National Topics

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 ...

A dark age dawns for politics in Japan

| Jul 23, 2016

A dark age dawns for politics in Japan

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“Historic,” that much-overused word, seems almost acceptable as a description of the Upper House elections earlier this month that gave Japan — for the first time in its postwar history — a government strong enough to get serious about rewriting the Constitution. Arguably other ...

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 ...