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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
LIFE / WEEK 3
Nov 18, 2007
Changing lives with castoffs
Michiyo Yoshida is a prime example of that green mantra, "Think globally, act locally." But the nonprofit organization she cofounded to send used wheelchairs to developing countries has also enabled members to "think globally and act globally."
Japan Times
LIFE / CLOSE-UP
Nov 4, 2007
Sue Palmer: The kids are not OK, top educator warns
To a growing legion of educated, enlightened and empowered mothers in Japan and abroad, Sue Palmer's advice on how to bring up children might sound — if not heard in context — too old-fashioned, too alarmist or even maybe too naive to prepare their loved ones for the rapidly changing, fiercely competitive...
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Oct 26, 2007
Don't go for the gov, go for the good grub
Since comedian-turned-politican Hideo Higashikokubaru was elected governor of Miyazaki Prefecture in January, the previously nondescript, countryside region of 1.14 million people on the southeastern coast of Kyushu, southern Japan, has had its profile dramatically boosted.
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Oct 21, 2007
One man with a mighty passion for mannequins
Mannequins are a foil for fashion items, whether they be coats, stockings or even hairpieces. Few of us pause to wonder where those plastic dolls go after they grace the shop windows or decorate department store floors.
LIFE / Language
Sep 23, 2007
Back-to-front books open new chapter on globalizing Japanese
As Japan struggles with the mushrooming of English loanwords in its midst, there are signs that the Japanese language might be exploring another new relationship with English — by absorbing the English alphabet and even some grammar directly.
Japan Times
LIFE / Language
Sep 23, 2007
Japanese: A language in a state of flux
Languages are never static. They change and evolve with people over time. They also interact with other languages, and through an endless cycle of loaning and borrowing of words, ideas and concepts are shared, exchanged and nurtured across national and cultural boundaries.
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Sep 16, 2007
Postmodern sports for all
One night last month, while I was lazily channel-surfing at home, I happened on shot-putters doing their thing at the IAAF's World Athletics Championships in Osaka.
Japan Times
LIFE / Style & Design / WEEK 3
Aug 19, 2007
Beauty beheld in brutalism
No matter how wild or wacky their hobbies or obsessions, in the age of the Internet no one need feel isolated any more, and by casting all inhibitions aside almost anyone is assured of finding like-minded others out there in cyberspace — if not just around the corner from home.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Jul 26, 2007
The village of the dammed
Shortly after being relocated to other towns in the late 1980s to make way for Japan's largest dam, about 10 aging former residents defiantly returned to the abandoned village of Tokuyama, in western Gifu Prefecture, determined to live there as long as possible. They sheltered in their old homes or makeshift...
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jul 17, 2007
How to survive summer fatigue
Imagine being in a sauna for a few hours. Then imagine getting out of it and walking straight into a giant freezer for another few hours. Do this several times a day and continue the routine for a couple of months. Some people say that's what spending summer in Japan is like.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / CLOSE-UP
Jul 1, 2007
Kotaro Sawaki: Writer on the road of life
Kotaro Sawaki is one of the most popular nonfiction writers in Japan. He made his name with "Shinya Tokkyu (Midnight Express)," a reportage of a yearlong overland trip through Asia and Europe he took when he was in his mid-20s. Those stories — whose title refers to a euphemism for "prison break" used...
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 19, 2007
Creating calm in children's minds
It's no big secret that children in Japan need to relax a bit more. With many undergoing entrance exams at age 12 — some even at age 6 — today's pre-teens are pressured to compete with their peers and be stellar academic performers from early on. Then there is ijime (bullying), a perennial...
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Jun 17, 2007
Japan's master of an ancient Muslim art
For Kouichi Honda, writing a beautiful line is what life is about. Getting every detail right — the subtle curves, the varying thicknesses and the density of the ink — matters to him as much as life itself.
LIFE
Jun 10, 2007
When and how you slumber is not as simple as it may seem
Getting up early is one of those things that people older and wiser always say is "good for you.''
Japan Times
LIFE / QUEUING
May 27, 2007
Disney bids to make the waiting fun
If you are looking for some long, hot lines, Tokyo Disney Resort, comprising the Disneyland and DisneySea theme parks, surely beats all others as your destination of choice.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
May 1, 2007
Blasting off for Golden Week
Tired of sitting in front of computers all day long? Sick of sucking up exhaust as you walk down the street? Have you been pondering life's meaning and, above all, our meager existence in this world?
Japan Times
LIFE
Apr 22, 2007
Mutual benefits as East meets East
Prior to the 1990s, most people in Japan probably knew little more about India than it was the home of curry, snake-charmers and the Taj Mahal.
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Apr 15, 2007
Train fan's dream buy is derailed online
Internet-auction sites allow people to sell and buy, at the click of a mouse or with a push on a cellphone button, almost anything from brand bags to resort condominiums to moldy Imperial Japanese Army uniforms. And, according to a 2005 report by Nomura Research Institute, in Japan it's a market that...
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 20, 2007
Tragedy swirls around Tamiflu
On Feb. 4, 2004, on a cold, snowy day in Gero, Gifu Prefecture, Haruhiko Nokiba's 17-year-old son fell sick. The fevered teen visited a local doctor, tested negative for a flu virus but was prescribed an antiviral drug called Symmetrel. He took a capsule that evening and another the following morning,...
Japan Times
LIFE / Digital
Mar 11, 2007
What happens when blog bullies get hot under the collar
In April last year, Jiji Press technology reporter Tsuruaki Yukawa felt as if he had enemies all around him.

Longform

Father's Day is said to have come to Japan around 1950, shortly after the establishment of Mother's Day.
The evolving nature of fatherhood in Japan