Mags go big for Kobe gang's 100th

| Jan 17, 2015

Mags go big for Kobe gang's 100th

by Mark Schreiber

This year will see the observance of various centennials, including the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign in the Dardanelles; the Second Battle of Ypres; and the sinking of the RMS Lusitania with the loss of 1,198 lives. The war in Europe had a favorable impact on ...

Getting a head start on wartime stories

| Jan 3, 2015

Getting a head start on wartime stories

by Mark Schreiber

From the “The Dirty Dozen” (1967) to “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), cinema audiences in Japan have flocked to theaters to watch Americans and Germans killing one another. Such films continue to enjoy popularity. During the weekend of Nov. 29-30, the Brad Pitt World War ...

Concern for Japan's democratic process

| Dec 27, 2014

Concern for Japan's democratic process

by Michael Hoffman

Elections are the lifeblood of democracy. They represent an awesome empowerment — the right of citizens to peacefully overthrow their government and choose another. The prime minister called an election. He submitted his government to the judgment of the people. The election was held. ...

Debating milk, names and workplace blues

| Nov 29, 2014

Debating milk, names and workplace blues

by Michael Hoffman

Milk — liquid innocence. If milk lets you down, what won’t? It looks healthy, tastes healthy — surely it is healthy? Appearances, we know, are deceiving; still, this particular illusion dies hard. Whose earliest childhood memories do not include a parent admonishing, “Drink your ...

Creative crooks stay one step ahead

| Nov 15, 2014

Creative crooks stay one step ahead

by Mark Schreiber

The “Ore, ore” (“It’s me”) fraudsters and their ilk, who telephone elderly people and pretend to be a relative in need of money to help them out of a jam, keep coming up with new scams. One might say Japan is a target-rich environment. ...

Determining good and evil, with the kids

| Nov 8, 2014

Determining good and evil, with the kids

by Michael Hoffman

What is “moral education”? Assuming we more or less know what education is, try defining “moral.” The education ministry’s website takes a stab at it: “A heart-and-mind (kokoro) that values life, a heart-and-mind that is considerate toward others…” That’s unimpeachable as far as it ...