Travel writer gets intimate with Japan

| Jun 28, 2011

Travel writer gets intimate with Japan

by Mami Maruko

Freelance travel writer Beth Reiber knows Tokyo inside out — maybe much more than most Tokyoites. Reiber, who lives in Lawrence, Kansas, wrote the Tokyo version of the Frommer’s guidebooks — one of the best-selling series of guide books published in the United States ...

Poet draws on senses to give words life

| Jun 21, 2011

Poet draws on senses to give words life

by Mami Maruko

American poet Arthur Binard is alert to the world around him. His interests range from trees and insects to bicycles, kotatsu (heater tables) and nuclear energy. Binard writes poems in Japanese — which is not his mother tongue — as well as in English, ...

Polyglot comfortable between cultures

| May 24, 2011

Polyglot comfortable between cultures

by Mami Maruko

Alessandro Gerevini, an Italian writer and translator who has lived and worked in Japan for 16 years, believes that Japanese and Italian cultures have a lot in common. Gerevini notes that, for example, the idea of family and the unique culture of food are ...

Classics scholar seeks to repay debt

| Apr 12, 2011

Classics scholar seeks to repay debt

by Mami Maruko

When the earthquake and tsunami hit the northeast on March 11, Robert Campbell, an Irish-American scholar of Edo Period to early Meiji Era literature, was in Tokyo. Not having ever been to the most severely affected areas of Tohoku, he said the whole picture ...

Juggler of two professions in Japan

| Mar 15, 2011

Juggler of two professions in Japan

by Mami Maruko

“My No. 1 hobby even now is still ‘learning,’ ” says Peter Frankl, 58, who has been juggling two professions for over 30 years. Speaking with his eyes lit up like a little boy, the mathematician and street juggler says that through learning, he ...

Indian works to serve expat enclave

| Feb 8, 2011

Indian works to serve expat enclave

by Mami Maruko

Once you get out of Nishi-Kasai Station on the Tozai subway line, it’s likely that you will bump into at least half a dozen Indians in the first five minutes on the street. Nishi-Kasai in Edogawa Ward is known as “Little India,” home to ...

| Dec 14, 2010

For writer, languages are his 'darling'

by Mami Maruko

Writer Tony Laszlo, 50, has a strong passion for languages. He speaks 10, including English, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Turkish and French. As a writer, he uses both English, his mother tongue, and Japanese. In 2005, he published his first essay “Tony-ryu Shiawase wo Saibai ...

One man's cup of tea equals a career

| Jul 27, 2010

One man's cup of tea equals a career

by Mami Maruko

“Irasshaimase, dozo! (Welcome to the shop. Please have a look around!)” The high-spirited, delightful voice of a tall Frenchman echoes in the Shinjuku branch of Maruyamaen, a long-established Japanese tea shop. Weugue Florent, 29, a member of the sales staff of the shop located ...

Veteran teacher finds his own way

| Jul 13, 2010

Veteran teacher finds his own way

by Mami Maruko

Paul del Rosario was flabbergasted when he was reprimanded for being too loud at a language school where he was teaching English, and had to confront a Japanese boss there. The boss came to him and said, “Maybe it’s a good idea not to ...