Keeper of the tales of a nuclear hell

| Aug 17, 2008

Keeper of the tales of a nuclear hell

by David Mcneill

Has George W. Bush ever heard of Akihito Ito? Dismayed at Pentagon plans to develop a new generation of “tactical” nuclear weapons — so-called mini-nukes — Ito sent Bush a gift: a box of CDs carrying the recorded voices of 284 atomic-bomb survivors from ...

'Inaudible' ring confounds adults

| Aug 17, 2008

'Inaudible' ring confounds adults

by Edan Corkill

For at least 1,000 years, the struggle has continued. It is a struggle that has united children across cultures, religions and national borders. It has seen multitudes of victims, who have shaken their heads in befuddlement and despair. It is an unusual struggle, one ...

Big business in death

| Aug 17, 2008

Big business in death

by Setsuko Kamiya

Like it or not, we will all die one day. That said, our mortality is not something we tend to dwell on — and as for funerals, well, most people probably think about them as little as humanly possible and attend them only when ...

China remembers its own local Schindler

Aug 10, 2008

China remembers its own local Schindler

by Jeff Kingston

John Rabe (1882-1950), known as the Oscar Schindler of China, was an employee of Siemens and a Nazi party member when he helped establish the International Safety Zone (ISZ) toward the end of 1937 to provide a refuge for Nanjing’s noncombatants. As a result, ...

Aug 10, 2008

Some look forward to a harmonious future

The following is from the text of an e-mail sent to Jeff Kingston from Cindy Yang, a Chinese university student. What disappointed me most about the memorial was that I had expected the exhibition to be condensed and focused, but, things were just the ...

Nanjing now: philosophy, history and Jacuzzis

Aug 10, 2008

Nanjing now: philosophy, history and Jacuzzis

by Jeff Kingston

Nanjing is a bustling city of 7 million, about six times its population before the Japanese rampage of 1937, and looks like many of the other modern, gleaming urbanscapes that have mushroomed up across China. What sets it apart are the sycamore-lined boulevards and ...

War and reconciliation: a tale of two countries

Aug 10, 2008

War and reconciliation: a tale of two countries

by Jeff Kingston

On July 7, 2008, officers of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force visited Nanjing, the ancient capital of China, for an artillery demonstration — a visit barely mentioned in the Chinese media, even though it was the first time Japanese soldiers returned to the scene ...

Cipangu's landlocked isles

Jul 27, 2008

Cipangu's landlocked isles

by Michael Hoffman

Thirteenth-century Japan has this in common with early 19th-century Japan: a land culture paying scant heed to the sea until the sea, as though in outrage, rises up and compels attention. The dominant features of 13th-century Japan are Zen Buddhism and the newly empowered ...

Was the 'Japanese Renaissance' lost at sea?

Jul 27, 2008

Was the 'Japanese Renaissance' lost at sea?

by Michael Hoffman

Last week, Japan celebrated Umi no Hi (Marine Day). First observed as a national holiday in 1996, Marine Day marks the anniversary of the return of Emperor Meiji from a boat trip to Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido on July 20, 1876. It is ...

Temporary arrangements

| Jul 20, 2008

Temporary arrangements

by Tomoko Otake

Akio Watanabe knows what a dead end feels like. The 34-year-old native of Yamagata Prefecture in northern Japan found himself one of a growing legion of “netto cafe nanmin (Net-cafe refugees)” at the end of March, when the major temp agency he had worked ...