- Konbinis are squeezing the sweetness out of Japan
Convenience shopping has taken a heavy toll on retail culture inJapan. Sean Michael Wilson laments the demise of old-fashioned shops that keep customers sweet with free fruit.
- There’s a world of difference between blue and green
There are many stumbling blocks for Japanese people as they grapple with the English language. Tomoko Parry reveals her difficulty in understanding the puzzle of color.
- Why I won’t lash back against the Anti-Asian racists
As anti-Asian race crime has been rising in the US, Tomoko Parry
gives her reaction.
- Let’s liven up Japan’s Schools
Writer and teacher Felicity Tillack shares her personal experience of a more active approach to learning in the classroom.
- Goodbye, Dad and thank you
Tomoko Parry gives a moving account of her final farewell to a parent in a faraway land.
- Making Music for My Tiger Mom
Fierce parents want their kids to thrive but what happens when they apply too much pressure?
- How to enjoy volcanic spring baths – nature’s gift to Japan
Going to a hot spring bath, known as an onsen, can be a daunting experience at first but if you overcome your diffidence it can be a real joy.
- Tongue Fu Panda
Tomoko Parry explains what happens when her inner panda gets angry and overpowers her Japanese politeness.
- The deadly treat that tastes so good
Sashimi connoisseurs have a fondness for fugu. But if it’s not prepared correctly, one bite of its innards could stop your heart – permanently.
- Changing languages, changing moods
Japanese people sometimes say they feel empowered by using English. But do they lose poetry?
- I want to swap the Tokyo Metro for a buffalo taxi
Is it time to quit the metropolis and move to a remote island? Guest writer Mac Salman explains why he’s considering quitting Tokyo for good.
- Sharing to succeed
Here’s a powerful idea on gaining a fresh perspective on business, courtesy of one of Japan’s leading executives.
- In Celebration of the Japanese toilet
Most visitors to Japan vividly remember their first encounter with a high tech toilet. Here’s our beginner’s guide.
- Guo Pei – The Chinese fashion star who loves Japan
Vogue says: “Guo Pei inhabits a creative universe all her own, with clothing that is both sumptuously opulent and theatrical.”
- Webinar women – this is your time to shine!
Lockdown’s tough for everyone but for women in Japan, it offers a chance to reset the work life balance and maybe raise one’s profile.
- Please don’t call me Oriental – I am not a rug!
Oriental is an acceptable word for rugs, food stores and hotels. But is it derogatory to use it for people?
- The sweet meeting with Jim that made me long to bake shortbread
When I spoke to the boss of a biscuit company I remembered my boyhood dream of becoming a baker.
- Getting Drunk With Hello Kitty
Japanese women are supposed to like cute drinks but some ladies prefer beer.
- Perfectly convenient: In praise of small shops
Japan’s thousands of convenience stores are sometimes taken for granted by locals but David Tonge loves them.
- Will praying prevent another Hiroshima?
Peace is a theme of all religions. But does prayer help achieve it?
- The pop star with an identity crisis
Rina Sawayama was born in Japan but lives in the UK. She therefore wants a British prize for singing.
- Save the urban gardens
For a country which purports to love nature, there’s some rough treatment of plants in Japan’s cities.
- Stop selling Zen!
Using Zen Buddhism to market all kinds of goods demeans an ancient religion.
- Selling family love for money
A new film examines why people buy fake fathers.
- Beware of the monster behind the mask!
When you see people wearing a surgical face mask, do you ever wonder why they are really covering their face? Of course, they’re probably just […]
- Japan could have done “much better” on coronavirus
I had the strong impression that Japan and South Korea have done extremely well in dealing with coronavirus. The death toll has been relatively low […]
- Sayonara, Tokyo! Let’s relocate the capital of Japan
It’s time to move the capital of Japan, according to an entrepreneur who is now an advisor to the Prime Minister. Masaaki Taira is not […]
- Meet the TV chef who hates sushi and wasabi Kit Kats
My Japanese language tutor Mineko Arai is a great baker. I love her strawberry cheesecake. I think she could be a contestant on The Great […]
- Men should do the shopping, says Osaka’s mayor
The mayor of Osaka has said that men are better suited to grocery shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, because women take too long and contribute […]
- The precious freedom of working from home
If you’re working from home, is your employer paying for your computer, internet server and electricity? I know from experience that the costs of these […]
- SoftBank’s losing streak
The greatest gambler in venture capital is on a losing streak. Masayoshi Son, the entrepreneur who founded the Japanese conglomerate, SoftBank, has watched several of […]
- Calling time on China
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is encouraging companies to close some of their factories in China and move their manufacturing facilities back to Japan. This is […]
- Can love survive a pandemic?
Many people in Japan are worried their marriages will be wrecked by the coronavirus crisis. A survey by NHK television found that 80% of couples […]
- Quit smoking now!
For a health-conscious and hygienic society, Japan has a shocking number of people who smoke. According to an annual survey conducted by Japan Tobacco and […]
- The melons which are masterpieces of art
For the past few days, my mind has been fixated on watermelons. You can buy watermelons all over the world, of course. But I want […]
- The mighty drums beating on the loudest island
I am determined to make a trip to Japan’s Sado island, home to one of the loudest groups in the world. Sado, off the coast […]
- Does Japan need a Greta to lead a climate campaign?
Politicians in Britain sometimes complain they are constantly bombarded by campaigners over issues relating to climate change and the environment. Huge protests by a group […]
- Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
I was lucky to attend the preview of a major new exhibition celebrating the elegant history of the kimono which opened at London’s Victoria and […]