JFW: An outsider looks in

Mar 25, 2007

JFW: An outsider looks in

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With 39 shows, the fourth Japan Fashion Week, from March 12 to 16, was the biggest to date. And, with several top brands announcing their imminent emigration to the runways of Paris,the cosmopolitan cachet was further enhanced by the presence of foreign journalists invited ...

Mar 25, 2007

Young Tokyo designers set to grace the world's runways

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Last season's Japan Fashion Week (JFW) was held before the New York Fashion Week, which is traditionally the first event on the annual international catwalk circuit. But this time, Tokyo reverted to its regular slot after the Paris Collections that have since time immemorial ...

Thousands in grip of new exam fever

| Mar 18, 2007

Thousands in grip of new exam fever

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Whether because they are bored, driven to absorb as much of life's wonder as they can, or because they regard certificates as legups on the career pole, many Japanese of all ages are flocking to fonts of knowledge on everything from kanji (Chinese written ...

Power to the Wikipeople

Mar 11, 2007

Power to the Wikipeople

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If knowledge is power, then Jimmy Wales' online brainchild looks set to empower the world for free An Internet search for almost anything these days will likely lead you straight to Wikipedia, the worldwide online encyclopedia. But unlike conventional encyclopedias whose entries are written by acknowledged ...

Law and disorder

Feb 25, 2007

Law and disorder

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I was surprised when Jaime Xavier Lopez, the head of Sacred Heart, a notorious "martial-arts" group, told me to meet him at the government's Office of Cadastral Surveys and Property, where he has his day job. Or that's where he did work, since he ...

Ex-PM lauds his exit as a 'public service'

Feb 25, 2007

Ex-PM lauds his exit as a 'public service'

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The ousted prime minister welcomed me to his spacious compound where I met his son and daughter, both home from studying overseas, and his muddy, wriggling puppies that quickly Pollacked my best chinos. The media image of Mari Alkatiri is of an unsmiling, severe and ...

Back into the vortex?

Feb 25, 2007

Back into the vortex?

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East Timor is an ill-starred land that has endured more than its share of violence, neglect and deprivation. In 2006, only four years after it gained independence, violent clashes erupted yet again on the streets of Dili, East Timor's capital. The troubles began in February ...