November 27, 2015
Actress Setsuko Hara, who died in September at age 95, had some scathing things to say about men.
November 26, 2015
A former director of the residents' association of a resort condo complex in Niigata Prefecture is suspected of embezzling a whopping 1.1 billion yen ($8.99 million) from a fund set aside for maintenance and other needs, according to recent news reports.
November 25, 2015
The expression "nikumare yaku," which may translate as "the hated party" or "the bad guy," refers to someone whose uncompromising obstinacy makes others resentful and uncomfortable. We find such individuals in all walks of life. But some people actually volunteer to play this thankless role, as their presence is crucial to the running of any organization.
November 24, 2015
I am no "rakugo" (comic storytelling) expert, but I was deeply moved a few years ago by Tatekawa Danshun's masterful rendition of "Shibahama," a classic piece.
November 23, 2015
The date Jan. 15 links two grand champion sumo wrestlers who dominated the dohyo ring during the Showa Era (1926-1989), one before World War II and the other in postwar Japan.
November 21, 2015
Novelist Hiroyuki Agawa, who died in August at age 94, had a passion for trains.
November 20, 2015
“What is the difference between a wink and a blink?” In May 2006, Nobuto Hosaka, who was a Lower House legislator at the time, asked this question during Diet deliberations.
November 19, 2015
Feeling at ease with someone is not quite the same as trusting that person. According to social psychologist Toshio Yamagishi, a person is at ease when he or she doesn't have to worry about how the other individual might act.
November 18, 2015
Time provides the perspective with which we come to recognize a past happening as a watershed.
November 17, 2015
A lot of food that's still perfectly safe to eat gets trashed as a matter of routine. This happens, for example, to snacks in damaged or soiled boxes, even if the contents remain unaffected. And there are vegetables and fruits that don't meet their size requirements and, therefore, cannot be sold.
November 16, 2015
In her poem about hatred, Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012), the winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature, offers an illuminating insight into the dark abyss of the nature of this uncontrollable and complicated emotion.
November 14, 2015
The adage of "the hunter becomes the hunted" comes to mind every time I hear any argument in favor of adding a provision for "dealing with emergencies" to the Constitution.
November 13, 2015
On Jan. 27, 1949, the front page banner headline of the Osaka edition of The Asahi Shimbun read: “Fire at Horyuji temple’s Kondo.” It was truly shocking news. The story lamented the damage done by fire to the murals in the temple’s Kondo (golden hall) in Nara Prefecture as a “cultural loss for the world.”
November 12, 2015
In “‘Shukatsu’ no Shakaishi” (Social history of job-hunting by university students), sociologist Koji Nanba discusses a feature published in a women's magazine in 1981. The article contained the results of a survey in which 100 new company recruits were asked what they wore to their job interviews.
November 11, 2015
Teenagers are making powerful statements. "T-ns SOWL" (Teens Stand Up to Oppose War Law), a group set up by high school students, held a rally in Tokyo's Harajuku district on Nov. 8 to protest new national security legislation. A member declared, "I am speaking out because democracy is not finished yet. I refuse to be a bystander because sovereignty rests with us."
November 10, 2015
In rugby sevens, teams are made up of seven players instead of the usual 15. But since sevens games are played on standard rugby fields, the players' physical exertion must reach a tremendous level. And because the players are spaced far and wide they frequently make long passes, meaning the movement of the ball is dynamic.
November 09, 2015
Kunio Fukumoto, the quintessential “eminence grise” in Japan’s postwar political world who died five years ago, was given many sobriquets, such as backstage manipulator, string-puller, fixer and power broker.
November 07, 2015
Representatives of the government and the business community met on Nov. 5 for their second "public-private dialogue" in as many months to discuss what our society could be like a few years from now.
November 06, 2015
"Breakfast," a short story by John Steinbeck (1902-1968), made my mouth water when I read it in my adolescence. It was the author's depiction of fried bacon that did it: I kept imagining how good it must taste.
November 05, 2015
When the forerunner of the current Democratic Party of Japan was founded almost 20 years ago under the slogan “Shimin ga Shuyaku” (citizens take the center stage of government), former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone was ruthless in his putdown of this new party.