Yakuza infighting puts nation on edge

| Sep 19, 2015

Yakuza infighting puts nation on edge

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Around the start of this year, the weekly magazines — Shukan Taishu, Asahi Geino and Shukan Jitsuwa in particular — were brimming with articles feting the centennial anniversary of the Yamaguchi-gumi, which had gone from being a small group of tough guys on the ...

Death? War? What's next for the games?

| Sep 5, 2015

Death? War? What's next for the games?

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Two years to the week that Tokyo won its bid over Istanbul and Madrid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, major stumbles in planning and preparation have caused the shining promise to take a nosedive. The upward-creeping costs projected for the National Stadium took ...

Growing up to the idea of fighting back

| Jul 25, 2015

Growing up to the idea of fighting back

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Psychologist Toshio Kawai has an interesting hypothesis. We may, he says in an article written for the Asahi Shimbun’s Globe, be entering an age when “becoming an adult will not be necessary.” What makes an adult an adult? Autonomy, the ability to stand on ...

Dark humor won't shield us for much longer

| Jul 11, 2015

Dark humor won't shield us for much longer

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‘I hope,” read an email from a colleague boarding an Osaka-bound shinkansen in Tokyo last week, “nobody sets himself on fire.” Black humor. There’s nothing funny about a man immolating himself on a crowded train, killing himself and another and injuring 26 — but ...