National Topics

There's nothing weird about 'sexless' Japan

| Oct 1, 2016

There's nothing weird about 'sexless' Japan

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Japan has somehow earned a reputation as a “sexless” country — a place where men and women have lost their libidos. The reasons given are various but mainly have to do with increased introversion and general loss of sociability among young people. This theme ...

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 ...

Building a stairway to the singularity

| Sep 3, 2016

Building a stairway to the singularity

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A computer’s victory over a human go master this past March reminds us of the pending “singularity” — the rapidly approaching moment in time when artificial intelligence overtakes human intelligence. Machines will learn, and we won’t be their teachers. Are we prepared for it? ...