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Tony Mcnicol

For Tony Mcnicol's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Who? Me? Otaku?

| Dec 25, 2007

Who? Me? Otaku?

“Otaku” culture is spreading over the globe. Perhaps we are all otaku now? My wife tells me I’m an otaku — should I be worried? If you haven’t encountered the word, here is Wikipedia’s definition: “a derisive Japanese term used to refer to people ...

Second Life, second lingo

| Jun 19, 2007

Second Life, second lingo

There probably aren’t many English teachers in Japan who go to work carrying a samurai sword, dressed in battle armor, with a large Stars and Stripes strapped to their back. But happily for Chris Flesuras, in 3-D virtual world Second Life little is impossible. ...

Mixi vs. MySpace -- a fight for your bytes

| May 1, 2007

Mixi vs. MySpace -- a fight for your bytes

Since she started using the mixi Web site last summer, Yuki Nikitaki has linked up with a network of friends all over the world, including in Japan, and in Greece where she grew up. “One of the reasons I started mixi was that I ...

Mixed results with foreign influx

| Jan 16, 2007

Mixed results with foreign influx

At first glance there is little sign that Nishi-Kasai is different to any other Tokyo suburb. It’s a neat, if unremarkable, commuter town. Like similar areas, it grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s with an influx of migrant workers from the countryside. But ...

Students spread their wings

| Dec 12, 2006

Students spread their wings

Ever since Japan opened its doors to the West, English has been zealously studied in Japan’s high schools, night schools, universities and companies. But now that business with other Asian economies is booming, for how much longer will English remain the tongue of choice ...

Beneath the surface

| Nov 14, 2006

Beneath the surface

A converted bean storehouse in a Kyoto back-street is the unusual venue for an innovative introduction to traditional Japanese culture. During just one busy day, participants in the Origin Arts Program can try their hand at the ancient martial art of “Waraku,” tea ceremony, ...

Japan sees beginning of change

| Oct 25, 2005

Japan sees beginning of change

Writer Alex Kerr first came to Japan in 1964, since when he has worked as a translator, art dealer and in real estate during the “bubble” economy. He has also founded traditional arts programs in Japan and Thailand. In 1994 he was the first ...

| Jun 14, 2005

Cyber war grips Asia

If comments on bulletin boards were bullets and hacking attacks real skirmishes then East Asia would probably be a war zone now. Mirroring offline diplomatic clashes, Internet users in Japan, China and Korea have been posting verbal assaults and hackers launching determined cyber-attacks. Internet ...