American out to save boat-building art

Sep 17, 2011

American out to save boat-building art

by Mick Corliss

Douglas Brooks is a man on a mission. A boat builder and craftsman originally from Connecticut, Brooks is committed to helping keep afloat the dying craft of traditional boat building in Japan. Hailing from the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, maritime connections have gradually taken over ...

Sep 13, 2011

Japan needs your mascot: Get drawing, win cash

In the Aug. 30 Light Gist column, headlined “Mascots on a mission to explain the mundane,” Colin P. A. Jones explored the marvellous menagerie of mascots deployed by Japanese authorities to educate adults and children alike about the law and the workings of government. ...

Sep 6, 2011

Japan needs your mascots

In last week’s Light Gist column, headlined “Mascots on a mission to explain the mundane,” Colin P. A. Jones explored the marvellous menagerie of mascots deployed by Japanese authorities to educate adults and children alike about the law and the workings of government. Please ...

Mask maker keeping Shimane tradition alive

Aug 27, 2011

Mask maker keeping Shimane tradition alive

by Rob Gilhooly

Hanging on the walls of Jake Davies’ home are around 20 artifacts that seem at odds with the idyllic village in Sakurae, Shimane Prefecture where his rustic abode is set. Some depict outlandish beings with horns and frightening fangs. Even those that seem more ...

Last chance for a fix of '90s 'Alien Humor'

Aug 23, 2011

Last chance for a fix of '90s 'Alien Humor'

The newly released “Alien Humor” (Treasure Productions, 140 pages, soft cover, ¥1,400) is a collection of many of the pieces that Neil Garscadden wrote while editor of the humor section of The Alien magazine. Features that readers might remember include “Why It’s Hard to ...

Fate's path led Canadian to Kamakura

Aug 20, 2011

Fate's path led Canadian to Kamakura

by Kris Kosaka

Rarely does life offer a clear-cut crossroads, but Heather Willson, a 34-year resident of Japan, faced one squarely when she was 22 years old. “I first came to Japan for one year during my undergraduate work in 1973, and I loved it so much ...

Man eating sharks — and mercury, group warns

Aug 16, 2011

Man eating sharks — and mercury, group warns

by Jessica Ocheltree

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “shark”? For many, it’s a gaping maw of razor-sharp teeth or a dorsal fin cutting ominously through the water behind an oblivious swimmer. John Williams’ iconic Jaws score is probably running through ...

Young dancers reap fruits of choreographer's expertise

Aug 13, 2011

Young dancers reap fruits of choreographer's expertise

by Kris Kosaka

Kimiho Hulbert danced before she could talk. Crawling backstage between dressing rooms of her Japanese mother and British father, both professional dancers in Belgium where she was born, Hulbert even disdained her first official ballet class at 2 years old as “too babyish.” “I ...

Camp builds confidence through creativity

Aug 13, 2011

Camp builds confidence through creativity

by Mami Maruko

At first glance, it may be hard to imagine that the children singing and jumping around at a gymnasium at Tokyo International School in Minato Ward have been separated from their parents and live in children’s homes. About 60 children — aged between 6 ...