National Topics

Offbeat humor and upbeat messages dominate Super Bowl 50 ads

Feb 8, 2016

Offbeat humor and upbeat messages dominate Super Bowl 50 ads

From a strange creature called “Puppymonkeybaby” to a tear-inducing Audi spot, Super Bowl ads ran the gamut this year from offbeat humor to heartfelt messages. On advertising’s biggest night, Chrysler celebrated Jeep with an ad featuring black-and-white portraits of veterans, kids and pop icons. ...

Imperial couple take stand for remembrance

| Feb 6, 2016

Imperial couple take stand for remembrance

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In recent years, the Imperial couple have made an effort to leave behind a meaningful legacy by visiting World War II battlefields. The idea is to ensure that future generations of Japanese do not forget the war and its bitter lessons. However, until they ...

NHK may need to rethink its 'taiga' formula

| Jan 30, 2016

NHK may need to rethink its 'taiga' formula

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An article that appeared in December in the Yomiuri Shimbun weighed the prospects for the 2016 edition of NHK’s year-long historical taiga drama series, which premiered Jan. 10. “Sanada Maru” is the title of the 55th marathon show, and the name of a fortification ...

Is society on the cusp of massive change?

| Jan 30, 2016

Is society on the cusp of massive change?

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Philosopher Tatsuru Uchida, interviewed earlier this month by the Asahi Shimbun, merely confirms what we all know, or sense, when he says: “This is an age of transition. We’re going through the confusion characteristic of bedrock change.” Transition, confusion — yes indeed. “Global capitalism,” ...

SMAP dodges bullet; Becky isn't so lucky

| Jan 23, 2016

SMAP dodges bullet; Becky isn't so lucky

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When media leaked intelligence on Jan. 10 that eternal boy band SMAP might be dissolving, the outpouring of fan emotion overwhelmed anything else that was happening in the show business world. One person who was probably grateful for the distraction was Rebecca Eri Ray ...

The elephant in the room for Toshiba is nuclear

| Jan 16, 2016

The elephant in the room for Toshiba is nuclear

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Japanese press outlets often cover scoops from competing outlets, but it’s rare to build on a competitor’s story with original reporting, especially when the scoop is a few years old. In December, the weekly magazine Aera, which is affiliated with the Asahi Shimbun, ran ...