Yukana Inoue
For Yukana Inoue's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Mariko Hayashi, chairperson of Nihon University, bows her head in apology at a news conference in Tokyo on Monday.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 4, 2023
Nihon University chair vows to continue reforms despite calls to quit
The vice president and president have decided to resign to take responsibility for a drug scandal involving the American football team.
Tigers manager Akinobu Okada speaks during a news conference in Tokyo after the buzzword of the year was announced on Friday. The team's slogan, an indirect reference to victory, took the top spot.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 1, 2023
Japan’s 2023 buzzword of the year is all about winning
A.R.E — based on the Japanese word “are” (“that”) — took the top spot, after the Hanshin Tigers popularized the term as an indirect reference to victory.
Pages from a new Otaku Dictionary catalog the lexicons of Japan’s various subcultures.
PODCAST / deep dive
Nov 30, 2023
A problematic otaku dictionary and the Japanese approach to sitting
An “Otaku Dictionary” has Japan’s subcultures upset at an attempt to define them.
The Nihon University American football team's field in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward on Wednesday
Nov 29, 2023
Nihon University to disband American football club over drug scandal
The decision brings an end to the 83-year history of one of the nation’s most prominent college football teams.
Nihon University Vice President Yasuhiro Sawada (right) has sued Mariko Hayashi, the university's chairperson, over power harassment claims.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 27, 2023
Nihon University vice president sues chairperson over power harassment
Yasuhiro Sawada has claimed Mariko Hayashi used her superiority to paint him as being solely responsible for the mishandling of a drug scandal.
Yoshiko Koide sits in a classroom at Nagoya College where she teaches a Japanese-language observation seminar.
LIFE / Language / Longform
Nov 27, 2023
How a dictionary came to spark outrage among the web’s otaku
A project to create a reference book categorizing subcultures didn't seem to cause offense until it was packaged and sold as a dictionary.
Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto Prefecture hands out "blindfold" stickers that visitors can use to cover up their wishes written on wooden plaques.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 23, 2023
Privacy concerns prompt people to cover up Shinto prayer plaques
The plaques have been used to express wishes for centuries, and now some shrines are allowing them to be covered with stickers for privacy reasons.
A website for a lawyers group supporting followers and next of kin over alleged Jehovah's Witnesses abuse
JAPAN / Society
Nov 21, 2023
Many children of Jehovah’s Witnesses experience abuse, Japan report says
Report sheds lights on abuses such as forcing the children to refuse blood transfusions regardless of their situation, and corporal punishment.
Vehicle carriers operated by Nippon Yusen sit docked at the Port of Zeebrugge in Zeebrugge, Belgium, in March 2020.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 20, 2023
Japan confirms Nippon Yusen cargo ship seized by Houthis
The Nippon Yusen-operated vessel was captured by the Iran-linked group in the Red Sea as it was traveling south near Yemen.
Yoshiko Koide, a professor at Nagoya College, and 12 female students delved deep into otaku culture to create “Otaku Dictionary Daigenkai,” a dictionary of terms from all walks of fandom.
LIFE / Language
Nov 20, 2023
Test your otaku vocabulary, from 'oshi' to 'bacon lettuce'
“Otaku Dictionary Daigenkai” has gathered the language of fandom, from idols to games and anime.
Haneda Innovation City, a new business hub near Tokyo's Haneda Airport, held its grand opening on Thursday.
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 16, 2023
Haneda’s new business hub holds grand opening
While Tokyo has a number of business hub facilities, Haneda Innovation City's proximity to an airport makes it unique.
Kenshi Koba, chairman of the Takarazuka theater group, bows his head in apology during a news conference in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 14, 2023
No link to bullying in Takarazuka theater actress's suicide: panel
Although there was no evidence of harassment in the all-female musical theater troupe, the actress was most likely under immense pressure, the panel said.
Tokyo retained third behind London and New York in this year's Global Power City Index (GPCI) report.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 9, 2023
Tokyo remains third in global power index despite downturn
Among other Japan cities, Osaka ranked 37th while Fukuoka placed 42nd in the index.
The family grave of Toshihide Matsumoto is dismantled in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture. An increasing number of Japanese people are opting to permanently close their family graves as traditional family structures continue to change.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 9, 2023
Graying Japan faces a grave problem
Services designed to help people move or scatter their ancestors' ashes and close up family graves are experiencing increased demand.
The ¥100,000 financial aid comes hand-in-hand with consultation support that encourages expecting mothers to attend meetings in their municipalities throughout their pregnancy where they can ask for advice and information on childbirth.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 9, 2023
Japan's cash handouts for pregnant women to be made permanent in 2025
The plan entails handing out a total of ¥100,000 to all residents of Japan who are pregnant.
From convenience stores and pizza franchises to makers of mattresses and whisky, businesses are looking to cash in on the popularity of "Godzilla Minus One."
CULTURE / Entertainment news
Nov 8, 2023
Latest Godzilla movie is a beast at the Japan box office
Boosted by mammoth marketing campaign, "Godzilla Minus One" racks up over ¥1 billion in opening weekend.
The words of encouragement that star player Shohei Ohtani gave his teammates before their final game against the United States during the World Baseball Classic in March were among those nominated on Thursday to be the buzzwords of the year.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 2, 2023
Japan's 2023 buzzwords reflect light and dark sides of the year
From the year's scandals to its champions, the annual list of buzzword candidates highlights the nation's hope, fears and diversions.
The Nihon University football club dormitory in Tokyo
JAPAN / Society
Oct 31, 2023
Nihon University staff downplayed drug use problem, report says
The report shows how the university’s system of governance led to the delay in taking action against the American football team’s culture of drug use.
Takuya Matsunaga (right), who lost his wife and daughter in a 2019 crash in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, attends a news conference on Friday along with his father-in-law, Yoshinori Uehara.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Oct 27, 2023
Ex-Japan bureaucrat ordered to pay damages over fatal 2019 crash
Kozo Iizuka had already been sentenced to five years in prison, after the car he was driving crashed into Mana Matsunaga, 31, and her daughter Riko, 3.
Major supermarket chain Daiei opened a checkout-free, walk-through store in the CeeU Yokohama mall on Friday.
Oct 27, 2023
At new Japan supermarket outlet, high tech runs the store
The system replaces cash registers with a network of cameras, weight sensors and a smartphone app.


Tokyo Healthcare University professor Takayuki Mifune explains how he is trying to re-create bonito broth from 1,300 years ago.
The quest to re-create what the Japanese ate 1,300 years ago