Dec 16, 2001

Wright's modern masterpiece comes back to life

All too often in this country, modern buildings of architectural and historical value are bulldozed to make way for new commercial development. The “lucky” ones may be granted a stay of execution, if only to survive as unused and lifeless monuments. Neither of these ...

The long road to a barrier-free Japan

Nov 18, 2001

The long road to a barrier-free Japan

Compact size. Lightweight. High-speed. Extra new features. Appealing design. Competitive price. Manufacturers have long focused on criteria like these in their quest for successful product lines. In the single-minded pursuit of profits, though, consumers unable to adapt themselves to standardized products for reasons of ...

Oct 28, 2001

Kazuo Ishiguro: In praise of nostalgia as idealism

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki in 1954, and at age 5 he moved with his parents to London, where he has lived ever since. In 1986, his second novel, “An Artist of the Floating World,” was nominated for Britain’s leading award for fiction, ...

Aerobics: Work that body blow!

Oct 21, 2001

Aerobics: Work that body blow!

At more and more gyms across Tokyo, women’s workout classes are beginning to resemble action-packed scenes from “Tomb Raider.” Lara Croft, the students are not — though the best could probably give her a run for her money. This is because the exercise programs ...

Easing the way for U and I

Oct 14, 2001

Easing the way for U and I

For rural areas suffering from depopulation, it can only be good news if city-folk want to move to the country. Over the past decade, countryside municipalities have used so-called U-turn and I-turn policies to encourage migration from the cities — the key to success, ...

Sep 16, 2001

Your future dished up at fortunetelling pub

If this taste for new uranai has left you hungry for more, then izakaya uranai may be just the thing. A virtual Japanese pub found on the Web not only defines your personality type, but also your drinking habits and even your “lucky izakaya ...

Sep 16, 2001

In touch with your inner squid

Aquarium uranai (book; Magazine House) uses your birth date and blood type to determine your token “sea creature” from a list of 16, including sea bream, blowfish and jellyfish. Your personality type and behavioral patterns are defined, as is your compatibility with other sea ...

Sep 16, 2001

Fortunetelling traditions thrive on indecision

Runes, tea leaves and chicken innards. A strange group, perhaps, but all have a place in fortunetelling tradition as aids to seeking insight and resolving indecision. Now, though, soothsaying aids are growing even more motley, with recent additions including Shinjuku Station, koalas, eggplants and ...

Old before their time

Sep 9, 2001

Old before their time

From the mummies of ancient Egypt to the philosophers’ search for the legendary Fountain of Youth to modern-day cryogenics, humankind has always longed for eternal life and everlasting youth. But has our fear of aging gone too far? What are we to make of ...

Sep 2, 2001

What's off the menu?

Types of vegetarians and definitions, according to the British-based International Vegetarian Union: Vegan: Excludes from the diet all animal flesh (red meat, poultry, fish and seafood), animal products (eggs and dairy) and the wearing or use of animal-derived products (leather, silk, wool, lanolin, gelatin, ...