Roger Pulvers


Roger Pulvers
Roger Pulvers is an author, playwright, theater director and translator who divides his time between Tokyo and Sydney. He has published more than 40 books. His latest book in English is "The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn."
For Roger Pulvers's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Mar 11, 2012
Japan's disasters must prompt a radical rethink of citizens' quality of life
It's a long time now since my first visit to Uluru, the stupendous sandstone formation in Australia's Red Center that European settlers called Ayers Rock, but which has now officially reverted to the name by which it was always known to the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal people. I had never before seen any natural formation as stunningly beautiful.
Mar 4, 2012
In the realms of true love and devotion, few could fault Akiko Koyama
On Feb. 21, 1996, Akiko Koyama, the actress wife of renowned film director Nagisa Oshima, received a phone call at her home in Kugenuma Kaigan, Kanagawa Prefecture. It was from an official at the Japanese Embassy in London.
Feb 26, 2012
Welcome to the world we've made but don't want to share with children
"Love ... casts itself on persons who, apart from the sexual relation, would be hateful, contemptible, and even abhorrent to the lover. ... It seems as if, in making a marriage, either the individual or the interest of the species must come off badly."
Feb 19, 2012
Has anything changed? Americans still feel the need for moral supremacy
When he published his brilliant cartoon in the Washington Post on Dec. 12, 1961, American cartoonist Herblock, may, oddly enough, just as well have been addressing one of the primary concerns of today's political debate in the United States.
Feb 12, 2012
Depression is a national ailment that demands open recognition in Japan
The greatest public health issue facing the people of Japan today is not cancer. It is not vascular diseases than can cause heart attacks and strokes. It is not the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease in the ever-rising number of the elderly.
Feb 5, 2012
Facts, facts and more facts: 'Education' in Japan now only befits the past
Last week in Counterpoint I wrote about the three deep gaps crisscrossing this country, turning it into a kakusa shakai (society of disparities). These rifts, amply recognized today among the populace and in the media, are: the income, or wealth, gap; the goal gap; and the education gap.
Jan 29, 2012
In disparity-ridden Japan, don't mind the gaps — just get out of them
This is a nation of gaps.
Jan 22, 2012
Self-effacement is a fine thing, but does Japanese culture take it too far?
What is it that has aided the people of Tohoku in coping with the tragedy inflicted on that region of northeast Honshu by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011? The entire world marveled at their resilience, courage and stoic altruism.
Jan 15, 2012
Recall, for inspiration, that young people made the last 'Japanese Spring'
How can Japan extricate itself from the morass it sank into two decades ago when its asset-inflated bubble burst? This is the question on nearly everyone's mind in this country today. One thing is for sure: You can't get out of quicksand by pulling on your own hair.
Jan 8, 2012
Akira 'Harry' Mimura: A life uniquely focused on both sides of the Pacific
"Iwas put in charge of this unbearably painful filming job. Even if you consider a war between two countries to be unavoidable, why, you wonder, must innocent civilians be forced to go through such suffering?
Jan 1, 2012
For how much longer will Japan's fate remain in the hands of amateurs?
As we enter into a new year in which last year's greatest event is still, dreadfully, uppermost in the mind of everyone in Japan, let's pause to think hard about the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, the tsunami it triggered, and the release into the environment of radioactive substances from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Dec 25, 2011
It's time to turn over a new leaf in the sheaf of identities we carry with us
Far be it from me to put soot in Santa's chimney, but there is a pet peeve I've just got to get off my chest.
Dec 18, 2011
Their spirit seems willing but young Japanese are hesitant to get hitched
Back in the days of "there's gold in them thar hills," one of the prospectors' doleful refrains boasted the title "My Girlfriend's a Mule and a Mine." Across the Pacific and some 150 years on, I wouldn't be surprised if an echo of that plaintive air were not about to catch on among young Japanese males — retitled "My Girlfriend's a Modem and a Mobile."
Dec 11, 2011
Japanese artistry, by design, melds time and space into all its creations
Among the greatest of Japan's gifts to the world is surely the gift of design.
Dec 4, 2011
U.S. base plan reveals obsequious Australia's frail sense of nationhood
"The unbreakable alliance." That is how U.S. President Barack Obama characterized the tie between his country and Australia in a speech to the Australian Parliament on Nov. 17, 2011.
Nov 27, 2011
Jewishness infuses the works of Ben Shahn — even his Japanese ones
What does it mean to be a Jewish artist or writer? Is one obliged to assert one's Jewishness — ethnically, religiously, culturally — in order to be seen as such? Or are all Jewish creators by definition "Jewish" creators, even those who create little with what can be considered "Jewish content"?
Nov 20, 2011
A lost gem found confirms who was the father of Japanese filmmaking
In July 1959, Japan's leading film magazine, Kinema Junpo, published a list of what it hailed as "The best 10 Japanese films of all time." This list included works by such acknowledged masters as Mikio Naruse, as well as the young but by then amply acclaimed Akira Kurosawa.
Nov 13, 2011
Will trickle-down class discrimination rob Britain of what's so great?
Britain may be broken, but London is hot. A recent trip to the city exhilarated me.
Nov 6, 2011
'American Jesus'
Iwas thrilled when, around Easter this year, I received an email from a leading American publishing house.
Oct 23, 2011
Post-Fukushima, 'they' can no longer be trusted — if ever they could
Every year when I was a child, my parents would take my brother and me from our Los Angeles home to Las Vegas on vacation. Back then in the 1950s, Vegas was still a family-oriented holiday destination. Dad would drop a few bucks at the crap table while the rest of us basked in the sun.


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