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 Masami Ito

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Masami Ito
Masami is a staff writer for the Life and Culture Division at The Japan Times. She is in charge of the weekly Sunday Timeout, covering various issues related to Japan, from alcohol/drug addiction and juvenile crime to female sushi chefs and kendama. Over her 15-year career, she has written extensively on Japanese politics, foreign policy and social issues.
For Masami Ito's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
ENVIRONMENT
Jan 25, 2020
Japan 2030: Tackling climate issues is key to the next decade
The new decade kicked off with images of Australia in flames.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History
Dec 7, 2019
A sneak peek behind the doors of Tokyo's State Guesthouse
Standing on the grounds of the State Guesthouse, Akasaka Palace on a crisp autumn day in November, it's hard to believe you're in central Tokyo, just a few minutes' walk from bustling Yotsuya Station. Birds can be heard chirping in the nearby garden and, aside from catching the occasional word or two from other visitors engaged in conversation in the distance, the overall atmosphere is tranquil.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History / Defining the Heisei Era
Feb 23, 2019
Defining the Heisei Era: Women in Japan speak out on inequality
Last April, a female reporter from TV Asahi accused Junichi Fukuda, the top bureaucrat at the Finance Ministry, of sexual harassment.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Apr 28, 2018
LGBTQ voices: Dealing with reality
Despite the advances in awareness surrounding LGBTQ issues, sexual minorities continue to face challenges in disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Apr 21, 2018
LGBTQ voices: Embracing progress
Ahead of Tokyo Rainbow Pride week later this month, we hear from from people in the LGBTQ community about recent moves to raise awareness of sexual minorities in Japan.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Apr 7, 2018
Life for rent: Exploring the mysterious world of human rental services in Japan
Hideki Nakahara, 66, is a retired Japan Airlines employee with years of experience in human resources.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Crime & Legal / Deep Dive
Mar 20, 2018
Children of condemned Aum guru Shoko Asahara reviled by society as criminals
In the early hours of May 16, 1995, police raided the Aum Shinrikyo cult's facilities in Kamikuishiki, Yamanashi Prefecture. At 9:45 a.m., cult founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, was arrested and taken into custody.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Mar 17, 2018
The other side of crime: 'Victims left behind'
The 1995 Aum sarin gas attacks in Tokyo laid the foundations for the creation of support networks to help protect those affected by the incident.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Feb 24, 2018
Entertainer Mari Natsuki confronts her biggest challenge in a new film role
Mari Natsuki has faced a number of challenges throughout her diverse career but her latest role asked her to attempt something she's never confronted before — portray an ordinary person.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Feb 10, 2018
'Insta-gran' Kimiko Nishimoto discovers that it's never too late to experiment with inventive photography
There's a lot more to the 89-year-old Instagrammer than her wacky selfies.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jan 27, 2018
Game on! Japan's live-action games offer players a fleeting escape from reality
A group of surly guards inspect a line of inmates on death row standing in front of a prison.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jan 13, 2018
Shōtengai: Examining the evolution of Tokyo's venerable shopping districts
Jesse McFaddin strolls around Togoshi Ginza shōtengai (shopping district) on a recent chilly December afternoon.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Jan 6, 2018
Shifting attitudes toward sexual violence in Japan
The arrival of 2018 shouldn't bring the discussion of issues surrounding sexual violence to an end.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Dec 23, 2017
'Yokohama Mary': Looking back at the life of one of the city's most mysterious figures
An enigmatic woman wearing a frilly white dress stands silently outside Matsuzakaya department store in Yokohama's Isezakicho district during a local festival. Her face is caked in white makeup and her eyes are lined in black.
Japan Times
CULTURE
Nov 25, 2017
Japan's geisha battle to protect their future
A handful of traditional female entertainers across the country are experimenting with innovative ways of preserving their culture.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Oct 21, 2017
Pedal power: Bike-sharing services expand in Japan
It's a little past 7:30 a.m. at Shinagawa Station's bustling Konan Exit. The air is crisp on this beautiful autumn morning, with hundreds of people passing through the fourth busiest rail hub in Tokyo on their way to various appointments.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Media / Japan Pulse
Oct 7, 2017
Determined toddler with limb difference wins fans across the web
Meet Camden Whiddon. He's a cheerful 4-year-old boy who adores his younger sister and brother, and loves to go down slides. He was also born without any limbs.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Sep 30, 2017
Winning the battle against breast cancer
Oct. 1 marks the start of the annual Pink Ribbon campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Sep 23, 2017
A ruff guide to Seeing Eye dogs in Japan
Ariel is a devoted labrador. Named after the title character in Disney's "The Little Mermaid," Ariel can’t get enough of her user, 37-year-old Kanako Suzuki. Ariel rolls on her back, begging to be petted, and when Suzuki joins her on the floor, the animal jumps onto her lap — all 24 kilograms of her.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Sep 9, 2017
Confronting youth suicide: Seeking ways to stop young people from taking their own lives
A grand piano stands silently in a tatami room at Naoko Nakashima's home in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture. It has not been played in almost two years.

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