Immigration showing signs of <em>ninjo</em>

| Oct 27, 2009

Immigration showing signs of ninjo

by Chris Burgess

Last month, I was asked to take part in a public panel discussion on the recently released Harrison Ford blockbuster “Crossing Over.” In the film, Ford plays an L.A. Immigration and Customs officer with a conscience, increasingly disturbed by the human consequences of his ...

| Sep 22, 2009

'The last flies of summer'

by Jon Mitchell

Three years ago, I was lying on the beach of a package hotel, watching a pair of jet skis churn the sea to muddy silt. J-pop blared from the shore-side Tannoy, and two lifeguards were pinning down a hysterical toddler, while a third doused ...

| Sep 15, 2009

Did technology kill the KTO star?

by John Spiri

In 1977, nine years after Tony Elliott started the then-alternative media London Time Out magazine, Kansai Time Out printed its first issue, an eight-pager with local listings and a smattering of Japan-related articles. Dominic Al-Badri, chief editor from 1997 to 2004, recalls that the ...

Half a room, without a view

| Sep 8, 2009

Half a room, without a view

by Mayumi Saito

If you live or travel on a budget and are looking for the cheapest digs in Tokyo, why not try staying in the closet? Cheaper than a regular gaijin house and more comfortable than the couch at an Internet cafe, oshiire (closet) houses provide ...

Meet Mr. James, gaijin clown

| Sep 1, 2009

Meet Mr. James, gaijin clown

by Debito Arudou

If you want to sell stuff, it helps to have a recognizable mascot representing your company. Disney has Mickey Mouse, Sanrio Hello Kitty, Studio Ghibli Totoro. These imaginary characters grace many a product and ad campaign. However, McDonald’s Japan dropped a clanger on Aug. ...

TOEIC: Where does the money go?

| Aug 18, 2009

TOEIC: Where does the money go?

by James Mccrostie

In a country of test-takers, the Test of English for International Communication has become one of Japan’s most recognized exams. In 2008, people in Japan paid ¥4,040 — or slightly less if their company or school paid a ¥100,000 membership fee — to take ...