Getting a glimpse behind the mask

| Feb 6, 2009

Getting a glimpse behind the mask

by Natsuko Fukue

It happens in Japanese cities every winter and spring — the mask attack. These white strips of cloth obscuring your fellow commuters’ faces have long been a common way to ward off influenza and hay fever, but their popularity is soaring higher than ever ...

| Oct 8, 2008

Kimutaku — enduring heartthrob

by Minoru Matsutani

Of Japanese male celebrities, actors Ken Watanabe of “The Last Samurai” and Masi Oka of “Heroes” are among the better-known overseas. But domestically, no one beats Takuya Kimura. Foreigners living in Japan who follow the entertainment scene undoubtedly recognize the singer-actor who goes by ...

'Anime'-decorated cars latest 'otaku' fad

| May 29, 2008

'Anime'-decorated cars latest 'otaku' fad

by Minoru Matsutani

They’re painful. So painful that pedestrians can’t help staring at them and real girls stay away from their owners. The heavily decorated vehicles called “itasha” have been experiencing a nationwide resurgence lately, reflecting Japan’s “anime” craze. Combining the words “itai” (“painful”) and “sha” (vehicle), ...