Perhaps calendars should indicate not just holidays, but the dates on which important people in our collective pasts made decisions that caused tremendous harm.
Colin Jones is a law professor living in Kyoto. He has written four books in Japanese and tries (tries!) to make the subject of Japanese law interesting to non-specialist readers. He is from a bunch of places, but mostly Canada.
For Colin P.A. Jones's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
I hadn't planned on reading the Liberal Democratic Party's propaganda comic on constitutional change for the same reason I don't watch NHK, listen to AKB48 or use my underpants as an ashtray. Yet, as a piece of Japanese legal cultural history, perhaps it merits ...
For those trying their hardest or already at the end of their rope, "ganbaru" can seem like a slap in the face rather than a gesture of encouragement.
To look at Japan's educational policy in action, you can't help but wonder if insularity and mediocrity might actually be the goal.
While "empty-house syndrome" may seem like a problem mostly afflicting rural Japan, it is already an issue in metropolises such as Tokyo and Osaka, and will become more so in the years to come.
For a supposedly vague language, Japanese can be incredibly specific when it comes to personal pronouns, the law and the family, for example.
Amakudari reaches into almost every aspect of civil and economic life, quietly taking its cut in the form of higher prices, obscure but lucrative monopolies and seemingly bizarre regulations.
As long as we feel the need to occasionally harm our fellow human beings, most of us will happily let other people — or things — do the dirty work.
In the wonderful world of Japanese law, every professional has a badge — many of which are rich in symbolism and history.
In England of the distant past, the word "doom" was a legal term, referring to a judgment imposing a punishment. Some etymological sources suggest it has common roots with the Sanskrit "dharma," a deeply complex word that can refer to customary social duties or ...