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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
Jun 25, 2006
Smiles on retail's fastest track
Triple-A-size batteries, cigarette packs, and evening papers with screaming headlines are all at her fingertips. Kiyomi Okita knows exactly where they and hundreds of other items are, as well as their prices and what is flying off the shelves to whom.
Japan Times
LIFE
Jun 25, 2006
Simulated calamities
We would be the envy of every railway otaku in Japan: JR East had invited us to try out the company's driving simulator outside Tokyo, where real JR drivers hone their skills at the controls of a virtual train.
Japan Times
LIFE
Jun 25, 2006
Lives in their hands
Uniformed officials of East Japan Railway Co. are solemnly but methodically at work. Their train has just made an emergency stop after running over a middle-age man, who is either unconscious or dead. The driver radios the control office in central Tokyo, from where police and an ambulance are alerted....
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 20, 2006
A swelling dispute over our waistlines
Japan's citizens are well-known for their slim figures, healthy eating habits and longevity.
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Jun 18, 2006
Have you heard the one about . . ?
Maybe it's simply down to human nature, but stereotypes about foreigners seem to be joke-fodder the world over. In the corners of bars, in huddles at parties, in books and movies, countless laughs have been had, for example, at the expense of supposed American boastfulnes, "uptight" British, "humorless"...
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
May 9, 2006
Universal access -- if you speak Japanese
Despite 2 million foreign residents and calls for internationalization from within, Japan has a long way to go before becoming a multilingual society. The current state of health care is no exception. Be it university hospitals with cutting-edge research facilities or your neighborhood dental clinic,...
Japan Times
LIFE / WEEK 3
Apr 16, 2006
Editor on a mission for consumers
Some people sarcastically refer to journalists in Japan as "sarariman reporters." That's because even though the Fourth Estate potentially has enormous power and influence, its members are often timid, risk-averse and happy to cozy up with the politicians, government agencies and corporations they cover....
Japan Times
LIFE / Style & Design
Apr 11, 2006
Massage has its good and bad points
In today's deadline-driven, high-stress society, it's no longer uncommon to experiences headaches, stiff shoulders and carpal-tunnel pain every now and then. While many people turn to painkillers for relief from minor complaints, which in some cases can snowball into a chronic condition, massage treatments...
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 14, 2006
Who is paying the price of health care?
Japan's health-insurance program is touted as being egalitarian, with treatment available at any medical institution in the nation to those people who pay monthly insurance premiums and 30 percent of their medical treatment, including diagnoses, tests and prescriptions.
Japan Times
LIFE
Mar 12, 2006
Equality still has a long way to go
International Women's Day, commemorated March 8, was a chance to celebrate women's achievements. But it also highlighted the fact that discrimination continues to be a major problem for women around the globe -- and Japanese women, unfortunately, are no exception. In fact, the world's second-largest...
Japan Times
Features
Feb 12, 2006
Refuge of Last Resort
It is 9 o'clock on a freezing winter's morning in Sanya, eastern Tokyo, a blighted downtown district that was once famed as a day laborers' mecca. Now, it is home to thousands of aging men on welfare.
Japan Times
LIFE / Style & Design / WEEK 3
Jan 15, 2006
Home sweet 'death-defying' condo homes
Scandal continues to swirl around erroneous -- and potentially lethal -- structural assessments of hotels and condominiums by former architect Hidetsugu Aneha. Few, however, would detract from the universally accessible, "barrier-free" design of most modern Japanese condos. Few except Shusaku Arakawa,...
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / CLOSE-UP
Jan 8, 2006
Shigeaki Hinohara: Doctor of reforms
Even at the age of 94, Shigeaki Hinohara's mind and memory are so clear as to put some of his medical students to shame. And even despite being Japan's best-known and most highly acclaimed physician -- and chairman of the board of trustees of prestigious St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo --...
Japan Times
Features
Dec 18, 2005
Legal loner courts controversy every day
Any weekday, if you happen to drop by the Tokyo District/High/Summary Court building in Kasumigasaki, among all the besuited lawyers and the like you'll likely spy a blond, bearded young man leafing through the day's schedules in the first-floor lobby, or shuffling in and out of courtrooms big and small....
Japan Times
Features
Dec 11, 2005
Korean school strives to keep its homeland culture alive
When I first laid eyes on Tokyo Chosen Dai-Ni Shokyu Gakko (Tokyo Korean No.2 Elementary School) in the downtown Edagawa district of Koto Ward, it looked like any other school in Japan.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / CLOSE-UP
Dec 4, 2005
Shogo Kariyazaki: Flower power at his fingertips
Shogo Kariyazaki is one of Japan's most flamboyant and outspoken authorities on beauty.
JAPAN
Nov 30, 2005
Tainted-blood victims speak in court
Two women infected with the hepatitis C virus through tainted blood products told the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday how they suffer with the life-threatening disease.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Nov 29, 2005
Soaking in benefits of a chocolate spa
The Service: chocolate spa The Hype: slimmer figure: smooth skin: stress relief The Lab Rat: a thirty-something female chocolate lover with irregular eating habits The Results: thighs slimmed by 1.1 cm; feeling of relaxation: and - though connection can't be proven - a sudden desire to go shopping.
Japan Times
Features / WEEK 3
Nov 20, 2005
Update beckons for 'lucky' feline
A retired mannequin sculptor who fashioned his entire career out of observing women's curves is now eyeing curves of an even more mystical kind: those of the manekineko, the good-luck "beckoning cat" statues found all over Japan in the corners of bars, restaurants and lottery-ticket booths, where their...
Japan Times
Features
Oct 23, 2005
A more dignified way to die
Many of us struggle with difficult decisions regarding, say, our careers or relationships. But one decision that many of us avoid is "How do I want to die?"

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