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 Tomoko Otake

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Tomoko Otake
Tomoko Otake is a senior writer with a strong interest in health, medical and social issues. A native of Nara Prefecture, she obtained an M.A. in journalism from The University of Montana.
Japan Times
Events / Events Outside Tokyo
Jul 11, 2008
Classic songs for summer
Greg Irwin, one of very few foreign singer-songwriters of classic Japanese songs, particularly doyo (children's songs) in English, will perform two shows in Shibuya on July 18.
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jul 8, 2008
How green are Japan's urbanites?
The Group of Eight summit began Monday at the Windsor Hotel Toya, an exquisite, maximum- security resort in Hokkaido. There, the world's top leaders are holed up in conference rooms, trying to strike last-minute deals on various global issues, the most disputed of all being climate change.
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Jun 29, 2008
Foreigners flourish in the realm of Japanese arts
Japan has come a long way since the era of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), arguably the world's most famous and certainly the first Western Japanophile. Before Hearn, a Greek-Irishman who married the daughter of a local samurai in remote and rural Shimane Prefecture, and also took on Japanese citizenship,...
Japan Times
LIFE
Jun 29, 2008
Thomas Charles Marshall: Irishman excels at age-old biwa
With his back straight and his head up, Thomas Charles Marshall sits down in an arbor overlooking a lotus-filled pond on the compact but verdant campus of the University of Creation; Art, Music & Social Work in Yoshii, Gunma Prefecture. He slowly reaches for his pear-shaped biwa, a century-old mulberry-wood...
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Jun 15, 2008
Trio release music that's all bottled up
One recent night at Note Cafe, a small coffee shop tucked away on a side street off a shopping arcade in the Jujo district of northern Tokyo, two women and a man sat round a table together. They took out a dozen glass bottles of various sizes, shapes and colors, and placed them on the table.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
May 20, 2008
U.K. home-schoolers come to Tokyo for robot comp
Donning T-shirts of all colors and designs, some of the world's brightest science-minded boys and girls met in Tokyo in late April for the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Open Asian Championship, an international robotics competition for children aged 9 to 15.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
May 6, 2008
A Finnish way for the Japanese educational system?
Ever since students in Finland emerged as top performers in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), many teachers and policymakers in Japan have turned to this Scandinavian country of 5.2 million for insights on how to educate...
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
May 6, 2008
Open-minded schools adopt innovative approaches
As our society continues to urbanize, it is becoming increasingly difficult for children to be children. Long gone are the days when they were free to get muddy without being told off by adults, or to run about without the threat of speeding cars. In the concrete jungle in which more kids grow up these...
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Apr 20, 2008
Belly-laughs boffin puts mirth to the test
When people laugh, it is often their cheery sounds or the wrinkles around their eyes that mark out their mirth. Yoji Kimura believes, however, that the key to determining the nature of laughter lies in the diaphragm.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Mar 18, 2008
Figuring out 'cleaning fees'
Years ago, when a friend of mine was preparing to move back home to Los Angeles, I helped her clean her rented studio apartment in Tokyo. Shoving aside a pile of books, clothes and various other kinds of clutter, we wiped the wood floor, scrubbed the bathtub and polished the kitchen sink. We spent almost...
LIFE / WEEK 3
Mar 16, 2008
Skeptics nix 'comedy' drive to officially fight the flab
A sharply besuited young woman comes home and finds her dad downing a mug of beer in the kitchen, with an assortment of snacks on the table. She playfully warns him, pointing to his potbelly: "Oto-san (Daddy)! You're drinking again! You are eating too much, aren't you? Metaborikku Shindoromu (Metabolic...
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / CLOSE-UP
Mar 2, 2008
Shintaro Tsuji: 'Mr. Cute' shares his wisdoms and wit
Shintaro Tsuji isn't joking when he says he wants to make Hello Kitty, his company's best-selling character, into a brand name that rivals Gucci or Hermes.
Japan Times
LIFE / THE SKY'S THE LIMIT
Feb 24, 2008
Cancer specialist beats the odds
For breast surgeon Takako Kamio, 53, science is all about going to your limit to seek the truth.
Japan Times
LIFE / THE SKY'S THE LIMIT
Feb 24, 2008
Blazing a trail to the cyberfuture
Yukiko Nakagawa started toying with a personal computer when she was a 6th-grader in the early 1980s — years before Microsoft introduced its first Windows operating system, and back when most people, let alone children, had never seen a PC.
LIFE / Lifestyle / THE SKY'S THE LIMIT
Feb 24, 2008
Japan's gender inequality puts it to shame in world rankings
When it comes to gender equality, Japan has no shortage of distressing figures.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 20, 2008
'Talk' therapy helps against inhibitions
Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy are widely known abroad to be effective in treating depression.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 20, 2008
Treating clinical depression a tall order
Depression is no stranger to Japanese society, but only within the last decade has its "clinical" component gained currency along with the realization that the malady can affect almost anyone.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 1, 2008
Women key to fixing demographic crunch
KYOTO — Japan, the world's most rapidly graying nation, can learn from Europe how to cope with an aging society, especially in such areas as increasing the participation of women, according to experts and journalists at a recent conference.
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Jan 20, 2008
Hitting hairdressing's highs the flat-top way
Wielding a hair dryer in one hand, a comb in the other, and with another comb held between his teeth, hairdresser Hideki Sato, 34, tackles the jet-black locks of a male model.
Japan Times
LIFE
Jan 13, 2008
Puff your way to health through a pipe
If you are looking for a fitness activity that combines the tranquillity of Japanese archery and the thrill of blood-curdling ninja — along with the fun of playing darts — then fukiya (blowpipe darts) is maybe for you.

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Several support networks have launched to help startup founders in Japan whose native language isn't Japanese.
As Japan's startup ecosystem grows, so does a supportive community of entrepreneurs