| Aug 31, 2013

Married or single, Japan is a desolate country

by Michael Hoffman

“The past century is a history of sexual distortion,” social psychologist Hiroyoshi Ishikawa told Time Magazine in 1983. “A small portion of young people in Japan are sexually very, very active,” he added, “while the vast majority are sexually repressed.” What would he say ...

| Aug 17, 2013

Cyber-kids get a break during Bon holidays

by Michael Hoffman

You didn’t need prophetic powers, back in the 1980s when the personal computer was starting to show its potential, to foresee something like Internet addiction. It should have been obvious. It was, to science-fiction writer William Gibson. Reminiscing to Time magazine in 1995, he ...

| Jul 27, 2013

Tight budgets, food safety and eel inflation

by Mark Schreiber

The future promise of Abenomics notwithstanding, Japan’s white-collar office workers are still being squeezed in terms of their discretionary spending. Results of the annual survey of salaryman kozukai (allowance), released June 28 by Shinsei Bank, noted that this year the average monthly spending money ...

| Jul 20, 2013

Japan's weeklies debate modern man's burden

by Michael Hoffman

Pity the declining male in an age of expanding female empowerment! True, he has only himself to blame. For centuries, millennia, man lorded over woman, subjecting her to every indignity, reducing her to servitude, denying her full membership in the community of human beings. ...

| Jun 23, 2013

'Hate speech' in the media, but not the legal code

by Mark Schreiber

This writer, on previous occasions, has expressed irritation over the recent tendency for the vernacular media to rely heavily on English borrowings for neologisms with socially negative connotations, such as sexual harassment, stalking and domestic violence — to name three examples. As a case ...

| Jun 16, 2013

Occasionally Japan's glass ceiling is smashed

by Michael Hoffman

Someday people will look back in astonishment at the way society treated women. Women haven’t always been regarded as an inferior species. In prehistoric, preagricultural Japan, archaeologists tell us, an instinctive reverence for procreation cast an aura of awe upon the bearers and nurturers ...