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Yugo Hirano

For Yugo Hirano's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Telling the story of Japanese settlers in Brazil

Jun 10, 2015

Telling the story of Japanese settlers in Brazil

Masayuki Fukasawa, a veteran journalist at a Japanese-language newspaper in Sao Paulo, has taken inspiration from his own migrant story to compile a history of Japanese settlement in Brazil over the past century. “I wanted to incorporate into modern history the story of how ...

NGO tries to save South Asian relics

Jan 30, 2015

NGO tries to save South Asian relics

From the ancient Indian city of Mohenjo-daro to Buddhist Gandhara art, South Asia is rich in cultural heritage but under threat from economic sprawl and a lack of restoration capabilities. To help preserve cultural sites at risk, a group of Japanese archaeologists has set ...

Fukushima No. 1 schoolteacher says disaster lessons still unlearned

Jun 10, 2014

Fukushima No. 1 schoolteacher says disaster lessons still unlearned

Retired schoolteacher Hidefumi Owada feels helpless whenever he returns to his deserted home in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture. Abandoned following the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, it is now derelict and the garden is overgrown. “I feel miserable whenever I return ...

Elderly perked up by Filipino caregiver

Feb 25, 2014

Elderly perked up by Filipino caregiver

Laughter is often heard from some 40 elderly people who receive day care services at a care home in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, thanks to the presence of a Filipino worker. “When I speak in English, grandpas seem delighted,” Charito Ito said, revealing her secret ...

Feb 21, 2014

Fukushima Chinese moms tutor kids

Chinese women in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, have formed a group to teach Chinese to half-Japanese and half-Chinese children, while sharing information and promoting interaction on the basis of their experiences following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan. Early in February, ...

Sep 5, 2013

New theory on 1613 mission floated

Historian Naotsugu Hamada has proposed a new theory about the 1613 mission that Date Masamune, Sendai’s then-feudal lord, sent to Europe and Mexico, arguing that he may have intended to use funds from trade with Mexico to reconstruct Tohoku, which had been rocked by ...

Teacher vows to protect students from disasters

Mar 29, 2013

Teacher vows to protect students from disasters

Having lost his daughter in the quake-tsunami disaster two years ago, Toshiro Sato, a teacher in Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, believes the best disaster prevention is not to forget what happened that fateful day and confront it. “I don’t want to let any more students ...

Scribe a star to Myanmar refugees

May 28, 2009

Scribe a star to Myanmar refugees

Freelance journalist Hisao Tanabe is so highly regarded by Myanmar refugees in Japan they call him “Shwe Ba,” after an actor in Burma in the 1950s and ’60s who starred in numerous movies about people fighting those in power on behalf of the oppressed. ...