Scholars worldwide react to plan

by Edan Corkill

Proponents of the National Center for Media Arts argue that it will help foreign researchers examining Japan’s popular culture. The Japan Times asked prominent scholars from overseas their thoughts on ...

Kafu's Tokyo musings

“Bats were already out, and children were already chasing them. Near at hand there was a clanging of streetcars, while ...

| Apr 19, 2009

A rose by any other name is still an alien species

by Edan Corkill

“Don’t be fooled by the crowds milling around the rose beds.” That’s gardener Akemi Sugii’s perplexing heads-up for anyone planning a visit to next week’s open days of the Ark Hills rooftop garden she manages in Tokyo’s upmarket Akasaka district. That’s because, Sugii says, ...

| Apr 12, 2009

Menswear seeks meaning

by Paul Mcinnes

The luxury market is taking a beating; world-famous German minimalist fashion designer Jil Sander is working with Uniqlo, H&M are taking over Tokyo high streets and Number (N)ine, a top Japanese menswear label, has gone out of business. It would be fair to say ...

| Apr 12, 2009

Focus on: Reem Alasadi

by David Stuchbury

London-based designer Reem Alasadi brought her collection to the Yoyogi National Stadium on March 27, where it was apparent how diverse influences shape the Reem look, especially British punk and recycled materials molded into voluminous and voluptuous Victorian-inspired dresses. Reem (right), of Arabic origin, ...

| Mar 15, 2009

Slow Life ambassador tickets hasty hordes

by Eriko Arita

At a busy crossing in front of Tokyo Station, Bruno Contigiani, president of L’Arte del Vivere con Lentezza (The Art of Slow Living), an organization he founded in his native Italy, approached office workers one after another urging “Yuru yuru, shiawase” (“Go slowly, be ...

Feb 22, 2009

Its director's cut on new Festival/Tokyo

by Nobuko Tanaka

Japan may be floundering politically and economically, but amid all the uncertainties it is a joy to report the sparkling rebirth of a major international theater event in Tokyo. Tokyo International Festival (TIF) may be dead — but watch out Avignon, Edinburgh and Adelaide ...

| Feb 15, 2009

Keio's man ahead of his time

by Eriko Arita

Next time you come by a ¥10,000 bill, take a look at the face of Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901) that appears on the front, for he was a most remarkable man. In October 1858, Fukuzawa, then a 23-year-old samurai, opened a small school of Western ...

Feb 8, 2009

Burmese junta fuels influx

by Jeff Kingston

In 2008 there was a sharp spike in the number of people seeking asylum in Japan, and although only 6 percent of those processed were recognized by the government as refugees, they totalled 57 compared with 41 the year before. Eri Ishikawa of the ...

Jan 25, 2009

Can farmers keep tuna on the menu?

by Hillel Wright

In December 2007, the Fisheries Laboratory fish farm of Kinki University in Wakayama Prefecture became the first facility in the world to “close the cycle” by breeding Pacific bluefin tuna (hon-maguro) from completely cultured sources. That is, a third generation of fish was bred ...

| Jan 18, 2009

The Imperials are well connected

by Edan Corkill

The posting of Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Message on YouTube last year made news around the world. Less well known is the fact that Japan’s Imperial family has been offering videos among other entertaining content on their Web site for the last five years. ...

ONE for ALL

Dec 28, 2008

ONE for ALL

by Tomoko Otake

Ekiden is Japan’s homegrown long-distance road-relay event. Its popularity peak comes at the start of every year with the grueling two-day Hakone Ekiden — but some long to see it one day gracing the Olympics, too. In a few days, a new year will ...

Facts about the Hakone Ekiden

Dec 28, 2008

Facts about the Hakone Ekiden

Starting times: Jan. 2 at 8 a.m. (Tokyo to Hakone); Jan. 3 at 8 a.m. (Hakone to Tokyo) The runners: 20 all-male college track and field teams from the Kanto region (around Tokyo), each with 10 runners. How to participate: Teams that finish in ...

Ekiden pulls them in from around the world

Dec 28, 2008

Ekiden pulls them in from around the world

by Eriko Arita

Foreign athletes have been conspicuous in numerous ekiden long-distance relays since the 1980s. In the 65th Hakone Ekiden in 1989, Joseph Otwori, a Kenyan student at Yamanashi Gakuin University, and the first foreign runner in the race, overtook seven runners in the second leg, ...