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Alex Martin

For Alex Martin's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Coronavirus pandemic fuels trend toward smaller funerals in Japan

Business Mar 30, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic fuels trend toward smaller funerals in Japan

From dispatching Buddhist monks to connecting grieving families with affordable funeral homes, Osaka-based end-of-life startup Uniquest Inc. is among the many firms that have been capitalizing on the growing preference toward simple, cheaper funerals and greater efficiency and personalization of services. That trend is likely ...

In the footsteps of Okinawa's forgotten priestesses

Travel Mar 14, 2020

In the footsteps of Okinawa's forgotten priestesses

Utaki (sacred sites) are scattered throughout the islands of Okinawa. Historically the purview of priestesses and kings, these sites have recently seen an uptick in visitors interested in exploring their own history.

<i>Michi no eki</i>: Japan's rest areas are kings of the road

Business Feb 22, 2020

Michi no eki: Japan's rest areas are kings of the road

This isn't your modest highway truck stop with parking, public toilets, a few vending machines and a kiosk. Occupying 5 hectares of land by Route 64, a road that makes its way through the scenic hills and pastures gracing the mountains of northern Gunma Prefecture, ...

Jomon revival: Interest in Japan's indigenous hunter-gathers grows

Culture Dec 21, 2019

Jomon revival: Interest in Japan's indigenous hunter-gathers grows

From his hilltop studio in the suburbs of Tokyo, Taku Oshima is reviving an ancient form of body art tradition he believes was practiced by the indigenous hunter-gatherers that inhabited Japan thousands of years ago. Lines, circles, dots, spirals, and other geometric shapes and patterns ...