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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
Dec 4, 2004
Revised domestic violence law falls short
Sachiko Nakajima was 20 years old when she began what should have been an ordinary college romance.
JAPAN
Dec 1, 2004
For visa violators, it pays to come clean
In June 2000, Mohammad Mizanur Rahman was deported from Japan for overstaying his visa. Shortly after he was forced back to his native Bangladesh, his Japanese girlfriend joined him and they married.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 26, 2004
Photographer captures images of youths on death row in U.S.
The subjects of photographer Toshi Kazama -- all young boys and girls -- stare straight into the lens of his camera, some smiling shyly, others looking serious.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 18, 2004
Takefuji chief's wiretaps net suspended term
Former Takefuji Corp. Chairman Yasuo Takei was sentenced Wednesday to a suspended three-year prison term for wiretapping and defamation of character.
JAPAN
Nov 16, 2004
Doctor hits immigration center health care
For more than three years, Dr. Junpei Yamamura has visited the Higashi-Nihon Immigration Center in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, once a month.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 9, 2004
Peru cash crop quest bears fruit
It was more than 20 years ago that Takayuki Suzuki packed his bags and moved to Peru.
JAPAN
Nov 1, 2004
Public's sympathy for Koda tempered
The news that hostage Shosei Koda was found dead in Iraq was met with sympathy Sunday on the streets of Tokyo, but for many people interviewed by The Japan Times, the grief was tempered by the belief that the government was right in not succumbing to terrorists.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Oct 6, 2004
Heart music in 'Big River'
It is a tale that many of us know, that of a young boy's adventures on the Mississippi River while helping a slave, named Jim, to escape. One of the greatest novels of American literature, Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is set in the 1840s, long before the Civil War, and is a touching story of love and friendship that transcends race. Now, it is being brought to life in an entirely new production of the Broadway musical "Big River," this time directed by Jeff Calhoun.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Oct 2, 2004
Justice chief's mandate: make Japan safe, refugee-friendly
Restoring Japan's image as one of the world's most crime-free nations is a key demand of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi -- and one newly appointed Justice Minister Chieko Noono hopes to meet.
Japan Times
Features
Sep 12, 2004
Heights of cleanliness
What must it be like to stand on top of the world's highest mountain? To battle through driving snow and across deadly glaciers, to scale icy rock walls and risk falling thousands of meters while being hit full-on by raging, freezing winds -- aware that an avalanche could, at any moment, swat you into oblivion?
Japan Times
Features
Aug 22, 2004
'Stray dogs' dig the dirt
"Bluebottle fly" was what he says he was called by the police. But freelance journalist Shunsuke Yamaoka is now getting a buzz from watching the law deal with wrongdoers he exposed.
COMMUNITY
Aug 15, 2004
A towering test for the tongue
Tall, cool, slim and graceful: Meet Millecre's Tokyo Tower 333, the gorgeous new face on the ice-cream block.
Japan Times
Features
Aug 15, 2004
A towering test for the tongue
Tall, cool, slim and graceful: Meet Millecre's Tokyo Tower 333, the gorgeous new face on the ice-cream block.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jul 25, 2004
Cashing in on ideas
Thomas Edison's electricity, Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, the Wright Brothers' creaky biplane, H.G. Wells' time machine (OK, that last one hasn't happened yet), but through these world-changing discoveries, our daily lives have been made easier. Flick a switch and light banishes the darkness, pick up a phone and chat away to a distant cousin in Timbuktu, hop on to an airplane and go and have lunch with her the next day. All of these inventions have transformed the world into one huge global village.
Japan Times
Features
Jul 25, 2004
Brolly good notion out of the blue
One evening in March, Daryn Peterson was stretched out on his sofa at home. After a hard day's work, he was totally relaxed and just watching TV. Then, when the weather forecast came on, he sat up suddenly. It was as if lightning had struck his brain; an idea had suddenly flashed into his mind.
Japan Times
Features
Jul 25, 2004
Japan's inventor supreme shares the secret of 3,218 successes
Who is Japan's most famous inventor? No doubt about it, it's Yoshiro Nakamatsu -- or Dr. NakaMats as he styles himself. The doc says he has 3,218 inventions to his credit, including the floppy disk and the compact disc. Although his childhood dream was to become Finance Minister, from the age of 5, Nakamatsu has been coming up with inventions one after another.
Japan Times
Features
Jul 18, 2004
Rural revelations and a sake to go
Japan Times
Features
Jun 13, 2004
Front-line fighters
Squeezed between stacks of files and computer equipment in a two-room apartment in Tokyo's Takadanobaba area, Chizuko Ikegami and several volunteers are manning the phones. Round the clock, day in, day out, PLACE Tokyo receives calls from people desperately seeking advice after being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, or people afraid of taking a test in case it turns out positive.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jun 11, 2004
Serendipity in the sticks
I noticed a young boy staring at me from afar as I stood alone at the bus stop, poring over my tourist map. Then, with a shy smile and a face full of curiosity, he walked toward me. And when he got close enough for me to hear him, he opened his mouth and spoke.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / CLOSE-UP
Jun 6, 2004
Shinya Tasaki: Sommelier supreme
Shinya Tasaki was a teenager when he made his first solo trip to France in 1977. Even back then, he was so eager to learn about French food and wine that he visited as many wineries as he could -- only to be turned away from most. But his determination kept him from giving up -- and now nobody will turn him away, because Tasaki has become one of the world's best-known sommeliers.

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