Jobs journal reflects social change

Nov 25, 2007

Jobs journal reflects social change

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Back in 1980 when the weekly job-seekers' magazine Travail was launched, it was a social phenomenon that gave women the information they needed to independently switch jobs and build their careers. People even adopted the magazine's title (which means "work" in French, and is ...

Up, up and away

| Nov 18, 2007

Up, up and away

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Imagine an oblong balloon that's longer than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet and has a small glass bowl of a passenger compartment dangling precariously from its underbelly. Despite the slogan "Fly with me" emblazoned along its length, the Zeppelin NT didn't look like the ...

Changing lives with castoffs

| Nov 18, 2007

Changing lives with castoffs

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Michiyo Yoshida is a prime example of that green mantra, "Think globally, act locally." But the nonprofit organization she cofounded to send used wheelchairs to developing countries has also enabled members to "think globally and act globally." To date, in fact, the Sapporo-based volunteer group ...

Japan's savior of Khmer silk

Nov 11, 2007

Japan's savior of Khmer silk

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Kikuo Morimoto, 59, is a passionate man who radiates an aura of serenity. He has almost single-handedly saved the silk-weaving industry of Cambodia, a tradition that was nearly lost during three decades of war and neglect. Morimoto started as an apprentice kimono painter in Kyoto, ...

One man with a mighty passion for mannequins

| Oct 21, 2007

One man with a mighty passion for mannequins

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Mannequins are a foil for fashion items, whether they be coats, stockings or even hairpieces. Few of us pause to wonder where those plastic dolls go after they grace the shop windows or decorate department store floors. But in reality, mannequins made in Japan spend ...

Linguists gutted by body-talk blight

Sep 23, 2007

Linguists gutted by body-talk blight

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Imagine a nation of people who no longer know where their center lies. That's what Japan has become in recent decades. One of the major casualties of the Japanese language's rapid and ongoing evolution is the diminishing use of body-related phrases — a phenomenon that ...

Cellphone bards hit bestseller lists

Sep 23, 2007

Cellphone bards hit bestseller lists

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Like many other young Japanese, Rin, 21, punches her mobile phone keys very quickly. Holding her phone with two hands, and moving her thumbs deftly and smoothly, she quickly generates sentences on the small screen. But unlike others, her main reason for typing on ...