Imagine a better Olympics for Japan

| Sep 3, 2012

Imagine a better Olympics for Japan

by Michael Hoffman

“Sekai wa itsuka hitotsu ni naru” (「世界はいつかひとつになる」) — that’s what “And the world will be as one,” from John Lennon’s “Imagine,” sounds like in Japanese, at least according to the Asahi Shimbun. The matter arises in connection with the dai sanjukkai orinpikku kyogitaikai (第三十回オリンピック競技大会, ...

This ain't no cure for the summertime blues

| Aug 13, 2012

This ain't no cure for the summertime blues

by Kaori Shoji

How are you looking vacationwise? Do you have a chunk of time set aside for genuine relaxation and that most wonderful of Western concepts: Fun? Personally speaking, it’s nearly impossible for me to enjoy summertime, as the season is fraught with traumatic memories. The ...

| Jul 30, 2012

Mikitani and his 'Englishnization' of Japanese business

by Minoru Matsutani

On July 1, Rakuten Inc. CEO Hiroshi Mikitani published a book about his company’s so-called Englishnization project titled “Takaga Eigo!” (「たかが英語!」”It’s only English”) to coincide with the the start of the company’s eigo kōyōgoka (英語公用語化, making English the official language). The formal English name ...

After 15 years, Mainali is a free man

| Jul 2, 2012

After 15 years, Mainali is a free man

by Michael Hoffman

Freed June 7 from 15 years’ imprisonment for a murder he apparently never committed, Govinda Prasad Mainali declared himself full of gratitude. Speaking through his lawyer, he said, “Mujitsu, shinjitsu wo shinjite kureta saibankan ni deaete yokatta. Kansha no kimochi de ippai desu,” (「無実、真実を信じてくれた裁判官に出会ってよかった。感謝の気持ちでいっぱいです”」”It’s ...

| Jun 4, 2012

A hot genpatsu-free summer threatens

by Michael Hoffman

Two things make a battered Japan cringe: genpatsu (原発, nuclear power) and fukeiki (不景気, economic stagnation). The nation has suffered deeply from both. As spring fades into a potentially sweltering, potentially stagnant summer, there arises an agonizing dilemma: Can the latter be avoided, or ...