National Topics

Is the end near for Earth's biggest fish market?

| Oct 15, 2016

Is the end near for Earth's biggest fish market?

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Naotaro Endo’s documentary “Tsukiji Wonderland” opened in Tokyo — in Tsukiji, in fact — two weeks ago. Under normal circumstances, such an accomplished and beautiful film would be evaluated on its aesthetic and edifying merits, but the timing of the release makes such judgments ...

Nagoya: The most boring city in Japan

| Oct 8, 2016

Nagoya: The most boring city in Japan

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At a meeting of city leaders last Monday, the mayor of Nagoya, Takashi Kawamura, expressed annoyance with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. That same day, Abe had opened a new session of the Diet by touching on the issue of regional revitalization in his usual ...

Who advises Japan's business leaders?

| Oct 1, 2016

Who advises Japan's business leaders?

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Take a wild guess: Who’s the second most influential management guru in Japan, after — it almost goes without saying — Peter Drucker? Hint: He’s been dead 2,500 years. He’s Chinese. No, not Confucius. (Twenty years ago it might have been.) Give up? Sun ...

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 ...