Tokyo's thrilling new fashion feast

Mar 23, 2008

Tokyo's thrilling new fashion feast

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With an improved turnout and more labels on the runways, last week’s Japan Fashion Week ’08-’09 Autumn / Winter Collection was, on paper, a near- soaraway success. As well, the event’s official inclusion in the government’s budget for fiscal 2008, finalized at the end ...

Ultraman the hero ... again!

| Mar 16, 2008

Ultraman the hero ... again!

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SCENE ONE — Television production company Tsuburaya Productions’ “Monster Archive,” a two-story wooden shed used for storing “monsters” from long-running TV and film franchises such as “Ultraman.” The location is Kinuta, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo; the date is mid-February 2008. A cleaner emerges from the ...

A purrfect place for fanciers of felines

| Mar 16, 2008

A purrfect place for fanciers of felines

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The 20th of this month marks the first anniversary of Cat Cafe Calico’s opening to the public. The cafe’s 34-year-old owner Takafumi Fukui, having managed to hit on a revolutionary yet simple idea at just the right time, has good reason to celebrate. His ...

Mum fights nuke power

| Feb 24, 2008

Mum fights nuke power

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Yurika Ayukawa, the special adviser on climate change to the environmental organization World Wide Fund for Nature Japan (WWF Japan), believes the key to combating global warming lies in changing humans’ means of generating energy. “Japan should emphasize not nuclear power but natural gas ...

Polar pioneer sets her sights high

| Feb 24, 2008

Polar pioneer sets her sights high

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For her doctoral thesis, Kazuyo Sakanoi studied the mechanisms of flickering auroras — those luminous phenomena in the atmosphere that appear like curtains of light. “Auroras twinkle at an altitude of about 100 km in the sky. They are phenomena in space actually, not ...

Mother of 2 leads the way

| Feb 24, 2008

Mother of 2 leads the way

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Izumi Washitani is not only a professor of conservation ecology at the top-flight University of Tokyo, she’s also a committed activist who applies her studies to restoring threatened biodiversity. One of the threatened species she has researched is the so-called floating-heart plant (Nymphoides peltata) ...

Eyewitness: Burma from the inside

Feb 10, 2008

Eyewitness: Burma from the inside

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Burma’s Bloody September came home to people in Japan with the slaying of veteran freelance photojournalist Kenji Nagai on Sept. 27, 2007 in Yangon during a mass demonstration. The video clip showing him being gunned down by a Burmese soldier at point-blank range was ...