Don't be afraid to take the kids out

| Oct 10, 2014

Don't be afraid to take the kids out

by Jason Jenkins

Autumn in Japan. The days grow shorter, the air grows cooler and two of my favorite events occur: The changing of the leaves and Halloween celebrations —the best American cultural export ever, as far as I’m concerned. Sure, the Japanese have incorporated a number ...

Making noise about keeping the decibels down

Oct 10, 2014

Making noise about keeping the decibels down

by Daniel Krieger

Yoshimichi Nakajima was waiting for the train one day at his local station in Tokyo when he politely asked the station attendant to lower the volume on his microphone. He was told that would be “difficult,” so Nakajima lent a hand by grabbing the ...

Vaccination: a choice between two unknowns

Oct 4, 2014

Vaccination: a choice between two unknowns

by Masami Ito

Yoshimi Kawabe’s daughter was 2 years old in 2008 when an unusual rash broke out on her hands and feet. Her family doctor at first thought the rash was caused by hand, foot and mouth disease — a contagious viral infection common in young ...

'It's as if time has stopped since the vaccine'

Oct 4, 2014

'It's as if time has stopped since the vaccine'

by Masami Ito

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Japan. But what if there was a vaccine that could prevent a certain type of cancer? And what if it was free? Mika Matsufuji’s daughter received a free vaccine to prevent cervical cancer from Suginami Ward ...

Lafcadio Hearn: 'Japanese Thru and Tru'

Sep 20, 2014

Lafcadio Hearn: 'Japanese Thru and Tru'

by Roger Pulvers

A small cage was opened at Lafcadio Hearn’s funeral, setting birds into the air, the soul of the deceased presumably taking flight with them. His coffin was draped in chrysanthemums and fragrant olive, adorned by a laurel wreath. Seven Buddhist priests read the sutras ...

Kodomo no Ie: home away from home

Sep 13, 2014

Kodomo no Ie: home away from home

by Masami Ito

The sound of giggling fills a room at Kodomo no Ie, a children’s institution in northern Tokyo, as a group of half a dozen girls work on their homework while waiting for dinner to be served. It’s the same situation that is typically played ...

Waking up to child abuse

Sep 13, 2014

Waking up to child abuse

by Masami Ito

With reported cases of child abuse topping 70,000 per annum for the first time in August, Masami Ito examines the nation's changing attitudes toward violence at home.