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Tohoku fisheries fight back from 3/11

Sep 9, 2012

Tohoku fisheries fight back from 3/11

by Hillel Wright

“The facts about much of Japan’s social, political, and financial life are hidden so well that the truth is nearly impossible to know,” writes Alex Kerr in his acclaimed 2001 study “Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan.” He continues, “A ...

Sea changes set in motion

Sep 9, 2012

Sea changes set in motion

by Hillel Wright

Between 20 and 30 percent of Japan’s marine fisheries production was lost in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck the Tohoku region of northeastern Honshu on March 11, 2011, followed by huge tsunamis and explosions and reactor meltdowns at the ...

Flashback to the sandy beaches of Izu

Aug 26, 2012

Flashback to the sandy beaches of Izu

by Skye Hohmann

Once, after the wet, green month of June — which every year waters the newly planted rice, turns the landscape lush, and makes us long for sunlight and clear skies — my boyfriend and I drove all night just to swim in the ocean. ...

Material girls: Japan's preteen model boom

Aug 26, 2012

Material girls: Japan's preteen model boom

by Ayako Mie

AKB48 has reshaped the landscape of youth culture in modern Japan. The pop-idol group’s rapid rise to stardom across a wide array of formats has provided the country’s children with a fairly straightforward path to commercial success: fame is ultimately achieved by attracting a ...

Professor aspires toward the perfect prosthetic design

Aug 12, 2012

Professor aspires toward the perfect prosthetic design

by Tomoko Otake

“Functionality and aesthetics can co-exist.” That’s the idea Shunji Yamanaka is trying to express through his design of next-generation prosthetic limbs. Yamanaka, a product designer and professor of media studies at Keio University’s Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), became interested in prosthetics after seeing South ...

Restoration of temple 'harder than building it'

Aug 5, 2012

Restoration of temple 'harder than building it'

by Tomoko Otake

The year was 1735, and on the plains of Menuma in present-day Saitama Prefecture, master builder Hayashi Masakiyo was going from village to village assembling a group of top-class carpenters, engravers, painters and other artisans. Having gathered his team together, 60-year-old Hayashi may well ...