Books / Reviews | THE ASIAN BOOKSHELF Jun 12, 2005

In Japan's tabloid world, truth trumps pulp fiction

TABLOID TOKYO: 101 Tales of Sex, Crime and the Bizarre from Japan's Wild Weeklies, by Geoff Botting, Ryann Connell, Michael Hoffman and Mark Schreiber. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2005, 255 pp., 1,400 yen (paper). Aside from the sight of middle-age Japanese businessmen happily reading comic books, ...

National Dec 23, 2003

Mountain hermitage offers challenge to dole

By far the most common sign along this road twisting up the Iya River in Shikoku's remote Oboke Gorge, a spectacular chasm that is the deepest in Japan, is "under construction." Cartoon animals smile from the many warnings about roadwork and slope reinforcement as cement ...

National Jan 22, 2002

Elvis wannabe crooners soothe to 'Rabu Me Tenda'

Dressed in a black tuxedo, a middle-aged former company executive took the stage, cued the six-piece band and launched into Elvis Presley's version of the syrupy '60s ballad "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." Corny? Not to the hundreds of Elvis fans who ...

National Jan 12, 2002

Filmmaker records life and death in Manila's garbage dumps

"Someone get a saw!" yells a rescue worker frantically digging in a heap of garbage for a buried body. A blackened corpse slowly emerges, but rescuers are unsure if it is a man or woman. "I know her," someone finally says. "It's Mrs. Garret." The ...

National Apr 14, 2001

Gadget guy puts ideology over profit

On a cluttered desk in a dimly lit office in central Tokyo lies a golden, cylindrical object you can't find in any store. It's a combination lock that would take 3.2 trillion years to crack, about 160 times the age of the universe. "The thief, ...