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Russell Thomas
For Russell Thomas's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / Food Sustainability in Japan
Oct 31, 2021
It will take more than swapping your eel for eggplant to save Japan’s unagi
The hard truth is that the growing appetite for Japanese unagi is having an adverse effect on their numbers. Improving ecosystems and vegetarian alternatives can only do so much.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Oct 23, 2021
Top 5: Where to find the best dim sum in Tokyo
Dim sum can be found in every echelon of Tokyo dining, from high-end buffets to quick street-stall snacks. Here's five of the best, chosen for their cost-effectiveness and authenticity.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jul 24, 2021
We’re still in the middle of the pandemic. So why do new restaurants keep opening in Tokyo?
Despite the pandemic straining Japan's hospitality industry, new restaurants across the capital continue to open their doors. Has opening during the “new normal” allowed them to adapt?
Japan Times
OLYMPICS
Jul 22, 2021
For karateka at the Games, the goal is gold. For karate the sport, the goal is inclusion.
Karate is getting its moment to shine at the Olympics, but are the Games simply catching up to something a lot of us already know?
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / Top 5
Jul 10, 2021
Where to find the best karēpan in Tokyo
From originators to usurpers and upstarts, Tokyo's curry bread scene is full of spice. Here's a roundup of some of the capital's famous karu0113pan purveyors
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 1, 2021
Foodman escapes the city for ‘Yasuragi Land’
Music producer Foodman's new album is an ode to the places and objects that make up the landscape of everyday life beyond the dense cities of Osaka and Tokyo.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jun 27, 2021
‘Oishii: The History of Sushi’: A fount of knowledge for all things sushi
Historian Eric C. Rath's comprehensive overview of one of Japan's most iconic foods is encyclopedic, yet sprinkled with personal asides and illuminating source materials.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 27, 2021
Keep cool and carry on: How to survive a Japanese summer
Heatstroke and dehydration are no joke — The Japan Times spoke to experts about how to best keep cool and stay safe in the summer months.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
May 22, 2021
Top 5: Tokyo’s best onigiri rice balls
One of the most ubiquitous snacks in Japan, onigiri or omusubi (terms for rice ball) are a definitive mealtime staple. The Japan Times shares the best places to grab a handmade pick-me-up.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
May 8, 2021
Why wild animals are making their way back onto plates across Japan
In the past few decades, hunting wild animals has made a comeback in Japan, and gibier (as game is called) is finding its way onto upscale tables across the country.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Mar 18, 2021
‘See-Through’: Kumi Takahara shines on ambient album with classical roots
A classically trained violinist experiments with her instrument, scratching and sliding on the strings to create 10 contemporary soundscapes.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History / Longform
Feb 27, 2021
Hirohito in Europe: 100 years on, historic imperial trip celebrated for its vision of peace
Tour not only highlighted Japan's newfound position alongside Allied powers in the aftermath of World War I, it also had a profound effect on the young crown prince.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Feb 6, 2021
Dagashiya in decline: The slow fade of a traditional sweets institution
These classic shops, where you could buy sweets for u00a530, once held a key social role. A few still remain, peddling nostalgia to both kids and adults.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / 20 QUESTIONS
Jan 9, 2021
LLLL: 'The perfect balance of conformity and rebellion'
What makes the perfect J-pop song? There is a formula, which means you have to be in the box before you can think outside of it.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Dec 5, 2020
Spaces for living: How Tokyo’s urban landscape deals with change
Exploring the city's constant flux — and the cost to its heritage.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 28, 2020
Phew alternates between jagged noise and soft vocal elements at a dizzying pace on 'Vertigo KO'
Phew takes inspiration from the pandemic and her punk roots on 'Vertical KO.'
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 30, 2020
Musician Marihiko Hara delivers 'Passion' project drawing on the sacred and unfamiliar
Marihiko Hara creates a sense of coexistence with the piano and electronic sounds on his new album, “Passion.”
Japan Times
CULTURE
Jul 11, 2020
Pac-Man: How a faceless character based on eating changed video game history
Examining the cultural and commercial legacy of Japan's iconic arcade game on its 40th anniversary.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 2, 2020
Takashi Kokubo: Creating ambient music out of art and the environment
The rerelease of Takashi Kokubo's Bauhaus-inspired album from the 1980s is just another sign that ambient music seems to be making a comeback.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 20, 2020
The long and storied history of shichimi, Japan’s 'seven flavors' spice
Walk into any izakaya in Japan and you'll always find shichimi spice on the table. But what is it, and why has it remained popular for over three centuries?

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on