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Ginza Gets its Groove Back

After years of stagnation, Tokyo’s famed Ginza shopping area is undergoing an extraordinary renaissance. Ten years ago the area seemed to be in danger of dying. The large department store... Read More...
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Japan’s Refueling Debate Reheated

Once again Japan is embroiled in one of those hair-splitting arguments over the extent to which it can participate in overseas military operations without bending its constitution and its war-renouncing A... Read More...
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The Short, Unhappy Life of Shinzo Abe

If he had waited just two more weeks to resign, Shinzo Abe could at least have rounded out a full year as Japan’s prime minister. Instead, he seems destined to join the large number of premiers who served a few months and were then forg... Read More...
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Japan’s Democracy Comes of Age

Photo by Andrew James A slow motion political evolution that commenced some 15 years ago in Japan is beginning to bear fruit. The long quest to transform the country into a competitive, two-part... Read More...
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Down the Hatch

“Hatch for unwanted babies.” It is a headline over the kind of weird story that sometimes seems to be a Japanese specialty. But it actually could mean a lot about the ex... Read More...
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A Japanese Scientist Lights Up the World

Shuji Nakamura never meant to change the world. All the Japanese scientist wanted was to do some original research, write a few academic papers, make his presence felt. But he ended up revolutionizing the world of light.   In 1993, working in i... Read More...
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Being a Hostess

“Ow!" That was the sound of me slamming my knee against a futuristic Japanese toilet. Hard. Changing into a cocktail dress in a women's bathroom stall of the Shibuya Seibu department store is no easy task, especially when it's already 7p... Read More...
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Japan’s Pink Kink

  The Japanese sex industry, often referred to as the “Pink Trade”, looks inexplicably kinky and oddly ritualized. But as strange as it seems, it is also pervasive and... Read More...