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May Masangkay
For May Masangkay's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 6, 2023
War-displaced Ukrainian joins Japanese ensemble in performance for peace
Iana Lavrova joined the 2023 Fukushima Cello Concert for a performance by a 500-strong group held in May.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
May 20, 2023
The anime fans making 'holy pilgrimages' to sites across Japan
A train crossing in Kamakura is now so popular that multilingual signs beg gawkers to abide by safety regulations.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 5, 2023
Tokyo restaurant offers jobs and a slice of home to Ukrainian evacuees
Smachnogo employs nine Ukrainians, of whom seven are evacuees, and serves Japanese and Ukrainian dishes.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 17, 2022
Young people bring new energy to Fukushima Prefecture town
With Futaba having seen an exodus of its residents, estimated at around 7,000 before the March 2011 disasters, a group of people from elsewhere are striving to help rebuild fortunes.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 26, 2022
Bucha evacuee in Japan seeks healing in 'peaceful' Ukrainian hometown
Olena Samoylenko says it was "heartbreaking" to see the destruction in places where she had played with her daughter.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 15, 2022
Ukrainian woman arrives in Japan after fleeing her home for a second time
Maria Gudzii was forced to evacuate with her family after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and then left Ukraine entirely after Russia invaded in February.
Japan Times
JAPAN / FOCUS
Mar 6, 2022
Ukrainian musician in Japan appeals for peace as her music takes on deeper meaning
"When I perform, I do so with thoughts that the war would end and there will be peace in the world," said Kateryna Gudzii, one of two bandura players in Japan.
Japan Times
CULTURE
Dec 30, 2021
Japanese art of decorative knot-tying helping to create ties
Mizuhiki u2014 most often used for special occasions u2014 is the gift decoration that keeps on giving.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Nov 18, 2021
'Gensan Punch': Japanese boxer fights his way to the pros in Philippines
Directed by Brillante Mendoza, the film was inspired by the real story of Naozumi Tsuchiyama, who went to the Philippines after his physical disability prevented him from going pro in Japan.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 4, 2021
Ken Watanabe's support for survivors of 3/11 is a 'lifetime's work'
The actor's decadelong efforts to help survivors of the March 11 disaster include opening a cafe in Miyagi Prefecture and launching websites to solicit donations and words of encouragement.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Dec 21, 2020
Film spotlights Vietnamese temporary workers' plight in Japan
When director Akio Fujimoto's "Along the Sea" reaches theaters nationwide next spring, he hopes the plight of Vietnamese temporary workers depicted in the film will show the exploitative reality their like face in Japan at times.
Japan Times
CULTURE
Sep 8, 2020
Drive-in concerts and attractions in Japan shine headlights on fun despite COVID-19
Live entertainment is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering drive-in performances that visitors can experience from inside their cars.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 22, 2020
Japan fireworks makers look to light up coronavirus-hit industry
Around 80 percent of the displays due to be taking place during the peak season for pyrotechnics have been canceled.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
May 18, 2020
COVID-19 crisis takes toll on children's cafeterias for disadvantaged
With the outbreak, social distancing practices have forced many such cafeterias to shutter temporarily or look for ways to provide low-cost meals.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Apr 26, 2020
'Corona divorce': Tokyo firm offers rooms to give people a break from their spouses
One service is stepping in to help them save marriages before it is too late, offering couples a breather from each other as they try to obey stay-at-home requests.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Sep 13, 2018
Japanese pyrotechnician lights up Ecuador's skies to inspire kids, forge link with Fukushima
Ayumi Miyaura remembers her sadness in seeing young children at a day care center in an Ecuador prison where their mothers were incarcerated. Some of them, she learned, would go on to follow a similar criminal path.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 12, 2018
When 'Amuraa' ruled Japan
When pop diva Namie Amuro took the music scene by storm, she not only captivated throngs of girls and women with her performances but also inspired their fashion, spawning the "Amuraa" look of the mid-1990s.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Apr 14, 2018
Japan's pet detectives
Myriad spiritual and high-tech options are available to help owners find their missing animals, but human trackers are still the best bet.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 18, 2018
A fuzzy tale of Japan's famous cats in hats
When Ryo Yamazaki picked up a chunk of one of his cat's shed fur and fashioned it on top of his Scottish fold's head in a Trump-esque quiff, he did it for a laugh.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 15, 2018
Shogi showdown pits 'god' against 'genius'
The match of the century. The battle between a "god" and a "genius." The faceoff between the undisputed champion of shogi and his touted successor.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation