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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
COMMUNITY
Jan 5, 2003
Safety first on the shinkansen
July 15, 2000, was just another hot and humid summer's day in Japan. For the hundreds aboard the Joetsu Shinkansen "Asahi 402," though, it was a day they would never forget -- after they were trapped on the train for two hours without water or air conditioning.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Dec 8, 2002
Capital transports of restricted delight
It's got the party places. It's got the party people. Now if only someone could come up with a way to get the people to the places, Tokyo could truly call itself a 24-hour city.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Dec 1, 2002
New ways to kei-mmunicate
"The day is coming when telegraph wires will be laid on to houses just like water or gas -- and friends will converse with each other without leaving home."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Nov 17, 2002
Make tracks to the new-look Yurakucho
Have you noticed the recent changes around Yurakucho Station? As fancy new cafes and restaurants pop up one after another, the tiny old izakaya under the railroad tracks, with their red paper lanterns, are gradually disappearing.
COMMUNITY
Oct 27, 2002
Putting the best face on death
People are said to look peaceful in death. But imagine if a deceased's family were to gaze fondly at their loved one only to find the face garishly caked with foundation, rouge and lipstick. Horrifying, or what?
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Oct 27, 2002
Passionate Cortes back with live 'flashback'
Joaquin Cortes -- the "dancer of passion" -- has cast his spell on audiences around the world with his exotic moves and the passionate Latin personality he oozes while in the spotlight. In November, he is back on stage in Japan to perform his most recent creation, "Live."
COMMUNITY
Oct 6, 2002
Making every day count
Apathetic youths with nothing but partying on their minds. All too often parents and professors bemoan how well this description fits today's university students.
COMMUNITY
Oct 6, 2002
Cramming for life
Haruka Nakagawa is a typical 22-year-old Keio University student: full of life and always on the lookout for fun. She is one of many students who find studying a bore, and are more often spotted off campus than on it.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 15, 2002
Making music seem like child's play
Giants of the financial world and famed for more than two centuries as patrons of the arts (Mendelssohn and Chopin were among their many beneficiaries), the Rothschilds also nurtured an acclaimed musical talent of their own: soprano Charlotte de Rothschild.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Sep 8, 2002
Across continents by cab
For most people, all it takes to get from Tokyo to London these days is an air ticket and a 12-hour flight. But for taxi drivers Takemasa Irie and his son, Takeshige, the journey was much longer and far more grueling, and jet lag was nowhere on their long list of concerns. They were going to drive all the way in a taxi.
COMMUNITY
Aug 18, 2002
Something in the air: the charged debate over negative ions
Yes, there's definitely something in the air this year -- and it's not just the regular brew of pollutants and particulates.
CULTURE / Art
Aug 14, 2002
Going all the way
Call me old-fashioned, but I never thought I'd see the day when I went to a male strip show . . . and actually enjoyed it. Ladies (and gentlemen), do not miss this hilarious Broadway musical, "The Full Monty."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jul 17, 2002
The magic of Disney creates a jungle on ice
SAPPORO -- Disney may not be everybody's dreamland. For some, especially children, Disney's movies and theme parks are a fantasy world; for others, though, they seem more like slick merchandising opportunities.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Jul 14, 2002
Buy 'em while supplies last
If there's one giant showroom where you can find up-to-the-minute electronic goods, it would have to be Akihabara's "Electric Town." In this high-tech mecca of global renown, emerging technologies hit the shelves with dizzying speed and deafening hype. If a product can leave an impression here, it can succeed virtually anywhere.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 7, 2002
Violinist who plays off the scale
Most people expect the kind of music played on a violin to be classical. Unless they're listening to internationally known violinist and composer Taro Hakase, that is, whose violin demonstrates melodies that can't be easily pigeonholed into any one musical category.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Jun 16, 2002
The accessory of the season
Tsuyu. It's that wet and dismal time of year, the rainy season, when no matter what the skies look like, you have to prepare for the inevitable.
COMMUNITY
May 26, 2002
The great green elixir?
The list of foods and beverages that supposedly prevent cancer is a long one and is constantly being updated. Everything from apples and mushrooms to red wine and the seeds of mandarin oranges has been cited as preventing the disease.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
May 22, 2002
The star-spangled chawan
With lines of silver breaking through a black laquer surface, the tenmoku pottery of Koji Kamada conjures images of the unknown universe. Visitors to an exhibition at Akasaka Yu Gallery celebrating Kamada's 30-year career have a rare opportunity to see masterpieces made by Japan's leading tenmoku potter.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
May 5, 2002
Kids these days
What is wrong with kids today?
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Apr 21, 2002
Climbers mixing business and pleasure
"From the walls of a building to the walls of the world."

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