Masami Ito

Masami is a staff writer for the Life and Culture Division at The Japan Times. She is in charge of the weekly Sunday Timeout, covering various issues related to Japan, from alcohol/drug addiction and juvenile crime to female sushi chefs and kendama. Over her 15-year career, she has written extensively on Japanese politics, foreign policy and social issues.

For Masami Ito's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Refugee Film Festival comes as world's eyes are on crisis

Oct 1, 2015

Refugee Film Festival comes as world's eyes are on crisis

Last month, a heartbreaking photograph of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi's dead body washing up on the shore of Turkey was published by media outlets worldwide. He had fled his home in war-torn Syria with his mother, brother and father. Only his father survived the journey. Alan ...

Isao Takahata's stark world of reality

Sep 12, 2015

Isao Takahata's stark world of reality

Having survived a devastating U.S. air raid on his hometown in World War II, film director Isao Takahata has firsthand experience of the horrors of war. It's perhaps not surprising, therefore, that he staunchly opposes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempt to push controversial security ...

Culture clash: Entertainers add weight to government protests

Aug 29, 2015

Culture clash: Entertainers add weight to government protests

Judging from recent comments posted on Twitter and websites such as abe-no.net, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe doesn't appear to have endeared himself to a number of celebrities who hold plenty of sway over public opinion with regards to his moves to change the nation's ...

Documentary captures anti-nuclear protest movement's evolution

Aug 29, 2015

Documentary captures anti-nuclear protest movement's evolution

In the summer of 2012, tens of thousands of people gathered around the prime minister's office with one message — no more nuclear power. People flooded the streets of Tokyo's Nagatacho district, chanting and holding up signs saying "No Nukes!" in the hope their ...

Surviving the postwar Soviet detention camps

/ Aug 22, 2015

Surviving the postwar Soviet detention camps

Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, marked the end of the most devastating global conflict in history. While millions around Asia put down their weapons, Emperor Hirohito's broadcast on the radio failed to end the hostilities for some 600,000 Japanese military personnel and civilians in ...

Female chefs give sushi a new lease on life

Jul 4, 2015

Female chefs give sushi a new lease on life

A chef dressed in white stands behind the immaculate counter of a sushi restaurant with a vast array of raw seafood spread out in front of her. It sounds like a typical scene you might find at any sushi restaurant in Japan ... except ...

Jun 27, 2015

Cancer sufferer’s eggs frozen as ‘insurance’

Tomoko Morita had been married for three months when she found a lump the size of a marble in her breast. Just 31 years old at the time, she was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer. Morita's doctor warned her that the treatment she would need ...