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 Gianni Simone

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Gianni Simone
Gianni Simone is a mail artist, zinester and general troublemaker from Italy. When not taking pictures of Tokyo police boxes, he writes on all things Japanese for Vogue Italia, Zoom Japan, and other assorted publications. Together with Randy Osborne, he co-authored the book "Made of This."
For Gianni Simone's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 25, 2020
Watari-um celebrates a mother's legacy
Thirty years on, the Watari siblings encourage the quirky and unusual as the curators of the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Apr 30, 2020
Taiko group Kodo makes a plea for donations amid the COVID-19 crisis
With Japanese drumming group Kodo forced to cancel this year's tour, the group has made an appeal for donations and equipment.
Japan Times
LIFE / Style & Design
Apr 19, 2020
A Japanese designer lauds the allure of everyday aluminum
They may not have the stylish design of what's being produced today, but the simplicity in Seiji Onishi's collection of aluminum items are where true beauty lies.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Jun 2, 2019
Coming to Japan to escape alcohol is risky, but help is available
When Casey "dropped dead" on his kitchen floor, he realized he hit rock bottom. Luckily, he got the support he needed to get his drinking problem under control.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / TELLING LIVES
Feb 3, 2019
From cosplay fan to idol, Yuriko Tiger's journey has been a colorful one
It was 1964 when 19-year-old ye-ye singer Sylvie Vartan captured the hearts of Japanese cinemagoers in the French film "Cherchez l'idole," released here as "Aidoru o Sagase" and in English as "The Chase." Her track from that film, "La plus belle pour aller danser," was a hit here, selling more than a million copies.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Nov 18, 2018
A pair of events centered on non-Japanese artists are helping to build bridges into Japan's manga market
The Japanese market for manga is worth hundreds of billions of yen and is a crowded field for many young Japanese illustrators to break into. And if you're coming from overseas, there are even more obstacles.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jan 29, 2016
The future of rice farming in Japan
Rice has been at the center of Japan's economy and culture for centuries. But changes are afoot. There is growing concern among Japanese farmers that the country's rice-producing capabilities are diminishing in the face of international trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In fact, all local agriculture is in the spotlight as pressure mounts to increase local imports of overseas produce.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Jul 28, 2014
A trip around the Yushukan, Japan's font of discord
Often overlooked in discussions about Yasukuni is the divisive role played by the Yushukan, the war museum built within the shrine grounds to promote the "Yasukuni doctrine."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / TELLING LIVES
May 25, 2014
With one eye on the future, globe-trotter builds a foundation for change
Having lived in Punjab, California, London and Tokyo and set herself one huge goal after another, Sonia Dhillon-Marty is now trying to make a difference through her Tokyo-based nonprofit foundation.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Voices
Apr 9, 2014
Post-Fukushima reform throws up a few surprises
The magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, devastated the northeast, killing more than 15,000 people and causing level 7 meltdowns at three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Observers believed the sheer size of the catastrophe and its subsequent effects provided the country with an opportunity to reform and turn the page on two decades of political, social and economic crisis. In his 2013 book “3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan,” Richard Samuels, director of the MIT Japan Program, chronicles the 18 months that followed the disaster and explains why this opportunity for change wasn’t followed by substantial progress. Here, Samuels expands on some of the issues he examined in his book:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / TELLING LIVES
Nov 15, 2013
TELL vet helps cast net wider to reach kids, stop suicides
The Tokyo English Life Line has been providing support and counseling services to Japan's international community for 40 years. Vickie Skorji, the new director of the Lifeline hot line service, has played a pivotal role in its activities.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Oct 28, 2013
Getting published is easy; getting noticed is trickier
How can writers make themselves heard in the age of blog and self-publishing saturation? Japan-based authors offer a diverse range of views
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Jun 25, 2013
Authors take polar-opposite tacks as they try to decipher Japanese women
It's an all-too-familiar story: On the romantic front, foreign ladies living in Japan have it bad while the guys do unbelievably well. For every woman who complains about Japanese men's aloofness and lack of communication skills, there is a man who boasts about all the local chicks he's had.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE ZEIT GIST
Nov 20, 2012
Tackling the nihongo mountain, by strategy: from base camp to the plateau and beyond
For foreigners who arrive in Japan with little knowledge or preparation, the first encounter with the local lingo can be brutal. In the past, for instance, newcomers would have taken the train from Narita airport to Tokyo or Shinjuku station and promptly run up against a solid wall of indecipherable ideograms. Asking for directions was often a futile exercise, as most people only spoke a little English at best.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Nov 10, 2012
Pregnancy crisis center lends guidance, support
Demographic statistics released by the health and welfare ministry continue to paint a bleak future for Japan, whose population is forecast to decline steadily in coming decades unless measures are taken to reverse the birthrate decline. The number of babies born in 2011 was the lowest on record since 1947.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Nov 3, 2012
Free magazines zoom in on all things Japanese
While English-language magazines in Japan are fast becoming a species in danger of extinction, Europe is experiencing a renewed interest in this country thanks to a veteran French journalist who since 2010 has been publishing Zoom Japon (and its English version, Zoom Japan), a free monthly magazine about all things Japanese.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Oct 20, 2012
American artist takes personal approach to traditional painting
Finding places in Tokyo can be complicated. All too often a simple address is not enough. That's why many people here look like treasure hunters roaming the streets armed with a map or its modern equivalent, the smartphone.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Oct 6, 2012
Video journalist's work takes him to centers of the world's conflicts
Takeharu Watai has spent all of his two-decade career in video journalism as an independent. But he is conscious that public distrust of the mass media, particularly over its coverage of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the nation's nuclear energy policy, has grown so strong that, by default, it extends to journalists in this country.
CULTURE / Books
Sep 9, 2012
Roadside view of a tasty, tasty world
THE WORLD'S BEST STREET FOOD: Where to Find It & How to Make it, Lonely Planet, 2012, 224 pp., $19.99 (paperback)
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Sep 8, 2012
Eye surgeon makes a difference, performing 'miracles' in Vietnam
In 1965, Akira Kurosawa directed "Akahige" ("Red Beard"), the story of an Edo Period doctor who teaches his arrogant intern the importance of compassion, responsibility, and empathizing with his patients. Ophthalmologist Tadashi Hattori has seen this movie, but he insists that he was not thinking about it when, 10 years ago, he threw away a promising career in Japan to help poor people in Vietnam instead.

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