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Tim Hornyak
For Tim Hornyak's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
ENVIRONMENT
Feb 18, 2017
Wasteland: Tokyo grows on its own trash
Waste management authorities are working constantly to ensure that garbage in the metropolis is put to better use.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Dec 4, 2016
Just say Yes to a new generation of prog rockers
Few rock bands from the 1960s are still going strong today, and fewer still have been as musically adventurous as prog rockers Yes. Formed in London in 1968, the outfit has survived numerous lineup changes, but the death last year of bassist Chris Squire left an especially large hole in the group after 47 years of his punchy, melodic basslines.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Sep 24, 2016
The future looks bleak for Yokohama's day laborers
Once a bustling town of casual workers, Kotobukicho is now a community of aging welfare recipients.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Aug 13, 2016
The lure of Japan's mysterious ruins
Abandoned sites offer explorers a numinous mix of history, mortality and a sense of the passage of time
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Jul 9, 2016
Hot spot: Is Tokyo finally going wireless?
Wi-Fi is exploding in the capital thanks to an influx of tourism and the 2020 Games.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 5, 2015
Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style
Tokyo, September 1964: A squad of plainclothes police descend on the tony Ginza shopping district and round up hundreds of Japanese youths who had outraged local businesses. Their crime? Loitering in what was then outre style — button-down shirts, skinny ties, suit jackets and chino pants. These delinquents were the miyuki-zoku (Miyuki tribe) and they idolized one thing: Ivy League fashion.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 5, 2015
Hanzai Japan
Hackneyed writing and plot devices grow like kabi (mold) in crime fiction, but this anthology of 16 stories by writers in and outside Japan serves up tasty surprises. "Jigoku" by Naomi Hirahara is a heartfelt, surefooted tale by a serial killer confined to a cardboard-box in hell. Carrie Vaughn's "The Girl Who Loved Shonen Knife" is a breathless, manga-esque escapade about a schoolgirl who'll stop at nothing to win a battle of the bands contest. And Yumeaki Hirayama's "Monologue of a Universal Transverse Mercator Projection" overcomes its clunky title with an animistic tale of grisly slayings — narrated by none other than an atlas of Tokyo. There's more guts and gore than a Japanese whaling research vessel here — some of it ridiculously gratuitous, as in "The Saitama Chain Saw Massacre" by Japanese science-fiction heavyweight Hiroshi Sakurazaka, author of "All You Need is Kill."
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Oct 3, 2015
Listening to the wind on Battleship Island
As if from a dream, the island floated over the sea like a terra-cotta dreadnought from a century ago. I'd arrived at Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island, and its profile was unmistakable from the deck of my ferry battling high waves and winds.
Japan Times
JAPAN / History
Jul 25, 2015
Winds of war: Japan's balloon bombs took the Pacific battle to American soil
In May 1945, a pastor from Bly, Oregon, led his wife and a group of children on a day trip near Klamath Falls. They were all looking forward to hours of fishing and picnicking in fine weather. Everyone got out of the car while the Rev. Archie Mitchell was parking along a remote logging road and unloading the fishing tackle. Suddenly, he heard his wife, Elsie, who was five months pregnant, call out: "Look at what we've found! It looks like some kind of balloon."
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Feb 13, 2015
The gourmet date: Was it love at first bite?
Want to impress on a first date? Try the following: dress to the nines, bring a gift — and get a table at the world's best restaurant halfway around the world.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Nov 1, 2014
Malice
"The incident took place on April 16, 1996, a Tuesday." This meditative, clever novel from the author of 2011's "The Devotion of Suspect X" begins with a journal entry by Osamu Nonoguchi, a children's author who happens upon the body of his friend and fellow writer, Kunihiko Hidaka, facedown in his office.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Sep 13, 2014
A world of fear for Japan's shut-ins
Several years ago, a vogue of interest in shut-ins, or hikikomori, saw researchers from France touring Japan and meeting reclusive youths. Such was the prevalence of the disorder, said psychologist Nicolas Tajan, that "if you ask people in Japan about hikikomori, almost everyone will say, 'I know somebody like that.' But there is no such word in France."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 26, 2014
Japan's 'Moe' obsession: the purest form of love, or creepy fetishization of young girls?
Anyone who has visited Tokyo's Akihabara district in the past decade will have run into countless images of cartoonish girls: in posters, in figurines and in the form of real women dressed up as French maids.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 12, 2014
Meet the Japanese author behind Tom Cruise's new sci-fi smash
You might be surprised to hear that the latest Tom Cruise science-fiction epic, "Edge of Tomorrow," which hit theaters here recently, has a Japanese pedigree. It is based on the short novel "All You Need is Kill" by award-winning author Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
May 3, 2014
A homage to the 'Queen of Anatahan'
In November 1952, 1,000 Japanese thronged the pier at Yokohama to greet the arrival of the liner Chitose Maru. When one alighting passenger gazed down at them from the gangway, the crowd broke into a cheer. There was something about the kimono-clad woman from Okinawa that mesmerized people. Especially the five men on the dock who had gone through five years of hell with her on a desert island.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 20, 2014
Giant robots officially fly the flag for cool Japan
With its mountains of public debt, a nuclear meltdown to mop up and the 2020 Olympics bill, you'd think the last thing the Japanese government would be spending taxpayer money on is a study on robots in science fiction.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WEEK 3
Apr 21, 2013
Closing time for an old-style watchmaker winding up his career
As cotton-thick snow falls on St. Catherine Street in the heart of the province of Quebec's largest city, Iwao Tsumura works away in his dingy second-floor shop.
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Mar 25, 2009
Programmed for combat or for pleasure
While Japan is a technological powerhouse, it is usually a follower and not a pioneer.
CULTURE / Books
Mar 15, 2009
From Japan's heart of darkness
A hundred years ago, a young scholar named Kunio Yanagita traveled to remote Iwate Prefecture in search of stories that reflected people's lives. Yanagita was born at an epochal time when Japan was flinging off its feudal past and embracing modernity. He wanted to capture the vanishing ways in which common folk saw their world.
CULTURE / Books
Nov 2, 2008
Nothing funnier than a comedian in a kimono
RAKUGO: Performing Comedy and Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Tokyo, by Lorie Brau. Lexington Books, 2008, 274 pp., $75.00 (cloth) Of all the Japanese arts, rakugo traditional comedy is one of the most impenetrable for foreigners. The premise is simple: kimono-clad practitioners tell old funny stories on stage that culminate in a punch line called the ochi, with only a fan and handkerchief as props.

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