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Seed bank sprouts support a-plenty

| Sep 14, 2013

Seed bank sprouts support a-plenty

by Winifred Bird

In a sunny corner of Tomoko and Kenji Usui’s garden, surrounded by marigolds and goldenrod, there stands a peculiar little house. The thatched roof is tall and pointy like a witch’s hat, with flowers growing around the brim. The porch is wide and shady, ...

Olympic stars of the future look forward to 2020

| Sep 14, 2013

Olympic stars of the future look forward to 2020

by Edan Corkill

Thursday night was warm and clear in Yokohama. A cloudless, gradually darkening sky stretched over the 400-meter track at the Yamato Sports Center — seemingly boundless in its ability to absorb the shouts and laughter coming from the 20 boisterous young members of the ...

Long-gone writer tells it how it is

Aug 24, 2013

Long-gone writer tells it how it is

by Roger Pulvers

When Kenji Miyazawa was writing his stories and poems nearly a century ago, Japan was a country with a two-pronged mission: To become the first non-white, non-Christian nation to create a modern prosperous state — and to be the leader of an Asian revival. ...

Aug 24, 2013

Politicians

by Roger Pulvers

They’re just a bunch of scaremongers Raising alarm wherever they can And drinking their fill all the while fern fronds and clouds the world is that cold and dark But before they know it These fellows Rot all on their own Are washed away ...

Aug 24, 2013

Strong in the Rain

by Roger Pulvers

Strong in the rain Strong in the wind Strong against the summer heat and snow He is healthy and robust Free from desire He never loses his temper Nor the quiet smile on his lips He eats four gō of unpolished rice Miso and ...

How green is Tohoku's 'Green Connections' project?

| Aug 17, 2013

How green is Tohoku's 'Green Connections' project?

by Winifred Bird

On its surface, the plan seems like an environmentalist’s dream come true: Take wreckage from the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Honshu and pile it along the washed-out coastline; cover the crumbled concrete and broken ...

Image-flip for male rhythmic gymnasts

| Aug 17, 2013

Image-flip for male rhythmic gymnasts

by Tomoko Otake

Smirks and snickering tend to greet any mention of “men’s rhythmic gymnastics,” as the phrase conjures up images of chaps in tights prancing around swinging ribbons or clutching squeezy balls to their chests like the sport’s female exponents. That couldn’t be further from the ...

Seven years on, and everyone's itching for more

Aug 10, 2013

Seven years on, and everyone's itching for more

by Nobuko Tanaka

To date, including his all-male production of “The Merchant of Venice” that’s set to run next month at Sainokuni Saitama Arts Theater outside Tokyo, Yukio Ninagawa will have staged 29 of the 38 plays attributed to William Shakespeare — and his ambition to direct ...

Exclusive: Red Hat's lethal Okinawa smokescreen

Jul 27, 2013

Exclusive: Red Hat's lethal Okinawa smokescreen

by Jon Mitchell

In July 1969, a leak of chemical weapons on Okinawa sickened more than 20 U.S. soldiers and laid bare one of the Pentagon’s biggest Cold War secrets: the storage of toxic munitions outside of continental United States. Public outrage following the Okinawa accident forced ...