Media insider casts an outsider's eye on Japan

| Jul 4, 2004

Media insider casts an outsider's eye on Japan

After 17 years’ experience as a top-flight news reporter both at home and abroad, in 1991 Seiichi Kanise began a 10-year stint as a TV news anchorman. Then, after covering a wide range of news events, in 2003 he accepted an offer from the ...

Enjoy a taste of Boso's byways

Jun 18, 2004

Enjoy a taste of Boso's byways

When I got off the train at Sanuki-machi on the Uchibo Line in Chiba Prefecture, I realized, in a vague kind of way, that I knew the old little station. Perhaps I’d visited this rural town near the sea on a grade-school summer trip. ...

Bridging cultures with books

May 9, 2004

Bridging cultures with books

Whether their parents read them fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, or even encouraged them to explore Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, most Japanese have been exposed to overseas literature from an early age, and many go on to discover the likes ...

Get away from it all without going so far

Apr 30, 2004

Get away from it all without going so far

HINASE, Okayama Pref. — Most people, if asked to name their favorite islands in Japan, might plump for the southernmost and most exotic ones which together comprise Okinawa Prefecture. Others, less enamored of balmy climes, might prefer Niigata Prefecture’s Sado Island in the Sea ...

Reluctantly putting the hanging case

Apr 25, 2004

Reluctantly putting the hanging case

Despite official data showing public support for capital punishment running at around 80 percent, few Japanese are willing to openly defend the death penalty. One of them is a specialist in criminal policy, Kazuhiko Tokoro, professor emeritus at Rikkyo (St. Paul’s) University in Tokyo. ...

Museums bid to widen leisure appeal

Mar 12, 2004

Museums bid to widen leisure appeal

Museums want you to drop by, of course, but they also want you to linger, to explore, take your time — the whole afternoon, if possible. To this end, no respectable museum can be without cafes and shops to enhance the experience. In fact, ...

Crowds flock to city in search of rich pickings

Jan 25, 2004

Crowds flock to city in search of rich pickings

It is a chilly Sunday morning. And it’s pretty early. Despite that, the precincts of Naritasan Kawagoe Betsuin are crowded with traders and bargain-hunters brought together by the temple’s monthly open-air market. “I came here before eight this morning, but it wasn’t early enough,” ...

Where time stands still

Jan 25, 2004

Where time stands still

Once upon a time, if you stood in the Saiwai-cho area of Kawagoe in western Saitama Prefecture, you would have seen all around you people in kimono moving between rows of old merchants’ houses with upswept, tiled roofs, kura warehouses with double-shuttered windows, and ...

Happy Ko-Edo exile

Jan 25, 2004

Happy Ko-Edo exile

Midori Fujii calls herself a “cityscape exile.” “When I introduce myself to the local people of Kawagoe, I always say ‘I’m a cityscape exile from Tokyo,’ ” says Fujii, a resident of Matsue-cho in the center of Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture. She loves the ...

Izu reveals its 'silver lining'

Jan 23, 2004

Izu reveals its 'silver lining'

For most Japanese, mention of the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture conjures up an image of a coast lined with onsen (hot-spring) resorts and blessed with good seafood, drawing hordes of visitors from the Tokyo area. However, speak to the okami-san (proprietress) at any ...