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Matthew Chozick

Matthew Chozick writes widely about culture both in Japanese and English. He also appears regularly on Japanese television, holds a research fellowship at Kokugakuin University, dabbles in performance art and is the co-founder of a publishing start-up. You can keep up with his work on Twitter or at

For Matthew Chozick's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Language | BILINGUAL Sep 29, 2013

Good morning Miss Kita-Senju, konbanwa Japan

Perhaps there comes a day in many a man's life when he squints and says to himself something like this: 「まずいなぁ、もう少し度の強いメガネがあったら良かった。この距離だと、あの方が女装している北野武さんなのか、ミス・インターナショナルなのか、分からないや」("Mazui nā, mō sukoshi do no tsuyoi megane ga attara yokatta. Kono kyori da to, ano kata ga jyosō shiteiru Kitano Takeshi-san nanoka, Misu ...

Language | BILINGUAL Aug 18, 2010

Why not give the oyaji gyagu a rest when in Rome

Perhaps it was the jisaboke (時差ぼけ, jetlag) or a lasagna-induced food coma, but it took time for my mind to register the scene before my eyes — a cosplaying gladiator speaking Japanese in front of the Coliseum in Rome. The Italian sentry — garbed ...

'Sambo' racism row reignites over kids' play

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Apr 13, 2010

'Sambo' racism row reignites over kids' play

"Little Black Sambo, Sambo, Sambo/His face and hands are completely black/Even his butt is completely black." Word of nursery-schoolers in Saitama Prefecture chanting a "Little Black Sambo" song — "akin to what might be taught by a white supremacist group" — spread online recently, prompting ...

Tokyoites foot bill for Metro finger-wagging

Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET Oct 27, 2009

Tokyoites foot bill for Metro finger-wagging

If you scoot around Japan's capital on Tokyo Metro, chances are you can call to your mind's eye Bunpei Yorifuji's manner posters. You've probably snickered at Yorifuji's innuendo-laden slogan "Please do it at home" and, like me, look forward to seeing his silly etiquette ...

Books / Reviews Jul 5, 2009

Why Murakami's best-selling '1Q84' is worth the wait

When Shinchosha decided not to run a pre-marketing campaign for Haruki Murakami's new and highly anticipated two-volume novel, the publishing house must have banked on the book creating its own hype. It worked. The void soon filled with publicity and media speculation about the ...