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Sumiko Oshima
For Sumiko Oshima's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Aug 10, 2003
History of homegrown Japanese science finally adds up
Think Edo Period, and you think ukiyo-e, bonsai, yakimono and kabuki. Few think of science, or of the technological skill and spirit, which would later hatch Sony, Toyota and a core part of the country's national identity.
JAPAN
Jan 13, 2002
Bureaucrat breaking mold to give public more of a voice
Until six years ago, Nobutaka Murao says, he was just another central government bureaucrat. Then he was posted to the Mie Prefectural Government in July 1995, on loan from the Finance Ministry, and everything changed.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Nov 11, 2001
Unlocking the 'qi'
Dressed in a white robe, a female qi master calmly stands in a room. Her face a mask of concentration, she puts her hands into a metal box. She quietly waits for three minutes. Then concentrates for seven minutes.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Oct 14, 2001
Country roads take them to new homes
Get away. Away from squeezing yourself into a packed train, making your way in a slow-moving human tide up stairs and through ticket gates. From walking in a crowd like a soldier ant, trotting ahead to avoid cigarette smoke from a man in front, only to breathe in foul diesel fumes at intersections on the way to the office. Away from a high-rent, tiny apartment or a lifelong mortgage for a small three-bedroom concrete box.
COMMUNITY
Sep 30, 2001
Anyone for maggots a la Japonais?
However disgusting it may seem, eating bugs is deeply rooted in many cultural traditions. In Southeast Asian and African countries, live insects are sold at markets along with vegetables and meat. At movie theaters in Asia and Africa, people munch roasted insects like they would popcorn. In China, some insects have long been used for medicinal purposes.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Sep 23, 2001
Living in the past, with pleasure
A short walk along a twisting, narrow stone path branching off a busy road through Tokyo's Yanaka district brings you to the warm glow of a small andon lamp, its paper shade mounted on a wooden frame.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Sep 9, 2001
Katsuya Takasu, holding back the years
Katsuya Takasu regards his body as a vehicle to carry his mind. So what he had done to his face two years ago was, as he puts it, "just like fixing an old jalopy."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Aug 12, 2001
Don't let it happen to you
You might think that athlete's foot is a man's problem and the bunion, or hallux valgus, is a woman's problem. You'd be wrong. There are many female patients who knowingly or unknowingly carry the fungal infection on their feet, while some male bunion patients live with a painfully deformed toe.
COMMUNITY
Aug 5, 2001
What's in a name?
A wedding ceremony may be the culmination of romantic love, but it's also when life within the institution of marriage begins.
COMMUNITY
Jul 29, 2001
Every breath you take
The children were considered lucky when they were admitted a place at the popular Sashigaya public nursery in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward. Little did their parents know what a high price their young ones might have to pay for the privilege.
COMMUNITY
Jul 22, 2001
The times they were a-changing
The 1960s and '70s were not only the decades of heroes. A look back on news and incidents shows us how rapidly society was changing. Here are some examples.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Jul 8, 2001
Girls know what girls want
At first glance, it looks like a small shop filled with hundreds of colorful fancy goods.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Jul 1, 2001
Summertime -- and the swimming is easy
In the summertime, when the living's easy but the coast seems just that bit too far away, there's no shortage of pools for a cooling plunge or freshening frolic.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Jun 24, 2001
Born donors offer gift of life
People can engage in voluntary work and make donations from a young age, but Takumi Shimizu had an unusally early head start: He made a potentially life-saving donation before he was a day old.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Jun 17, 2001
Gourmet meals on wheels
Chris Takahashi spent years making dishes for some of the world's most fussy eaters -- New Yorkers. On returning to his home country a few years ago after 27 years away, instead of trying to slot into some kind of salaried position in a society where he felt completely lost, he decided to do what he knew best.
COMMUNITY
Jun 10, 2001
Home buyers seek new designs for living
Man people dream of buying a brand-new home. In Japan, realizing that dream usually means settling for a factory-made house that looks like hundreds of its neighbors or a condominium that must be paid for even before it is built.
COMMUNITY
Jun 10, 2001
Licca-chan dollhouse reflects realty reality
In 1967, it was a room with velvet sofas, a red rug and lacy white drapes. Through a large window, one could see a snow-covered mountain in the distance, and there was a swimming pool in the backyard.
COMMUNITY
Jun 10, 2001
Land ownership trends transformed after economic bubble
In the past, ordinary Japanese lived in rented houses while their richer brethren built homes on land they bought or leased.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
May 27, 2001
What, you've been living in a cave or something?
French cave explorer Michell Siffre is a man with firsthand knowledge of the mechanics of sleep. At 23, he lived for two months in a glacial cave, 120 meters beneath the surface. Down there, in the perpetual dark, in the absence of environmental time cues, he confirmed a then-emerging theory that the human biological clock is slightly longer than 24 hours.
COMMUNITY
May 27, 2001
Warning: Snoring can be harmful to your health
The sound of snoring has long been regarded as a sign of deep, peaceful slumber. However, experts warn that snoring not only harms one's own health but could also put the lives of others at risk.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves