Novelist Haruki Murakami has attracted a worldwide following of fans who eagerly await his next novel. What Murakami depicts often seems to have been inspired by things typically Japanese that he experienced during his younger days, but his works also have a universal appeal. Why? On this page, we delve into the secrets behind Murakami's success through feature articles, interviews and commentaries, which shed new light on his life and works and reveal the man behind the reclusive image.
In 1964, Tokyo had the honor of being the first Asian city to host the Summer Olympics. For Japan, the hosting of the international event symbolized its postwar economic success. Since then, the Tokyo megalopolis has seen many changes and is still an evolving megacity, yet it retains much of the charm of its traditional faces. In this special page, we offer a variety of Tokyo stories to give you a warm feeling for this exciting city's culture, festivals, leisure attractions and traditions.
This series focuses on China's Communist Youth League, where young people learn about Chinese-style socialism and communism in practice under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Promising members of the league, who are considered on an “elite career track,” are recruited to join the CPC. For example, both former President Hu Jintao and Premier Li Keqiang once served as first secretary of the league before being recruited by the CPC. This series looks at the league and the high-ranking officials who have risen--and fallen--through its ranks.
According to Greek mythology, it was Prometheus who gave fire to humans. The acquisition of fire allowed humankind to develop civilization. Fire derived from fossil fuels further spurred production capacity. In time, humans attained atomic fire, a feat that was also described as “superior energy.” Playing with fire, however, has presented humans with a dilemma. Humans, who achieved a civilized world through Prometheus, are now troubled by atomic fire. The series of articles contemplate the country, its citizens and electric power in light of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. “Futaba’s Exodus from Fukushima,” a new series that has run under the overall title of “The Prometheus Trap,” is about the town of Futaba’s bold decision to evacuate residents as well as its municipal office out of Fukushima Prefecture and its aftermath. Titles of the people in this story are those they held at that time.
The Prometheus Trap series investigates how the Japanese coped with the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami of March 11, 2011. This portion of the series, titled "Washington’s Doubts About Japan’s Response," focuses on how Washington perceived the Japanese government’s handling of the Fukushima disaster. These stories uncover facts that indicated U.S. officials were extremely frustrated about the way the administration of Prime Minister Naoto Kan dealt with the crisis. The latter part of this coverage also delves into how the Ministry of Defense moved to keep the unfolding nuclear crisis from going out of control.