July 24, 2014
ICHINOSEKI, Iwate Prefecture--Residents of the Higashiyama district, some 15 kilometers east of the center of this northeastern city, used to go into the mountains to gather wild plants to serve on their tables following the spring thaw.
July 16, 2014
The Japanese national soccer team put up a good fight, but failed to make it to the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
July 10, 2014
BEIJING--Mayu Watanabe, the top vote-getter in the “general election” for popular idol group AKB48, is known in China as Ma Yu Yu, after her Japanese nickname, Mayuyu.
July 02, 2014
On March 18, the Legislative Yuan, or Taiwan’s parliament, was occupied by hundreds of students protesting the cross-strait service trade agreement with China, which would open up services markets, such as restaurant and bar services and financial services, to each other.
June 25, 2014
FUKUSHIMA--The chirping of birds filled the air on the riverbed where the Abukumagawa river runs through the city of Fukushima just after 4 a.m. on May 24.
June 11, 2014
Tattered lace curtains billow softly in the breeze. Outside the window stretches a field of dull yellow-green. The sky and a river flowing toward the ocean are painted a pale gray. There is no one in sight.
June 04, 2014
At the university where I teach, a colleague decided to quit before he reached the mandatory retirement age. He was a good educator who was well-liked by his students.
May 31, 2014
BEIJING--Wang Nan, a second-year high school student who aspired to be a newspaper reporter, never returned home after leaving for Tiananmen Square late on June 3, 1989.
May 21, 2014
FUKUSHIMA--An international quintet of students took the top prize of a contest on renewables in a prefecture where energy has long been a special “local product.”
May 11, 2014
A cherry tree by the Potomac River measures 2 meters around its trunk. Looking at the young leaves, you would never guess this tree was more than 100 years old. A nearby sign states that this is the first cherry tree that Tokyo gifted to Washington, D.C., in 1912 as a symbol of their friendship.
April 27, 2014
Late in his life, my father moved back to his childhood home after his grandmother and sisters, who had been living there, all passed away. Living alone in the old house, he was twice diagnosed with cancer and eventually hospitalized.
April 25, 2014
On a visit to the Chinese city of Harbin, I saw the An Jung-geun memorial hall soon after its opening, and it contained a number of surprises.
April 05, 2014
When I turned on the TV set, Kim Yu-na of South Korea had just finished her performance as the last skater in the women's free skate at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
March 21, 2014
BEIJING--With bilateral tensions rising over sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands, nationalistic hard-liners in China are exploiting Japanese right-wing forces to oppress Chinese who appear sympathetic to Japan.
March 07, 2014
In late December, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe caused a stir by visiting Yasukuni Shrine. It was the first visit to the war-related shrine by an incumbent prime minister in seven years.
February 28, 2014
About 1 million Chinese are currently studying Japanese in China. But current tensions over the Senkaku Islands and a past war have made it difficult for the students to learn the language of their Asian neighbor.
January 26, 2014
Here is a cautionary tale about a young man who happened to be an onlooker during a street demonstration and found himself in police custody, not understanding what crime he had committed.
January 12, 2014
The city news desk phone rang around noon on Nov. 12. It was picked up by a rookie reporter who joined The Asahi Shimbun last spring.
December 31, 2013
"Nantonaku Kurisutaru" (Somewhat crystal), the first novel by Yasuo Tanaka, created quite a stir because it came with a whopping 442 footnotes. It was published in 1980.
December 01, 2013
Many years ago, a remarkable woman delivered the keynote address at a congress of the International Board of Books for Young People. I got hold of the text of her speech by chance and found it inexplicably beautiful. I was profoundly moved by her words.