The other costs of concrete

| May 19, 2013

The other costs of concrete

by Winifred Bird

Where does concrete come from? The material has become such a pervasive symbol of human alienation from nature that it's tempting to assume it's just another brutish product of the 18th-century Industrial Revolution.

Ghosts of Cowra breakout haunt Japan to this day

| Mar 17, 2013

Ghosts of Cowra breakout haunt Japan to this day

by Nobuko Tanaka

Prisoner A: ” ‘Never live to experience the shame of being taken prisoner by the enemy’ … that’s what the Imperial Japanese Military Regulations say, hence there must be no prisoners. So what’s happening here now are the dreams of ghosts” — from “Cowra ...

Tracing time's passing through faces of Tokyo

| Feb 17, 2013

Tracing time's passing through faces of Tokyo

by Tomoko Otake

Petri Artturi Asikainen would regularly accost strangers in Tokyo, on the streets, in parks or bars and on trains. With a high-end Nikon D3 digital SLR in his hands, the lanky and bespectacled Finn would ask — somewhat timidly summoning one of the few ...

Turnip-tossing turns up trumps for trader

| Jan 19, 2013

Turnip-tossing turns up trumps for trader

by Tomoko Otake

Yoshio Otsuka’s years of striving to revive a near-extinct strain of turnip known to have been grown some 400 years ago in the Shinagawa district of today’s central Tokyo recently struck pay dirt in a most unexpected fashion. That’s because, via a little local ...

Survivor pens 'too painful' 3/11 tale

| Dec 16, 2012

Survivor pens 'too painful' 3/11 tale

by Tomoko Otake

‘March 11, 2011 — We will never forget the day. The disaster … After the massive earthquake occurred, the huge tsunami destroyed this area. Many citizens were lost and the survived people also received the deep crack in their hearts. I had a narrow ...