Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

Aug 16, 2014

Punk author Kou Machida on his offbeat samurai story

by James Hadfield

You wouldn’t expect a punk musician to write decent novels, any more than you’d expect a boxer to be good at darning. The talents prized by the former vocation — restlessness, insouciance, hard-wired disregard for authority — don’t lend themselves to the rigors of ...

Mar 22, 2014

The sloughing of Japan's corporate skin goes on

by Michal Hoffman

“Man is born free and is everywhere in chains.” No 18th-century Japanese thinker could have written that. It is amusing to imagine one even reading it. What emotion would it have called forth? Outrage? Blank incomprehension? Born free? A revolutionary notion! “The Social Contract” ...

Hats off to Chiyoda's rice-field rites

Jul 6, 2013

Hats off to Chiyoda's rice-field rites

by Steve John Powell

I can’t quite believe we’re getting up just after dawn on a Sunday morning for an event that doesn’t start till lunchtime. But our Japanese friends all assured us we’d regret it if we didn’t arrive early. After all, this is no run-of-the-mill event: ...