Japan's salarymen are bored to tears

| Jun 7, 2014

Japan's salarymen are bored to tears

by Michael Hoffman

It seems odd to be talking about boredom in such interesting times. Are you bored? Almost certainly you are, if Spa! magazine’s insights are reliable. Polling 2,052 mid-career (age 35-45), moderately prosperous (annual income ¥4 million-¥6 million) businessmen (sic, men only), it found no ...

Media eyes trend-setting Sony's loss of momentum

| May 31, 2014

Media eyes trend-setting Sony's loss of momentum

by Mark Schreiber

Let’s travel back 62 years. On the evening of Dec. 4, 1952, after NHK radio signed off its regular AM programming, an announcer proclaimed: “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo and NHK now commence a joint experimental stereo broadcast.” In principle, stereophonic sound reproduction requires separation of ...

Will Japan be a country that welcomes all?

| May 24, 2014

Will Japan be a country that welcomes all?

by Michael Hoffman

“A nation of immigrants.” Japan? The leading proponent of that vision has been Hidenori Sakanaka, former head of the Tokyo Immigration Bureau, current executive director of the private think tank he founded in 2007, the Japan Immigration Policy Institute. His was long a voice ...

Convenience stores give our nation pride

| May 10, 2014

Convenience stores give our nation pride

by Michael Hoffman

Japan’s prime minister is an unabashed patriot, as outspoken in his love for his country as in his desire to instill that love in his compatriots. Are his compatriots receptive? Opinion polls on attitudes toward pending revisions of long-standing interpretations of the pacifist Constitution, ...

Taking a walk down felony lane

| Apr 5, 2014

Taking a walk down felony lane

by Mark Schreiber

As part of the commemoration of the 140th anniversary of the Metropolitan Police Department, monthly magazine Bungei Shunju polled some 50,000 active-duty policemen on the 100 most significant crimes, incidents and disasters since 1874. The magazine received approximately 45,000 responses, and published the results ...