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In 'Ooku: The Inner Chambers,' a secretly female shogun rules Japan and is attended to by a group of male concubines.
CULTURE / TV & Streaming
Aug 17, 2023
'Ooku: The Inner Chambers': Alternative history explores gender norms
The Netflix anime tells a complex love story in an alternate-reality Edo Japan in which an illness upends gender roles.
Michael Oher (right) was drafted in 2009 by the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he won the Super Bowl in 2013.
MORE SPORTS / Football
Aug 16, 2023
Former NFL 'Blind Side' star sues over 'adoption'
Former Raven Michael Oher is also seeking to receive a share of profits he claims not to have been paid in addition to financial and compensatory damages.
Sendai Station is one of the train stations to see the biggest gains in foot traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Aug 12, 2023
30% of Japan prefectures see crowds surpass pre-COVID levels
Based on an analysis of major train stations, 13 locations, or 28%, recorded more people than during the same period in 2019.
Chihiro Okada (right), a representative of Animal Rights Center, during a news conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government building on July 10
JAPAN / Regional Voices: Okinawa
Aug 7, 2023
Confrontations deepen over duck-catching event in Okinawa
Animal rights groups say the event constitutes animal abuse.
A highway runs through Saudi Arabia's arid landscape. A new horticulture project marks the biggest food-tech investment for the country, whose extreme summer temperatures have long left it reliant on food imports.
Aug 7, 2023
Saudi city of future enlists Dutch help to grow crops in desert
The Netherlands is now the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter after the U.S., despite being one of Europe’s smallest nations.
The protagonist of Yu Miri’s “The End of August” is a fictionalized version of the author’s maternal grandfather, a long-distance runner who lived in Japanese-occupied Korea.
Aug 6, 2023
Yu Miri’s new book is a bleak, dizzying epic in colonized Korea
In “The End of August,” the Akutagawa Prize-winning author excavates her own family history and traces multiple generations living under Japanese rule.
This year’s Fuji Rock Festival, which took place last weekend and featured The Strokes, Foo Fighters and Lizzo as headliners, brought a cumulative total of 114,000 attendees to the mountains of Niigata Prefecture.
Aug 4, 2023
Fuji Rock’s diversity is back — and it feels great
Millennial rock, Gen Z rap and a Sinead O’Connor tribute fill a stellar weekend of music.
A woman takes a picture of the poster for the new Hayao Miyazaki film, “The Boy and the Heron.”
PODCAST / deep dive
Aug 2, 2023
Hayao Miyazaki’s confusing new masterpiece
Our critics Thu-Huong Ha and Matt Schley discuss what they thought of the new Hayao Miyazaki film, “The Boy and the Heron.”
Customers visit a grilled eel store in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday.
Jul 30, 2023
People line up for grilled eel on the Day of the Ox in Japan
Japan has a tradition of eating nutritious grilled eels, believed to be good for restoring energy, on the midsummer Day of the Ox.
The 1975 perform at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London in 2019
Jul 22, 2023
Malaysia halts music festival after same-sex kiss by U.K. band The 1975
Homosexuality is a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Rights groups have warned of growing intolerance against the country's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
A theater-goer takes a photo of the promotional poster for Hayao Miyazaki’s new film, “The Boy and the Heron.”
Jul 18, 2023
‘The Boy and the Heron’: It’s so good to be back in Hayao Miyazaki’s world
Studio Ghibli’s latest film takes viewers on one last journey to the familiar world of a master animator who has captivated audiences worldwide for decades.
A cinema employee checks on a display showing a digital poster for Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, "The Boy and the Heron," on the first day of its premiere in Tokyo on July 14.
Jul 21, 2023
For his last movie, Hayao Miyazaki recycles himself
While visually and technically stunning, "The Boy and the Heron" might give some viewers an unsatisfying sense of deja vu.
Japan Times
Jul 19, 2023
'The Boy and the Heron' sets new high for Ghibli film in first four days
According to the film’s distributor, Toho, “The Boy and the Heron” grossed over ¥2.14 billion in the first four days following its release.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Longform
Jul 17, 2023
After last train in Tokyo, a second city comes to life
Partying tourists, a busy fish market and and global businesses all play a part in a world most of us sleep through.
Japan Times
Jul 14, 2023
New Ghibli film draws early morning crowds despite little promotion
“Kimitachi wa Do Ikiru Ka?” is Hayao Miyazaki’s first film in a decade and one that brought him out of retirement once more.
Japan Times
Jul 13, 2023
Will doing 'nothing' be yet another marketing coup for Studio Ghibli?
Studio Ghibli's Toshio Suzuki has a history of taking unconventional approaches to promoting the work of anime director Hayao Miyazaki.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jul 11, 2023
Pandemic causes developmental delays in 5-year-olds: research
In contrast, 3-year-olds showed no obvious delays, possibly indicating more time to communicate with guardians who by then worked from home.
Japan Times
Jul 6, 2023
Ahead of a new Studio Ghibli film, critics are asking, 'How will we live without Hayao Miyazaki?'
The creative force behind Japanese animation has teased retirement before, but owing to his age and pace of output, we may finally be seeing the final Studio Ghibli film next week.
Japan Times
Jul 4, 2023
North Korea appears to lift COVID mask mandate, reports say
The isolated country has maintained border lockdowns and other anti-COVID measures long after most other nations ditched such restrictions.
Japan Times
Jul 4, 2023
Return of tourists drives shift in Japan's top-selling goods in 2023
Increased sales of cosmetics and certain health goods, combined with declines for pandemic-related products, highlight the return of tourists and Japan's shift toward a post-COVID era.


Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores