A night out — with divorce on the rocks

/ | Sep 16, 2007

A night out — with divorce on the rocks

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Ask a friend to name a detective, and legendary sleuths such as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot or Kosuke Kindaichi will probably figure in their reply. Regardless of nationalities, detectives seem to be familiar to many — provided they are fictional characters. In real life, however, ...

Postmodern sports for all

/ | Sep 16, 2007

Postmodern sports for all

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One night last month, while I was lazily channel-surfing at home, I happened on shot-putters doing their thing at the IAAF's World Athletics Championships in Osaka. As tiring as it was to watch, there was something truly moving and amazing about all those beefy men ...

Three cheers for the boys!

/ | Sep 16, 2007

Three cheers for the boys!

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Take a moment to try to think seriously about cheerleaders. Nowadays, they don't just wear skimpy outfits, wave pompoms and do high kicks. Oh no, the cheerleaders jump, tumble and perform acrobatic stunts. And, of course, they dance, chant and smile as well. But ...

Putting the fun back into feeling fit

/ | Aug 19, 2007

Putting the fun back into feeling fit

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Although you may be a typically busy worker, in Japan there's no shortage of easy exercise options to help keep you in shape — whether "10-minute fitness" clubs where you can have a quick workout without even changing your clothes, varieties of home exercise ...

Beauty beheld in brutalism

/ | Aug 19, 2007

Beauty beheld in brutalism

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No matter how wild or wacky their hobbies or obsessions, in the age of the Internet no one need feel isolated any more, and by casting all inhibitions aside almost anyone is assured of finding like-minded others out there in cyberspace — if not ...

Japan's Paradise Lived

/ Aug 12, 2007

Japan's Paradise Lived

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It's a strange world we're about to enter. If I were the organizing type I would set up a "Heian Society." In flowing robes and court caps, we would compose pun-laden poems simultaneously lamenting and celebrating the transience of life and beauty. Wine would flow, ...

Nuclear hell revisited

/ Aug 5, 2007

Nuclear hell revisited

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Two years ago, Michel Pomarede, a French journalist working for France Culture, a French national radio station, visited Japan for the first time. He came with the aim of making a mammoth, 17-hour program about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. ...

Kaiten zushi

/ Jul 29, 2007

Kaiten zushi

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It was a season of long days, heavy rain, loquats, hollyhocks and hydrangea. He was not hungry for loquats, and an afternoon downpour had cooled the June air. So, thinking of the unlimited, free miso shiru (miso soup) and green tea, he ducked into ...