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Yugo Hirano

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

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. ...

Japanese-Brazilian hot-rod boss now mentor to children

Feb 5, 2009

Japanese-Brazilian hot-rod boss now mentor to children

Japanese-Brazilian Anderson Hyuma Gushi remembers his troubled youth, when he was bullied by classmates at an elementary school as a “foreigner with a Japanese face.” He eventually dropped out of his evening high school classes and became the leader of a group of hot-rodders, ...

Net-savvy parents shield children from harmful sites

Sep 26, 2008

Net-savvy parents shield children from harmful sites

A movement is spreading across Japan to train parents to be more Internet-savvy when it comes to protecting their children from harmful sites, after the enactment of a new law this summer. The Diet passed a bill in June aimed at controlling Web sites ...

Japanese-Brazilian starts publication with Brazilian appeal

Apr 24, 2008

Japanese-Brazilian starts publication with Brazilian appeal

A Japanese-Brazilian has started publishing a free bimonthly magazine in the 100th year since Japanese started emigrating to Brazil. Mario Makuda, who runs an advertising agency in Oizumi, Gunma Prefecture, is producing Revista Mais Brasil (Magazine More Brazil) in the hope that Japanese will ...