When the internet sits in judgment on perceived violators of unwritten laws, its standards tend to be those of a technologized lynch mob.
Michael Hoffman is a fiction and nonfiction writer who has lived in Hokkaido by the sea almost as long as he can remember. He has been contributing regularly to The Japan Times for 10 years. His latest novel is "The Naked Ear" (VBW/Blackcover Books, 2012).
For Michael Hoffman's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan's Heian Period courtiers displayed an attitude to sex unmatched in other societies of the day.
If we assume that everything is something, then nothing is in fact nothing.
Will the global pandemic prompt us into changing the way we speak?
Communities might have rallied behind each other in the face of the calamitous earthquakes in 1995 and 2011, but the new coronavirus pandemic has spurred a response that is more about self-preservation than helping others in need.
The Meiji Restoration changed Japanese society on a grand scale, but let's not forget another "revolution" that turned things upside down.
In normal times, we seek happiness. In times of crisis, we seek normality.
Humanity is eternally vulnerable to the "unknown" and there's not much that we know about the new coronavirus.
The Laws of Compassion that Tokugawa Tsunayoshi issued trickled down to the lowest rungs of Edo Period (1603-1868) Japan, which included the capital's many feral dogs.
Dad works in a bank. “For a man, work is everything” — that’s his motto. It was his father’s before him. Unquestioned and undoubted, it entered his bloodstream. Work was everything. He rose high, wielded great authority and drew a good salary. He was 42, ...