The ascendancy of a Japanese maestro

| Sep 24, 2016

The ascendancy of a Japanese maestro

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In the past few months, the media has been pleasantly surprised at the sudden ascendancy of some noteworthy Japanese women, mainly in the realm of politics. Since pianist Hiroko Nakamura passed away in July, the media has been filled with obituaries that paid tribute ...

Renho and the 'pure blood' mythos

| Sep 17, 2016

Renho and the 'pure blood' mythos

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Despite the best efforts of certain individuals on Twitter, lawmaker Renho became the head of the Democratic Party last Thursday. Of course, those loosely linked online individuals that are sometimes referred to as netto uyo (internet right-wingers) don’t really care about the DP, but ...

Two of Japan's pacifist voices go silent

| Sep 3, 2016

Two of Japan's pacifist voices go silent

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Rokusuke Ei — writer, broadcaster, raconteur — died on July 7 at the age of 83, roughly two decades after publishing a best-seller called “Daiojo,” which means “Dying Peacefully.” Several media outlets reported that Ei passed peacefully. He’d had Parkinson’s disease for a number ...

Sayaka Murata and the art of neutrality

| Jul 30, 2016

Sayaka Murata and the art of neutrality

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When 36-year-old Sayaka Murata recently won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for literature, the media latched onto the author’s background rather than the novel itself. Murata continues to work part-time as a convenience store clerk, and gains inspiration for characters and plots from her work ...

Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

| Jul 16, 2016

Why Japanese media still kowtow to Ken Takakura

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“Ken San” is a new documentary about late actor Ken Takakura opening in local theaters next month. Described as Japan’s “greatest” and “last” movie star, Takakura was respected by both the Japanese people who worked with him and international film giants such as Martin ...

How long can Japan's old mens' club last?

| Jul 9, 2016

How long can Japan's old mens' club last?

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Media coverage of the House of Councilors election campaign has been even more lacking in substance than usual. On July 2, Tokyo Shimbun noted how “low-key” the coverage has been on TV. After the excitement of the money scandal surrounding former Tokyo Gov. Yoichi ...