| Dec 4, 2011

Tenten Hosokawa: Drawing the blues away

by Tomoko Otake

In the last few decades, clinical depression in Japan has emerged from its longstanding obscurity shrouded in shame and guilt to becoming far more openly recognized as a national disease. A 2010 report by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry put the number of ...

| Oct 2, 2011

Satoshi Kamata: Rebel spirit writ large

by Eriko Arita

Monday, Sept. 19, was Respect for the Aged Day in Japan. But on that sweltering national holiday, it wasn’t the heat that that drew tens of thousands of people to Meiji Park in central Tokyo, but their concerns for all the nation’s citizens, and ...

Tadanori Yokoo: An artist by design

| Aug 7, 2011

Tadanori Yokoo: An artist by design

by Edan Corkill

In conversation, Tadanori Yokoo jumps nimbly between the past and the present. One moment he’s watching the sky glow red as bombs rain down on Kobe during World War II. The next he’s riding in a taxi with Yukio Mishima. And then he’s back ...

Fighter for justice

| May 1, 2011

Fighter for justice

by Tomoko Otake

Atsuko Muraki was thrown into the public spotlight in 2009, when she was head of the Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. Back then, Japan’s major news media suddenly started casting her as a lead perpetrator in ...

Writing about wrongs at home and abroad

| Feb 6, 2011

Writing about wrongs at home and abroad

by Eriko Arita

Yang Sok Gil is renowned for his novels describing, with remarkable humanity and humor, people’s wanton desires and the problems they cause, often from the viewpoint of minorities in Japan or elsewhere. As a second-generation Korean resident of Japan, Yang was born in 1936 ...

A lifetime of kabuki

| Dec 5, 2010

A lifetime of kabuki

by Edan Corkill

“Koraiya!” shouts someone in the audience, acclaiming the actor center stage. Feeding off the adulation, he launches into his next line. “What a useless fellow you are,” he yells, berating the servant at his side. “You shall pay dearly!” “Koraiya!” someone else yells from ...