Shizuoka: Where writers go to hide from the world

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Ask a Japanese person which part of Japan they most associate with writer Lafcadio Hearn and they are likely to instantly respond: Matsue, a seaside town in Shimane Prefecture. Hearn is the man who introduced Japan to the West in the Meiji Period (1868-1912) through books such as “Glimpses of ...

Japan's lighthouse legacy lives on in Taiwan

Sep 14, 2016

Japan's lighthouse legacy lives on in Taiwan

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In the summer of 1867, the American merchant vessel Rover, sailing north from southern China’s Guangdong Province, lost its way during a storm, drifted into waters off the southern coast of Taiwan, struck a reef, and sank. While the captain and crew of the ...

Asakusa: in the glow of Nippon kitsch

Sep 10, 2016

Asakusa: in the glow of Nippon kitsch

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Every once in a while, the Japanese have to remind themselves that they’re Japanese. We feel the need to reconfirm that we are part of a long and enduring traditional culture — one which includes kimono, samurai, ninja, eels on rice, and other weird ...

Lower Manhattan reborn 15 years after 9/11

Sep 10, 2016

Lower Manhattan reborn 15 years after 9/11

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Fifteen years after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, Lower Manhattan has been reborn. The revitalization of the city’s downtown, powered by $30 billion in government and private investment, includes not just the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, but also two new ...

Melania Trump puts Slovenia on the map

Sep 3, 2016

Melania Trump puts Slovenia on the map

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When Melanija Knavs drove around Ljubljana in a fluffy skirt on a metallic blue Vespa with her boyfriend in the late 1980s, the Slovenian capital was a sleepy town that offered little excitement to rare visitors. Over the past two decades since she left ...

Vintage ventures in Tabata Ginza

| Aug 27, 2016

Vintage ventures in Tabata Ginza

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The midday sky swirls with typhoon clouds as I set off to explore a little shopping area known as Tabata Ginza in Tokyo’s Kita Ward. I’m thrilled to be in the charismatic company of a third-generation rakugoka (traditional storyteller) who lives nearby. I met ...