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 ...

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, ...

Aug 26, 2001

Millions stranded with no way home

A major earthquake hits. Just as you’ve practiced in disaster drills, you evacuate. Making it to a safe place, you let out a small sigh of relief. But it’s not over yet. Now you’ve got to make your way home, perhaps through a devastated ...

Feet first!

Aug 12, 2001

Feet first!

Somewhere in the march of progress, we lost sight of our feet. Though there are cutting-edge running shoes incorporating space technology for maximum performance, many of us gladly choose low-tech gear in the name of style. We are willing fashion victims, but the damage ...