Budding English skills built up over years at conversation school can wither as junior high school clubs take over students' lives.
Charles Lewis has lived in Japan since 1977 where he has been an editor, writer, teacher, carpenter, fisherman, importer, wholesaler and retailer. He is a founding member of e-publisher Shonan Press. He contributes to Eye-Ai magazine and has written for The Japan Times since 2010.
For Charles Lewis's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Is the "don't ask, don't tell" status quo the ideal situation for a country that tends to be reflexively conservative on issues of race and nationality yet benefits from the dual-citizen population?
Hula master on music, dancing and the hula sidestep
Photographer on dancing and Jay Gatsby
Adolescence has never been easy, but add the pressure of having to pass an important high school exam and you have what's commonly known as "entrance exam hell."
Manuel Bruges has lived life to the full, as photographer, inventor, journalist, chef, boxer and more.
Charles Lewis asks interviewees in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, what they think about the idea of relaxing the long-standing ban on gambling and and allowing the establishment of casinos.
Gracing the shoreline in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, is a statue unique among the many in Japan that celebrate local legends or famous historical figures: A work depicting a man kicking a woman.
New transport ministry guidelines require that public signs use standardized English words to replace Romanized Japanese words. So what do tourists and residents in Enoshima think of the changes?
For most people around the world, football means just what the word suggests: a sport played primarily with the feet in which the ball is rarely touched with the hands. But there is, of course, another version of football — actually derived from rugby — ...