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:
Feb 3, 2019
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.
Nov 18, 2018
A pair of events centered on non-Japanese artists are helping to build bridges into Japan's manga market
Jan 29, 2016
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.
May 25, 2014
Apr 9, 2014
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:
Nov 15, 2013
Jun 25, 2013
Nov 20, 2012
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.
Nov 10, 2012
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.
Nov 3, 2012
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.
Oct 20, 2012
Oct 6, 2012
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.
Sep 8, 2012
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.
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