age of majority

Japan’s youth will finally get a chance to have their voices heard in politics. Revisions to the Public Offices Election Law that would lower the minimum voting age to 18 from 20 are being deliberated in the Diet and are widely expected to be ...

Cartoon poop-logging apps aim to guard against cancer

May 1, 2015

Cartoon poop-logging apps aim to guard against cancer

Cutesy, busty female characters in miniskirts and maid costumes are regular fixtures of Japanese anime and manga, but a doctor in Tokyo is trying to use their universal appeal to educate people on what they rarely talk about in public: poop. Yosuke Ishii, a ...

Taco Bell returns to Japan with launch of Shibuya outlet

Apr 21, 2015

Taco Bell returns to Japan with launch of Shibuya outlet

What’s the same: that iconic bell sign, friendly and casual staff, and a range of crunchy and soft tacos and burritos. What’s different: a real live yuru-kyara mascot greeting customers, a couple of localized dishes, and prices double or triple those in the United ...

For foreign caregivers, role remains ambiguous

| Apr 19, 2015

For foreign caregivers, role remains ambiguous

Does Japan really want to accept foreign caregivers? This question, which has dogged the rapidly graying nation for years, continues to loom over a government program to bring in caregivers under bilateral economic partnership agreements. Japan opened its doors to foreign care workers in ...

Hotel group inks trial covering bathers' tattoos with stickers

Apr 16, 2015

Hotel group inks trial covering bathers' tattoos with stickers

The no-tattoos policy at many of Japan’s public bathhouses might become a thing of the past if one hotel group’s experiment with stickers to cover guests’ body art gains traction. Hoshino Resort Co. announced Wednesday that from Oct. 1 it will start distributing 8 ...

Math enthusiasts to mark once-in-a-century Pi Day

Mar 13, 2015

Math enthusiasts to mark once-in-a-century Pi Day

Saturday marks Pi Day, the day to commemorate the mathematical concept of pi — which refers to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Many math scientists and students around the world celebrate pi every March 14, as its first three digits ...