| Sep 22, 2014

A peculiar perspective on the capricious word hen

by Mark Schreiber

One major event in Japan’s 16th-century civil war — which is the focus of “Gunshi Kanbei (Strategist Kanbei),” NHK’s current Sunday-night drama series — involves the duplicitous warlord Akechi Mitsuhide. Probably moved by personal jealousy, Mitsuhide betrayed his lord and ally, Oda Nobunaga, by ...

Somewhere, a grandfather is rolling in his grave

| Aug 11, 2014

Somewhere, a grandfather is rolling in his grave

by Kaori Shoji

Summertime in Japan is tinged with sadness, not just because we have to drag ourselves through this kirokutekina mōsho (記録的な猛暑, record-breaking heat), but because we must deal with the annual arrival of the “shūsenkinenbi (終戦記念日, the anniversary of the end of the Pacific War),” ...

Scanning headlines for business clues

| Aug 4, 2014

Scanning headlines for business clues

by Mark Schreiber

Before we had the Internet, much of the work that has now been taken over by Google and other search engines was done, the old-fashioned way, by poring over secondary sources such as newspapers and magazines. In the 1980s, while working as an analyst ...

Warming up for the Soccer W-Cup

| Jun 1, 2014

Warming up for the Soccer W-Cup

by Peter Backhaus

For real soccer fans, the upcoming World Cup in Brazil will be the highlight of the past four years. On top of that, many lukewarm supporters will surely soon discover that they are, in fact, true sports fans. But even those who consider it ...

| Jun 1, 2014

Gourmet comic stokes Fukushima ire

The popular manga series "Oishinbo" came under fire again on May 12 after a character based on a real-life former mayor refers, in the manga's latest issue, to Fukushima Prefecture as unlivable because of the radiation leaking from the ruined power plant there.

Learning Japanese by singing along

| May 25, 2014

Learning Japanese by singing along

by Mark Schreiber

Several years before I was taught to read and sing the traditional song 「さくら、さくら」(“Sakura, sakura“) in introductory Japanese class, I recall driving my father’s 1963 Ford Galaxie and humming along to the melody of Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki Song,” broadcast over WFAY AM radio in ...