Alastair Himmer

For Alastair Himmer's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Kyoto temple puts faith in robot priest

Business / Tech Aug 15, 2019

Kyoto temple puts faith in robot priest

A 400-year-old temple is attempting to hot-wire interest in Buddhism with a robotic priest it believes will change the face of the religion — despite critics comparing the android to "Frankenstein's monster." The android Kannon, based on the Buddhist deity of mercy, preaches sermons at ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Jun 25, 2002

Sour grapes do injustice to South Korea

Who on earth would have predicted a World Cup semifinal between South Korea and Germany this time last month? The World Cup took another mad twist when South Korea beat Spain 5-3 on penalties in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Turkey then added to the mayhem ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Jun 11, 2002

World Cup brings out worst in Dachshund Ron

So far so weird, then. France on the brink of elimination, England beating Argentina 1-0 and Rivaldo being fined for cheating were just some of the biggest headlines to come out of the first week and a bit of the World Cup. Cohosts Japan and ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH May 28, 2002

God and Japan try to copy Latvian recipe

What with France relying on a Japanese referee to beat South Korea 3-2 and plucky Latvia winning the Eurovision Song Contest, it was a truly controversial weekend. England tried to revive memories of Bucks Fizz but fell flat with a performance that would guarantee ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH May 14, 2002

Let Alex run free up front

Japan strikers are a delicate bunch. Atsushi Yanagisawa went down with "Beirut Belly" during the Asian Cup in 2000 and has not touched a kebab since. More recently, Boca Juniors reject Naohiro Takahara developed an icky blood clot and Bolton Wanderers misfit Akinori Nishizawa was ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Apr 30, 2002

Sex, lies, videotape and something fishy

I hate April in Japan. Step outside and the air smells of sweaty underpants. My friend Percy tells me it has something to do with trees secreting spitballs. Which is nice. Imagine how chuffed I was, then, to discover an even fishier pong down at ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Apr 16, 2002

Careful with that tree, Eugene!

After months of teetering on the brink of full-blown silliness, World Cup organizers finally appear to have plunged into a vortex occupied by Teletubbies, giant talking tadpoles and Benny Hill lookalikes. How else do you explain the decision to ban frozen food from World Cup ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Apr 2, 2002

Poland and reality are Poles apart

Is Jerzy Engel completely deranged? Who on earth is Jerzy Engel, you are probably wondering? (Sigh) I used to talk about muffins and naked grandparents in these columns. Excuse me while I slip into my anorak for a moment. Engel, for all you non-Poles, ...

Soccer | THE BALD TRUTH Mar 19, 2002

Troussier leaves us scratching our heads

Question: When is an "open" training session not an "open" training session? Answer: When you are in Japan. It was clearly a case of when in Japan, do as the French do last week when Philippe Troussier decided he would leave more than 200 reporters out ...