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The Heisei Era began in January 1989 and I started writing reviews of Japanese films for The Japan Times in July that year. In 1990, I became Japan correspondent for a British movie trade magazine, a job description that, with a change of publication, I have held ever since.

Few reviewers also cover the movie industry as a reporter, but I have tried to keep the two jobs in separate silos. As a trade journalist I have to note box-office success with superlatives (“highest,” “most,” “record-breaking”); as a critic I can ignore it.

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