Feb 4, 2015

'Setsubun no hi' in Japan — a day full of beans

"Setsubun," literally meaning "season time," is a celebration of the coming spring. Traditionally, on "setsubun no hi," held on Feb. 3, people throw beans to ward off bad spirits and then eat beans to bring them good luck. Here's a selection of scenes from ...

Coming-of-Age Day in Japan 2015

Jan 14, 2015

Coming-of-Age Day in Japan 2015

This week in Japan, people are enjoying a shorter working week thanks to "Seijin no Hi" (Coming-of-Age Day), a day on which anyone who happens to have turned 20 between April 2 of last year and April 1 this year celebrates the so-called rite ...

Most read Life stories of 2014

Jan 1, 2015

Most read Life stories of 2014

From cannabis growers to tips on learning Japanese, these were some of the most read Life section articles of 2014. Cannabis: the fabric of Japan When Junichi Takayasu was 3 years old, a picture book about ninjas changed his life forever. What fascinated him ...

Public protest in Japan: Power to the people?

Dec 20, 2014

Public protest in Japan: Power to the people?

by Eric Johnston

“Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.” — Article 21, Constitution of Japan “I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.” — Henry David Thoreau, ...

Marcus Luttrell: a 21st-century war hero

Mar 29, 2014

Marcus Luttrell: a 21st-century war hero

by Giovanni Fazio

Shake the hand of Marcus Luttrell, and there’s no mistaking the grip of someone who spent many a year holding a weapon. A former U.S. Navy SEAL, Luttrell is your 21st-century war hero, with a book and movie deal relating his near-fatal experiences in ...

Aomori Airport’s Snow Removal Team: 'White Impulse'

Mar 24, 2014

Aomori Airport’s Snow Removal Team: “White Impulse”

When we arrive at AomoriAirport’s terminal building to meet with the airport director, the board hanging behind the information counters near the first floor entrance shows numerous flights have been canceled. With the entire surrounding area covered in white and snow falling steadily everywhere, ...

Euthanasia: the dilemma of choice

Feb 15, 2014

Euthanasia: the dilemma of choice

by Jun Hongo

Euthanasia is an emotionally charged issue for people on both sides of the debate. Proponents of euthanasia argue that a person suffering from terminal illness should be given the freedom to choose how and when they die. Such discourse is given weight by the ...