Taking stock of a generation of changes

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Jan 11, 2011

Taking stock of a generation of changes

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changesTurn and face the strangeCh-ch-changesPretty soon now, you're gonna get older Rolling Stone suggested that the lyrics to "Changes" by David Bowie could be "construed as a young man's attempt to reckon how he'll react when it's his time to be on the maligned side ...

Children say the darndest things

Lifestyle Dec 23, 2008

Children say the darndest things

Another holiday season is upon us. There is a nip in the air, lights of all colors twinkle throughout neighborhoods and cityscapes across the country, and holiday cheer radiates throughout our schools, workplaces and communities. During this festive time, friends and families often come ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Nov 25, 2008

An Obama for Japan: Yes, we can?

On the long, unwinding railroad, on the sixth day — the day that, according to Christian texts, God created Man — a great dissatisfaction seeped into me as I continued to bask in the pride of seeing the majority of my fellow Americans transcend ...

Coming out of the shadows

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Aug 26, 2008

Coming out of the shadows

"We judge that it will be best for the child that the (parent) pray from the shadows for his healthy upbringing. If worried about the child, ask about him through others, secretly watch him from behind a wall, and be satisfied with what is ...

Custody battles: an unfair fight

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Aug 12, 2008

Custody battles: an unfair fight

"Sport at its best obliterates divisions between peoples, such as ostentatious flag-waving and exaggerated national sentiment." New York Times senior writer Howard W. French — who has covered China for the past five years, was Tokyo bureau chief from 1999 to 2003, and has ...

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Jun 10, 2008

Where did all the babies go?

Last Wednesday, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced that Japan's total fertility rate (TFR) — the average number of babies born to women during their reproductive years — rose slightly to 1.34 for 2007, even though about 3,000 fewer children were born ...

U.S. military crime: SOFA so good?

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Feb 26, 2008

U.S. military crime: SOFA so good?

On Friday night, Aug. 18, 2006, at a third-story apartment within a gated community outside Atlanta, Ga., 31-year-old Kendrick Ledet sat contemplating life. And death. Ledet was familiar with various forms of high-tech weaponry — particularly the semi-automatic M-16 rifle — but on this day ...

Weak yen will trump prints row for tourists

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Jan 22, 2008

Weak yen will trump prints row for tourists

Online letters of protest were filled out. A group of nearly 70 civic organizations from around the world delivered a formal letter of disapproval to Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama. Protesters gathered outside the Justice Ministry and thrust an inflated 3-meter-high yellow hand with an ...

Seeking a life in balance

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Jan 1, 2008

Seeking a life in balance

A task force set out earlier this year to bring more balance to the the grueling lifestyles that have become engrained in Japanese society over the past century. In November, a set of employment guidelines were formally adopted by the government. The traditional lifestyle in ...

Watching them watching us

Issues | THE ZEIT GIST Nov 20, 2007

Watching them watching us

A s many non-Japanese are well aware, today is "G Day," or "F Day," or whatever cute name you'd like to assign to it: The day that the government begins fingerprinting virtually all foreigners — or "gaijin," or more appropriately "gaikokujin" — entering Japan. ...