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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, “Civil Disobedience” On Dec. 10, the ...

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 ...

Walking in the steps of samurai

| Feb 7, 2014

Walking in the steps of samurai

There is no embellished castle tower to keep watch over Sasayama, a city ringed by the mountains of central HyogoPrefecture. Only thick stone walls mark the site where an early 17th-century fortress stood. Even in those days, the castle keep was a relatively unimpressive ...

Jan 16, 2014

Google brats are ruining Frisco for the locals

by John Naughton

Just under a year ago, Rebecca Solnit, a writer living in San Francisco, wrote a sobering piece in the London Review of Books about the Google Bus, which she viewed as a proxy for the technology industry in nearby Palo Alto, Mountain View and ...

Convenience stores turning to the elderly

Jan 16, 2014

Convenience stores turning to the elderly

With the market now saturated, convenience stores in Japan increasingly need to upgrade products and services for the elderly amid the rapid aging of the country’s population. The convenience store business has grown sharply since the first shop opened 40 years ago thanks to ...

Invisible threat from brain injuries

Jan 11, 2014

Invisible threat from brain injuries

Blows to the head can be silent killers for which swift diagnosis is often the only recourse, say doctors. Even if there is no damage to the outside of the head, the impact may inflict catastrophic damage to the brain inside, they say. Because ...

Kenya Hara: the future of design

Jan 4, 2014

Kenya Hara: the future of design

by Cameron Allan Mckean

Sitting at a plain white table in a meeting room high up on the 12th floor of a narrow building in central Tokyo, product designer Kenya Hara asks me to picture a shallow plate in my mind. “Now imagine a slightly deeper plate,” Hara ...

The most viewed life stories of 2013

Jan 1, 2014

The most viewed life stories of 2013

From burgers to ballerinas, LINE sending to gender bending, kawaii cute to Nadeshiko adorable, here are the life section stories that caught online readers’ eyes in 2013. As a gyaru might say, “Yababa!”