Ebizo rethinks kabuki's strategy

Oct 3, 2013

Ebizo rethinks kabuki's strategy

In the glitzy and gossipy world of Japanese celebrity, hardly a week goes by without revelations being made about — or made by — Ichikawa Ebizo XI. For years, the charismatic young star of the kabuki world has never long been out of the ...

German band to feature at Oktoberfest

Oct 3, 2013

German band to feature at Oktoberfest

In Japan, Oktoberfest tends to be a year-round celebration. Beer companies here will hold the traditional German party whenever they feel like a break. This month (or maybe we should say, this week) it’s Yokohama’s turn. Yokohama Oktoberfest, which has been held every year ...

IT startup barters its way into niche

Oct 2, 2013

IT startup barters its way into niche

At around noon on a recent weekday, the Roppongi branch of Shamrock by Abbot Choice, a Tokyo-based Irish-style pub chain, had a bustling lunchtime crowd. Koichiro Tawa reached for a menu and ordered a hamburger special — with melting cheese, a green salad and ...

Sep 23, 2013

The 'whole' brown-bread challenge in Japan

Whole-wheat and whole-grain products are hard to find in Japan, where most bakeries and supermarkets sell white bread products only. Of the three major bread manufacturers in Japan, only Shikishima Baking Co.’s Pasco brand offers loaves of bread and “English” muffins made from whole-wheat ...

Internet NPO links kids worldwide

Sep 21, 2013

Internet NPO links kids worldwide

Earlier this month, when the nation’s Olympic bid ambassador Christel Takigawa referred to “omotenashi” (the spirit of Japanese-style hospitality) in her speech to the International Olympic Committee, the term quickly turned into a buzzword in Japan. Now that Tokyo’s preparations for the 2020 Summer ...

Sep 19, 2013

Festival brings old films out of storage

Every year, nearly 100 of the films produced in Japan are said to “go into storage.” Such films — even those featuring big-name actors — are never screened at theaters, or they disappear after a very short run with no budget prepared by producers ...

Rescuing gadgets from the  golden age of 'Made in Japan'

| Sep 14, 2013

Rescuing gadgets from the golden age of 'Made in Japan'

Piles of old electronic gadgetry, most of it out of order, clutter Junichi Matsuzaki’s “studio” on the first floor of an aging public apartment building in Adachi Ward in northeastern Tokyo. To visitors the outdated technology may look like junk, but to the 53-year-old ...

Renovating business and hope in Onomichi

Sep 9, 2013

Renovating business and hope in Onomichi

The city of Onomichi in the southeastern part of Hiroshima Prefecture, which looks out to the Seto Inland Sea, has a rich and long tradition as a hub of trade. During the Edo Period (1603-1867), it prospered as a key docking point for domestic ...