Living a green life

Aug 31, 2008

Living a green life

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Sporting a smart, modern exterior, the home of Keiko and Yoshiyuki Shimizu and their children Ayano, 13, and Haruki, 11, in a residential area of Kawasaki, south of Tokyo in Kanagawa Prefecture, is full of fun features inside. The three- story house has a ...

'Backyard naturalist' finds it fun to be green

Aug 31, 2008

'Backyard naturalist' finds it fun to be green

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Tadashi Nemoto’s home in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, is proof that you don’t need lots of expensive equipment to enjoy an ecological lifestyle. Nemoto, a 48-year-old chemical ecologist for a national research institute by day, is a self-proclaimed “backyard naturalist” after work. His garden boasts ...

Natural by design

Aug 24, 2008

Natural by design

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I magine being able to maintain a perfect temperature and humidity in your home year round, without spending a single yen in electricity or gas bills. That’s exactly what Professor Emile Ishida of Tohoku University in northern Japan is striving to achieve — and ...

Keeper of the tales of a nuclear hell

| Aug 17, 2008

Keeper of the tales of a nuclear hell

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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 ...

Big business in death

| Aug 17, 2008

Big business in death

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ...