Aug 31, 2018

Building character in Harajuku?

Passing through Tokyo's Harajuku neighborhood I glimpsed a view of the new train station that is taking shape. Echoing throughout the corners of my mind were those famous words, "We shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us." The quaint brick and mortar building that ...

Aug 31, 2018

Kofi Annan, the peace-loving lion

The editorial "Kofi Annan, an African Lion" in the Aug. 21 edition led me to ponder the life of this man. The world is saddened at the death of the former United Nations secretary-general. All his works were to "bring peace to troubled areas." He of ...

Aug 31, 2018

The joys of writing senryu

As a student of senryu, I was very much interested in "Salaryman slog/ gets satirized in senryu" in the Bilingual section of the Aug. 21 edition. When I was a university student, I was encouraged to compose haiku by an American teacher. But my haiku ...

Aug 31, 2018

How North Korea and the U.S. kill

On Aug. 17, The Japan Times published an article titled "Seeking justice for Kim Jong Nam," about the killing of the half-brother of the North Korea's ruler. Below that article was a news item headlined "Libya militiamen get death for 2011 killings." I see ...

Aug 24, 2018

The problems of living in the digital age

Regarding the story "There's no easy way to escape from your smartphone" in the Aug. 5 edition, I find that the addiction damages us physically and mentally. Indeed, the disease of over-enthusiasm for the smartphone has spread widely in our lives since its introduction. For ...

Aug 24, 2018

Learning how to learn from Japan

I was recently in Tokyo to attend a digital analytics conference organized by Web Analytics Consultants Association (WACA) and was amazed at the mindset and attitude among many of the 400-strong conference attendees. As a native of Singapore, I have been introduced to Japanese culture ...

Aug 24, 2018

Gov. Onaga and Okinawan soft power

On Aug. 8, Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga passed away. Over the last two years, I communicated with him several times at such occasions as a celebration event for World Uchinanchu Day (Uchinanchu means an Okinawan person) and the Okinawa Peace Prize Award ceremony, among ...

Aug 24, 2018

A simple solution for Olympic heat

Here is a simple idea for beating the heat in August for the 2020 Olympic Games: For those events taking place outdoors in which the participants (and spectators) may be affected by heat, just start the events early in the morning, say around 5 ...

Aug 17, 2018

Japan refuses to acknowledge its misogyny

Japan is quite notorious for being historically and culturally a patriarchy. The latest case of a Japanese medical university throwing women to the side just for being female is more evidence that something needs to change ("Med school cut scores to reduce female entrants," ...

Aug 17, 2018

Donald Trump obviously a racist

The article "One year after Charlottesville rally, Trump still flirts with racially tinged rhetoric" in the Aug. 14 edition skirted one conspicuous fact: Donald Trump is clearly a racist. Those reluctant to accept this should wake up — unless they enjoy being enslaved by ...

Aug 17, 2018

Why not give peace a chance?

Grant Piper writes in his letter "Too much focus placed on 'peace' " in the Aug. 12 edition that he visited Hiroshima only to feel "aggravated" by the term "peace." He should have hung out at a Carp game or Sanfrecce soccer match. Declaring Hiroshima ...

Aug 17, 2018

How to make Todai great again

Nancy Snow, Pax Mundi professor of public diplomacy at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, knows what ails higher education in Japan ("Japan's universities need more global ties" in the July 28 edition). The gist of her message: Japan's universities suffer from a parochial mindset and, ...