Japan, be confident!

| Feb 15, 2011

Japan, be confident!

by Glenn Newman

On the day of his departure from Hokkaido on April 16, 1877, at the end of his tenure as the first president of what later became Hokkaido University, William Smith Clark left his charges, and Japan, with a parting message: “Boys, be ambitious.” For ...

Naturalized Japanese: foreigners no more

| Feb 1, 2011

Naturalized Japanese: foreigners no more

by Debito Arudou

In Dec. 28′s Japan Times, Charles Lewis wrote a respectful Zeit Gist column asking three fellow wise men (sumo wrestler Konishiki, musicologist Peter Barakan and Diet member Marutei Tsurunen) about their successful lives as “foreigners” in Japan. Despite their combined century of experience here, ...

Waiting for the WikiLeak dam to break

| Jan 25, 2011

Waiting for the WikiLeak dam to break

by David Mcneill

Like a giant dose of salts to a bloated and constipated patient, “Cablegate” has scoured its way through the post-9/11 United States empire, exposing its internal workings to merciless scrutiny: In Iraq, U.S. forces and their Iraqi subordinates kill civilians and journalists while their ...

Taking stock of a generation of changes

| Jan 11, 2011

Taking stock of a generation of changes

by Michael Hassett

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changesTurn and face the strangeCh-ch-changesPretty soon now, you’re gonna get older Rolling Stone suggested that the lyrics to “Changes” by David Bowie could be “construed as a young man’s attempt to reckon how he’ll react when it’s his time to be on the maligned ...

Arudou's Alien Almanac: 2010

| Jan 4, 2011

Arudou's Alien Almanac: 2010

by Debito Arudou

No. 5: Renho joins Kan’s Cabinet Japanese politicians with international roots are few but not unprecedented. But Taiwanese- Japanese Diet member Renho’s ascension to the Cabinet as minister for administrative reforms has been historic. Requiring the bureaucrats to justify their budgets (famously asking last ...

Dreams for life, not just for Christmas

| Dec 21, 2010

Dreams for life, not just for Christmas

by Nooshin Navidi

The noise echoing down the dimly lit street in suburban Tokyo suggested it was no ordinary Sunday for the kids at St. Francis Children’s Home. The usually subdued atmosphere in the alleyways around Kugahara Station in Ota Ward was punctured by shouts and laughter ...

Mail-order buyer, be aware

| Dec 14, 2010

Mail-order buyer, be aware

by Mark Schreiber

In retrospect, I didn’t really need a new baseball cap. But this one, advertised by the publisher of a nationally circulated magazine, had a humorous logo in Japanese that tickled my fancy, making it — like much of the merchandise sold via mail order ...