author

 
 
 Tomoko Otake

Meta

Twitter

@Tomoko_Otake

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.
For Tomoko Otake's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
Features
Jul 10, 2005
Support groups to aid of all affected
When people become clinically depressed, it's not just they who suffer. Families of the depressed are deeply affected -- riding an emotional roller coaster -- and when a breadwinner is afflicted, as is often the case, financial struggles inevitably ensue. Worst of all, many families must live with the...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jun 22, 2005
Sacred sounds of Ainu tonkori resurrected
Keeping traditions alive is not easy; it's even harder when there is no one to teach them. When Ainu musician Oki recently re-created traditional tunes on the tonkori, the stringed instrument of the Ainu people, his only guides were pre-1970s recordings of tonkori music collected by ethnomusicologists...
Japan Times
LIFE / Language
May 26, 2005
Parenting book gets princely praise
Parenting expert Dorothy Law Nolte enjoys a huge following worldwide; her 1998 book, "Children Learn What They Live," sold over 700,000 copies in her native U.S. and has been translated into 36 languages. The Japanese version was a steady seller -- until February this year, when the father of a certain...
Features
May 22, 2005
A growing trend
These are hard times for Japan's construction workers. The days when they were forever taking flak for digging up roads and causing traffic chaos, or teetering on the edge of scandals as they built yet more roads and bridges into the middle of nowhere are now long gone.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / CLOSE-UP
Apr 3, 2005
Ryu Murakami: Straight-talking wordsmith wields his pen like a sword
For nearly three decades since his seismic debut with "Almost Transparent Blue," which delved into the sex- and drug-fueled lives of Japanese youths in a town hosting a huge U.S. military base, author Ryu Murakami has often used his trademark explicit, offensive and guiltlessly cheerful language to dig...
Japan Times
Features / WEEK 3
Mar 20, 2005
Money makes money for savers of note
It's neither pretty nor fancy, and it's made of garbage. Yet a recent addition to the plethora of piggy banks available to the nation's would-be penny-pinchers is proving particularly popular with hard-core fans of the Japanese saying that goes: "Kane no aru tokoro ni kane wa nagareru (Money flows to...
Features / WEEK 3
Mar 20, 2005
On a wing and no fare
When Momoko Sasaki goes traveling, she literally "goes an extra mile" to enjoy perks that few of her peers have likely ever dreamed of.
Japan Times
Features
Feb 13, 2005
Go! Go! Kingyo!
If you go down to Roppongi tonight, you're sure of a few surprises. Not least, in Tokyo's favorite party zone renowned for its glitz and sleaze, you're guaranteed a world tour of ethnic restaurants, along with enough bars, dance clubs and strip joints to satisfy every taste.
Japan Times
Features
Feb 6, 2005
Drawing on experience
At age 82, Shigeru Mizuki (above) is undoubtedly among the most popular -- and certainly one of the longest-standing -- cartoon artists in Japan. There is probably no Japanese adult who is not familiar with his name, or who has not at least glanced at the voluminous comics/animation series "Ge-ge-ge...
Japan Times
Features / WEEK 3
Dec 19, 2004
Mannequin sculptor stars crafting heavenly bodies
Next time you spot a short, bespectacled old man closely examining a woman's curves as she climbs the station stairs, don't jump to conclusions. Instead of a would-be groper or pervert, that man could be Makoto Kakeda -- one of Japan's most respected mannequin sculptors.
JAPAN / BY THE NUMBERS
Dec 14, 2004
Sake trendy abroad but hard sell here to young
It has a deep, delicate and definitely cultural flavor. Yet sake does not appeal to many of today's Japanese, who would rather clink glasses of "shochu" liquor or wine.
JAPAN
Dec 10, 2004
Recipients of tainted blood products begin to fight back
Taking institutions like the central government and big corporations to court is no easy feat for ordinary Japanese citizens. It's even more daunting for mothers busy raising their children and not used to attending the bar.
JAPAN
Dec 10, 2004
State names hospitals in blood scandal
The health ministry on Thursday disclosed the names of 6,916 hospitals and 17 medical suppliers believed to have stocked a hepatitis C-tainted blood product that caused one of the largest medical disasters in Japan's postwar history.
JAPAN / BY THE NUMBERS
Nov 25, 2004
Why recycle PET bottles if China will buy them?
Every PET bottle bears a triangle of arrows with the message: "Yes! to recycling. No! to littering." But it doesn't show where the bottles go.
JAPAN
Nov 13, 2004
Lawyers go after reformist debt collector
An American businessman who tried to improve the way debts are collected in Japan from the oft yakuza-linked intimidation route was arrested last week amid growing pressure by lawyer groups to crack down on unauthorized parties encroaching on their turf.
Japan Times
Features
Oct 24, 2004
Kitty collector plans afterlife together as well
Some have ridiculed her taste. Others have called her infantile. Yet Asako Kanda, a 31-year-old receptionist at a crafts and culture school in Tokyo, has never had any qualms about her long-running love affair with Hello Kitty.
Japan Times
Features
Oct 24, 2004
The cat's whiskers of Kawaii
At 10 a.m. last Saturday, the moment the doors of the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district were opened, a small scrum of people rushed in, headed straight to the escalators and then up to the fifth floor.
Japan Times
Features / WEEK 3
Oct 17, 2004
Drawing on love
She is a Japanese manga artist with a piercingly sharp eye for human traits and foibles. He is an American writer and language buff who can chat with equal ease in four languages. Together, they make for a magnetic -- not to say a "mangaetic" -- couple.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Oct 10, 2004
South African culture reclaimed in 'Umoja'
Born as a black person under apartheid, growing up in an extremely poor family with eight siblings, having a baby out of wedlock at age 16 -- this is surely a hard life to lead. But South African dancer and choreographer Todd Twala has lived it, and has proved that one can rise above hardship. The musical,...
Japan Times
Features
Sep 19, 2004
Talkin' 'grassroots social reform'
...

Longform

Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan