Michael Hoffman

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:

Face masks can foster a false sense of security

National / Media | BIG IN JAPAN Mar 28, 2020

Face masks can foster a false sense of security

What’s happening in Japan is written all over our faces — our blank, expressionless, masked faces. Never before, it seems safe to say, have so many people gone about masked. Thus we confront the microbes that assault us. Are the microbes disconcerted? It seems not. “As self-protection, ...

Examining the cold hard facts of dependency

National / Media | BIG IN JAPAN Feb 8, 2020

Examining the cold hard facts of dependency

Everybody's hooked on something. What's life without its little pleasures? Mere struggle for survival. Smokers crave nicotine, coffee-drinkers caffeine, gamers games. The pursuit of happiness takes many forms. Society approves of most, frowns on others. Some it bans outright. One Golden Week morning in 2016, ...

Decline of social engagement may betray democracy

National / Media | BIG IN JAPAN Jan 25, 2020

Decline of social engagement may betray democracy

Japan's three leading newspapers, disagreeing on much, agree on this: Japan's democracy is in crisis. "Democratic politics in Japan has become frayed," the Mainichi Shimbun said in an editorial on Jan. 1. "The recent deterioration of Diet deliberations is intolerable," the Yomiuri Shimbun said on Jan. ...