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J.J. O'Donoghue
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 5, 2020
'Finding the Heart Sutra': Alex Kerr finds humor at the heart of wisdom and enlightenment
In his book 'Finding the Heart Sutra,' Alex Kerr breaks down the ancient Buddhist text character by character to reveal why the sutra has remained influential for over 1,000 years.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives
Aug 3, 2020
‘Japan has to remember that it is not just importing workers, it is importing people who have hopes’
Alfred Weinzierl has an eccentric way of doing business, but everything he does comes from the heart.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jun 6, 2020
One courier’s take on making Uber Eats deliveries during a pandemic
One Uber Eats courier in Japan reveals why he took up delivery and what he worries about while on the job.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
May 16, 2020
Kansai restaurants go digital during COVID-19
Kansai restaurateurs share how they are taking steps to drum up business — or support themselves if not — during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 21, 2020
In era of COVID-19, a shift to digital forms of teaching in Japan
Even at the university level, where most students and faculty should have a degree of competency when it comes to digital tools, institutions fall short.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 6, 2020
Parents in Japan worry as kids head back to school in virus pandemic
As the clock counts down towards the start of a new school semester, parents and guardians across the country face a uniquely unenviable choice: whether or not to send their children back to school as Japan grapples with COVID-19.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Mar 7, 2020
From Tokyo teen rebel to New York designer
For wild-boy Jimi Yui, a stint in a U.S. monastic school was just what he needed to set him on the track toward becoming a New York kitchen designer.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / KYOTO RESTAURANTS
Feb 22, 2020
Kyoto Beer Lab: Creative beers with local charm
Part beer, part music and full of local charm: Kyoto Beer Lab has perfected the formula for what makes a successful neighborhood bar.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN
Feb 1, 2020
Whet your appetite with 'A Complete Guide to Japanese Cuisine'
Food writer Akiko Katayama's bilingual washoku primer, 'A Complete Guide to Japanese Cuisine,' covers everything from regional dishes to dining customs and bento.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / KYOTO RESTAURANTS
Jan 25, 2020
Akihiro Kakimoto: The man behind Japan's most elaborate chocolate desserts
Patissier Akihito Kakimoto has competed in the world's most prestigious chocolate competitions. But his path to the world of chocolate sculpture-making was anything but straightforward.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Jan 11, 2020
Haruaki Saito: The uplifting power of traditional Irish music
An Irish reel set on a compilation CD of world music set in motion and obsession that led Haruaki Saito to Cork, Ireland.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jan 7, 2020
Rakushin: A flavorful harmony of Japanese-Flemish cuisine
It's Belgian-meets-Japanese for this collaborative four-hands meal organized by Arts Flanders Japan at Osaka's Rakushin.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Dec 21, 2019
Shihoko Ura: A chronicle of caring, teaching and food blogging
A chance encounter with a schoolboy in Australia led a trained nurse to start teaching Japanese and then blog about Japanese food.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / KYOTO RESTAURANTS
Dec 21, 2019
Il Garage: Japanese ingredients get an Italian twist in Kyoto
Masato and Midori Shirakawa honed their culinary skills in Italy. Now they're back in Kyoto running the cozy, innovative Il Garage.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / KYOTO RESTAURANTS
Nov 30, 2019
Isoism: Making Japanese tsukemono sexy again
With innovative presentation and casual-chic flair, Kyoto's Isoism is bringing tsukemono (Japanese pickle) techniques into the 21st century.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Nov 29, 2019
Salt and inaction blamed for Aomori having the lowest life expectancy in Japan
In a country famous for the longevity of its inhabitants — this year Japan's population of people age 100 or over topped 70,000 for the first time — Aomori Prefecture is an outlier.
Japan Times
Events / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Nov 28, 2019
Uyghurs living in Kansai try to deal with the stress of a crisis back home
With more and more news coming out about the situation in China's Xinjiang region, a group of Uighurs worried about relatives living there open up about the toll it's taking on their lives in Japan
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Nov 12, 2019
Akira Yoshino, winner of Nobel for work on lithium-ion batteries, sees tech as environmental fix
Midway through the 1800s, the English scientist Michael Faraday had the forethought to deliver a series of lectures on an object that was commonplace in Victorian Britain, as a way to get young minds hooked on science.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Nov 9, 2019
From hot bands to hot pots, Naoko Takei Moore's time in California pays off
Working in the Japanese music industry, Naoko Takei Moore's job was to wine and dine famous artists. What she picked up from that was a desire to cook that took her to the United States.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / KYOTO RESTAURANTS
Oct 26, 2019
Hiroyuki Inoue: Punk bass guitarist is now a culinary artist
Eramasa's menu may be broad, but it's bolstered by some excellent sashimi and unusual varieties of fish courtesy of owner-chef and former punk rocker Hiroyuki Inoue.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan