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Victoria James
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 20, 2014
Blowing the dust off Edo Period erotica
You always remember your first time.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Apr 5, 2014
Noh goddess illuminates life and art
'Seiobo There Below,' a not-quite novel by Hungary's star postmodern author Lu00e1szlu00f3 Krasznahorkai, is a delight, a puzzle, a frustration and a joy.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 25, 2014
Silence Once Begun
If you've ever thought book reviewing was a questionable business — so opinionated! so subjective! — this may be the review to prove you right.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Nov 16, 2013
Tales of wonder from Tohoku's deep past
The first time most people outside Japan heard about the country's northern Tohoku region was when it was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, leaving more than 15,000 dead and a million buildings damaged or destroyed. But to those familiar with Japan, Tohoku has long been...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Nov 2, 2013
Shunga secrets bared between the covers
It looks like a classic coffee-table book, a hefty hardback of more than 500 pages and almost as many color illustrations — but be careful who you ask round for coffee if you're displaying the latest volume from the British Museum. That's because it's the lavish accompaniment to its new exhibition,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Oct 7, 2013
Celebrating Japan's artists who loved love
The British Museum's press officer, Claire Coveney, comes hurrying up to take me to the galleries of the museum's latest hot-ticket show, "Shunga: Sex and pleasure in Japanese Art," and I'm not surprised she looks run off her feet. Pre-opening interest in this new exhibition — the most comprehensive...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Apr 18, 2013
Scroll displays the human side of Perry's arrival
"It's come pretty much out of nowhere," says British Museum curator Tim Clark, placing a small wooden box on the table — it's about the dimensions of a shoebox, slightly weathered and lightly inscribed with fluid kanji characters. "It was in Japan until last summer, where it belonged to a dealer, and...
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Aug 5, 2012
How not to climb Mount Fuji
If you're considering trekking Mount Fuji this year, look sharp — just four weeks remain of the official open season. But if you're making last-minute plans for an ascent of those conical 3,776 meters, think carefully about what you're taking on. Unless, that is, you've always pictured yourself summiting...
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / CLOSE-UP
Jul 1, 2012
Author Lesley Downer's romance with Japan is no fleeting affair
British writer, historian and journalist Lesley Downer has been visiting Japan and writing about it for nearly 35 years — beginning in 1978, when she was part of the first-ever intake of the English Teaching Recruitment Program, which evolved into the famous JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program)...
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Jul 1, 2012
Lesley Downer: Love, war and geisha
Lesley Downer's seven books range widely in genre and subject. Here she reflects on their inspiration and her experiences writing them.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jun 24, 2012
Katmandu beckons all who visit Nepal
Everest may be its most famous site, and Lumbini one of its holiest, but Nepal has plenty more to offer. Annapurna is the country's other great trekking location, while Chitwan National Park is home to some of the region's rarest wildlife, offering the chance to spot the endangered Bengal tiger, as well...
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jun 24, 2012
Languid Lumbini: Just visit and you'll understand
It's a pilgrimage site, a UNESCO World Heritage site — and a building site. Lumbini in southern Nepal, less than 10 km from the Indian border, should be a name as familiar as Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Mecca, the holy places of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It's where, in 563 B.C., the Buddha-to-be,...
LIFE
May 27, 2012
Trekking: 10 things you need to know
Before you head for the heights in the Himalayas, you'd be advised — in terms of safety and expense — to give some thought to the following considerations:
Japan Times
LIFE
May 27, 2012
Japan's Everest timeline
Japan has had a tumultuous, and at times controversial relationship with Mount Everest. Its history features the first woman summiteer, a heated race to claim the crown of oldest person to the top, a disastrous early expedition — and one of the mountain's most infamous casualties.
Japan Times
LIFE
May 27, 2012
A lifelong dream comes true on Everest
I always keep a journal when I travel, but something's different about the one open in front of me now — the notebook in which I was writing just a few weeks ago. My normally smooth script has deteriorated into a scrawl, the black biro scoring angrily into the cream-colored pages.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
May 10, 2012
Shakespeare's Globe hails a Japanese 'Coriolanus'
In fewer than 100 days time, athletes and spectators from around the world will be pouring into London to fill the great steel and concrete "O" of the Olympic Stadium. But there's another major venue that is already welcoming international audiences and stars — the "wooden O" of Shakespeare's Globe....
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Dec 3, 2009
Platter of the day: Flash Sushi
LONDON — Nyotaimori — aka "female body arrangement" aka "naked sushi," in which the food is eaten from the nude body of a beautiful woman — is as much legend as fact in Japan (see accompanying article). But that hasn't stopped the Western imagination from seizing upon it as supposed...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Nov 27, 2009
Bringing Japan to Britain
When she looked at the floor plans for Oxford's redesigned Ashmolean Museum and saw that her two Japanese galleries formed an L-shape in one corner of the building, curator Clare Pollard didn't see an awkward space. "I saw a tea-house," she explains. And there it sits, in the crook of two beautiful and...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Oct 2, 2009
The dogu have something to tell us
LONDON — They are, according to their kanji, part earth and part spirit, somewhere between animal and human. They are dogu, the most remarkable products of Japan's Jomon Period, a Neolithic era before the advent of rice cultivation, when the Japanese archipelago supported higher population densities...
Japan Times
Features
Jan 23, 2005
Rapa Nui
Easter Island has been many things in the three centuries it has been known to the West: mooted landing site of UFOs; exotic long-haul holiday destination; and favorite location of the Discovery Channel -- to name just a few.

Longform

Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world