Topics

Will robots end up creating jobs or end them?

Mar 10, 2013

Will robots end up creating jobs or end them?

by

At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a management robot is learning to run a factory and give orders to artificial coworkers, and a BakeBot robot is reading recipes, whipping together butter, sugar and flour and putting the cookie mix in the oven. At the University ...

Tracing time's passing through faces of Tokyo

| Feb 17, 2013

Tracing time's passing through faces of Tokyo

by

Petri Artturi Asikainen would regularly accost strangers in Tokyo, on the streets, in parks or bars and on trains. With a high-end Nikon D3 digital SLR in his hands, the lanky and bespectacled Finn would ask — somewhat timidly summoning one of the few ...

What Japan needs to do

Jan 13, 2013

What Japan needs to do

by and

With its economy spluttering, large parts of its northeastern region still devastated by the effects of the mammoth Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 — and releases of radioactive materials that followed — its population shrinking and aging at unprecedented rates and its citizens ...

Survivor pens 'too painful' 3/11 tale

| Dec 16, 2012

Survivor pens 'too painful' 3/11 tale

by

‘March 11, 2011 — We will never forget the day. The disaster … After the massive earthquake occurred, the huge tsunami destroyed this area. Many citizens were lost and the survived people also received the deep crack in their hearts. I had a narrow ...

Dec 9, 2012

Apocalypse made in Japan

by

A world-ending cataclysm is common to many mythologies. The Biblical flood narrative is the best known and follows a fairly typical pattern: wrathful deity, mass destruction, surviving remnant — in this case the righteous man Noah and his family. We gather from these tales ...

The Fish Tree

Nov 25, 2012

The Fish Tree

by

Once upon a time there was a child who, being a child, simply didn’t know what to make of himself. “Look,” said his mother. “I brought the sun out for you. Go out and play.” “With the sun?” “Why not with the sun?” “Mom?” ...

The war legacy that binds Okinawa and Vietnam

Nov 11, 2012

The war legacy that binds Okinawa and Vietnam

by

As the motorbike taxi I’m aboard zigzags through the traffic in Da Nang, Vietnam’s fourth-largest city, a bus pulls out of nowhere, causing my driver to brake, swerve and slam us into a sidewalk stack of bamboo cages packed with soft plump ducklings. It’s ...

Sexy's back for womenswear

Oct 28, 2012

Sexy's back for womenswear

by

For what seems like an eternity, kawaii (cute) fashion has ruled the Japanese womenswear roost, and at times it’s looked as if we would never see a return to edgy, chic styles. But the designers are playing their cool cards now, and they brought ...

In search of the fearsome Onibaba

Oct 21, 2012

In search of the fearsome Onibaba

by

“Here’s as close as I can take you,” said my taxi driver, a charming fellow named Ishii whose pronounced zuzu-ben (Tohoku accent), was strong enough to cut with the proverbial knife. “Just follow the path down the hill there — you can’t miss it.” ...