National Topics

| May 10, 2014

Brush up on pop idol feuds before the exam

by Philip Brasor

Last month, Meiji University’s law department announced it would offer a social-psychology course on the boy band Arashi. The syllabus includes lectures about the group’s individual members; its work in TV dramas and advertising; and the “culture of Johnny’s Jimusho,” Arashi’s powerful production company. ...

Pop star gaffes no sweat to Cool Japan

| May 3, 2014

Pop star gaffes no sweat to Cool Japan

by Philip Brasor

Whatever you want to say about Justin Bieber’s lack of common sense, as either a pop star or a mortal, you have to admit he has incredible timing. He managed to capture the attention of the world with his impromptu visit to Yasukuni Shrine ...

Japan a key battleground for BBC's expansion in Asia

May 2, 2014

Japan a key battleground for BBC's expansion in Asia

by Elizabeth Kerr

Judging from the activity on the floor at February’s BBC Worldwide Showcase in Liverpool, England, television is most definitely not dead. Over 700 buyers and distributors descended on the BT Convention Centre to investigate what was new (“The Game,” “The Musketeers”) and what was ...

Advisers assess Japan Times performance after INYT tie-up

Apr 30, 2014

Advisers assess Japan Times performance after INYT tie-up

Now that The Japan Times is being distributed together with the International New York Times, the advisory board members agreed that there should be a newsroom shift toward even more coverage of Japan. Lin Kobayashi, founder of International School of Asia, Karuizawa, said increased ...

'Patriot wives' put country before gender

| Apr 26, 2014

'Patriot wives' put country before gender

by Philip Brasor

In a 1989 essay, “Coming Down Again: After the Age of Excess,” from a newly edited collection of her writings, the late American critic Ellen Willis discussed a dilemma the women’s movement faced in the ’70s. With the advent of the ’60s counterculture came ...

Can a solo career help a mascot stand out?

| Apr 19, 2014

Can a solo career help a mascot stand out?

by Philip Brasor

Several weeks ago Fuji TV’s morning news show sent a reporter to the Gunma Prefecture “antenna shop” located across the street from the Kabukiza theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district. The store, which sells products made in Gunma, pays ¥64 million a year in rent ...