February 12, 2016
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), the 40th president of the United States, was the oldest chief executive to take office at age 69.
February 11, 2016
I don't know if it's still common, but when I was a child our neighborhood greengrocer always referred to "nasu" (eggplant) as "yoichi." I learned later that "yoichi" was produce industry jargon, derived from a legendary samurai by the name of Nasu no Yoichi (c.1169-c.1189).
February 10, 2016
When I think of news anchors leaving their news shows, Hideo Den (1923-2009) immediately comes to mind.
February 09, 2016
The Mainichi Shimbun is one of our competitors, but I always look forward to reading "Rinchu Musaku," a serial column by playwright So Kuramoto.
February 08, 2016
Many older Japanese recall their emotional responses to the first time black-and-white TVs arrived in their homes or neighborhoods during the postwar years.
February 06, 2016
Writer Saiichi Maruya (1925-2012) penned a personal episode in which a situation he faced ended up being portrayed totally in reverse of what had happened.
February 05, 2016
Some readers of this column may have recently found themselves humming “Soshunfu” (Ode to early spring), a Japanese song first released in 1913.
February 04, 2016
American jurist and politician Earl Warren once talked about how he went about reading newspapers. When a newspaper arrived in the morning, he said, he read the sports section first, even before the front page.
February 03, 2016
Certain infectious diseases have a long history of plaguing the human race, while others have only recently emerged as a threat.
February 02, 2016
"The Bridges of Madison County," a best-selling novel that was made into a 1995 film, is about a four-day romance between a farmer's wife and a photographer visiting a small town to take pictures of covered bridges.
February 01, 2016
Despite forecasts that this would be a warm winter, a record cold spell descended on Japan in January, freezing the entire nation, including even the subtropical islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
January 30, 2016
The written form of "uso" (bullfinch) is often misread for "uguisu" (bush warbler) because their respective kanji characters look quite similar.
January 29, 2016
Most Japanese today say “hai-iro” or “guree” for the color gray. But those who grew up during the Showa Era (1926-1989) commonly used “nezumi-iro,” which translates literally as “rat color.”
January 28, 2016
The beauty of sunsets over Manila Bay is noted in "Kike Wadatsumi no Koe" (Listen to the Voices from the Sea), a collection of impressions penned by Japanese student soldiers who died in World War II.
January 27, 2016
Young people’s friendships come in more than just the shape of classmates and social media networks. "Make friends with words," dramatist Shuji Terayama (1935-1983) said.
January 26, 2016
In Japan, the anniversaries of the deaths of certain important literary figures are given special names.
January 25, 2016
A small event can result in huge changes on a global scale due to the “butterfly effect.”
January 23, 2016
"In Search of Lost Time" by Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is regarded as one of the greatest works of 20th-century French literature. And yet, due to its sheer length, this seven-volume novel is also often referred to as an all-too-famous masterpiece that most readers fail to finish.
January 22, 2016
Political critic Makoto Sataka’s suggestion that the opposition Democratic Party of Japan rename itself the “Constitutional Democratic Party” met with nods of agreement as he spoke at a news conference on Jan. 19.
January 21, 2016
Many people will remember the fad expressions "marukin" (the haves) and "marubi" (the have-nots), coined in 1984 by illustrator Kazuhiro Watanabe (1950-2007) in a bestselling book.