SHAE KUROKAWA WRITES — The Tokyo Summer Olympics is quickly approaching, with less than 100 days before its expected commencement on July 23. But the world is starting to question whether the long-anticipated games will be able to proceed on schedule as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Talk of…Full Article JAPAN: WILL THE TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPICS SURVIVE THE PANDEMIC?
MANAGING EDITOR ZHI JIAO DANIELLE GOH WRITES — Dumping radioactive water into the ocean. Is this the making of a sequel to “Godzilla vs. Kong,” the surprise success film of the pandemic era? No. To everyone’s disappointment, this plot will be executed in reality. After 10 years of the Fukushima…Full Article JAPAN: WILL THE FUKUSHIMA WATER DUMPING PLAN TRASH OUR OCEANS?
CLAIRE GUTE WRITES — The highly anticipated 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan, following the postponement last year due to Covid-19. The games are set to occur between July 23 to August 8, with the first ever surfing competition at Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya, just 62 miles…Full Article JAPAN: WAVES OF HOPE FOR SURFERS ENTERING THE FIRST-EVER OLYMPIC COMPETITION
NICOLAS PAPA WRITES — The launch of Japanese tech giant Sony’s newest video game system, the Playstation 5, in November of last year was quite possibly the most eagerly anticipated console launch in video game history. Sony’s Playstation console series dominates the video game market, with its previous four iterations…Full Article JAPAN: HURRY UP AND WAIT FOR A PLAYSTATION 5 RESTOCK
CADY ABE WRITES- On Sunday, March 28th, MAPPA animation studio released the last episode of the first half of Attack on Titan’s fourth and final season. Attack on Titan, a manga (comic book) turned anime that first aired in 2013, is currently the best-known anime in Japan. In addition, it…Full Article JAPAN ANIME: ATTACK ON TITAN
TOKYO (excerpted from Nikkei Asia) — Nomura Holdings on Monday warned of a potentially hefty loss at one of its U.S. subsidiaries after the Japanese financial services company and global peers were caught up in a share selloff on Friday involving an American investment firm. Nomura’s shares closed down 16.33%…Full Article JAPAN: WHAT’S TWO BILLION BUCKS HERE OR THERE?
JAMES HANSON WRITES — Despite being an important industrial nation and beacon of democracy in Asia, Japan still does not recognize same-sex unions. Since 2019, 13 same-sex couples have filed ongoing lawsuits against Japanese city governments, including Tokyo, Sapporo and Osaka. These cases triggered a wave of same-sex couples in…Full Article JAPAN: WILL SAME SEX UNIONS GAIN THEIR COUNTRY’S BLESSING?
ELLA KELLEHER WRITES (latest in her review series of new Japanese books) — Adolescence in Astral Season, Beastly Season (2020) is a frightening and tragic nightmare that haunts a person endlessly. The teenage mind is pried apart in Tahi Saihate’s unusual coming-of-age story to reveal a deep-seated psychology of obsession.…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: ASTRAL SEASON, BEASTLY SEASON BY TAHI SAIHATE
NICOLAS PAPA WRITES — It has been almost three years, but Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani is starting to show glimpses of the two-way talent that had previously made him one of the most anticipated players in the history of Major League Baseball. The Los Angeles Angels player had sent…Full Article JAPAN: BASEBALL STAR SHOHEI OHTANI IS BACK IN THE GAME
MILES WHITTINGHAM WRITES – The Anime craze in the United States is one that I’ve never fully understood. Fans seem to keep coming forward, but this type of animation has never particularly drawn my interest. So recently I figured, why not finally see what all the infatuation with this art…Full Article JAPAN ANIME: WHO NEEDS GIANT HUMANOIDS AND DARK VIOLENCE IN TODAY’S CRUEL WORLD?
CLAIRE GUTE WRITES — Ten years later, the effects of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan are still evident. Recent seismic activity has led scientists to believe that radiation levels in damaged cooling tanks at Fukushima’s nuclear plant are higher than previously believed. The damage is creating new issues for…Full Article JAPAN: THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR DISASTER
CADY ABE WRITES — Pokémon, one of the most well-known video games, trading card games and anime both in America and Japan, celebrated its 25th anniversary February 27th. How to celebrate? Nintendo released free Pokémon trading cards alongside any purchase of a McDonald’s Happy Meal, created an anniversary event within…Full Article JAPAN: HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY POKÉMON – BECOMING THE VERY BEST THAT NO ONE EVER WAS
GREGORY BENNETT WRITES — Hockey, in Japan? Never heard of it. Until now, the sports scene in Japan has been mainly dominated by baseball and soccer. Yet with the possibility of an NHL star being drafted to the top junior league in the United States, ice hockey in Japan is…Full Article JAPAN: HOCKEY? NEVER HEARD OF IT
ALEX DASHWOOD WRITES — There exists a myth in the United States that the addition of monosodium glutamate (MSG) to food, which is predominantly used in Chinese cuisine, is a health risk causing negative side effects. Some consumers of it purport to experience symptoms such as dizziness and palpitations after…Full Article CHINA: HOW THE RACIALLY-CHARGED MYTH OF MSG HAS TAINTED AMERICANS’ PERCEPTION OF CHINESE CUISINE
MILES WHITTINGHAM WRITES — Japanese cuisine is among the most popular in the world. But the Japanese fish market has been hit especially hard among the multitude of things affected by COVID-19. The most extensive wholesale fish trade located in Tokyo, Toyosu, has seen its sales halved in recent months.…Full Article JAPAN: SOMETHING’S FISHY IN THE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT BUSINESS
JONAR COWAN WRITES — Despite Studio Ghibli’s notable reputation for warm, whimsical stories, Goro Miyazaki’s punk and dark art-style Earwig and the Witch fails to reach the expectations for a “Studio Ghibli” animation. Earwig and the Witch was released on Feb. 5. The studio, which was founded by Hayao Miyazaki,…Full Article JAPANESE MANGA: GORO MIYAZAKI’S NEW FILM PALES BESIDE HIS DAD’S COLORFUL CINEMATIC CONFECTIONS