AHMAD ALSADHAN WRITES — The World Expo, held every five years for a duration of six months, is an event that gathers nations into one venue as a way of presenting solutions to current global challenges. Expo 2020, which was postponed by the pandemic, is currently being hosted by Dubai,…Full Article SAUDI ARABIA: WILL THIS BE THE HOST COUNTRY FOR EXPO 2030?
BRIEYA MOORBERG WRITES —The deer in Japan’s famed tourist destination, Nara Park, located in Nara Prefecture, have been dying. This year alone, 1,000 deer died after consuming plastic bags left behind by tourists. Now, to the rescue: A local Japanese entrepreneur, Hidetoshi Matsukawa, a souvenir wholesale agent who has invented…Full Article JAPAN: TOO MANY DEER HAVE BEEN EATING THEMSELVES TO DEATH
ELLA KELLEHER WRITES – “We can’t know what happens behind closed doors” is a frustrating and insidious phrase that is too often weaponized to reduce instances of sexual assault to minor misunderstandings. In Japan, if a sexual assault occurs in a space without any witnesses, the case becomes a “black…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: BLACK BOX (2021) BY SHIORI ITO – THE MEMOIR THAT SPARKED JAPAN’S #METOO MOVEMENT
LAUREN CRAVEN WRITES — In the US, we have Halloween. Then there is the Day of the Dead, which originated in Mexico. In Japan every year, the Obon festival is celebrated in most regions from the 13th to the 15th day of August. It’s an incredibly popular event in Japan,…Full Article JAPAN: WHO NEEDS HALLOWEEN WHEN YOU HAVE OBAKE?
MILES WHITTINGHAM WRITES — Prior to the 2021 MLB season, Angels fans just wanted to see their star Shohei Ohtani stay healthy and produce what he could. But no one expected him to do what hadn’t been done in centuries. The Angels’ highly regarded two-way player has been the subject…Full Article SHOHEI OHTANI: A ONE-TIME LONGSHOT PLAYER MAKES HISTORY
CLAIRE GUTE WRITES — Almost anyone who has seen the 2009 documentary The Cove has been struck by the graphic footage of dolphins being captured or killed in Taiji, Japan. Taiji is a small town on the east coast of the Kii Peninsula with a population of 3,500 people, as…Full Article JAPAN: SAVE THE DOLPHINS
LAUREN CRAVEN WRITES — Kawaii, a term meaning “cute” in Japanese, has morphed into an entire culture that can be seen in the everyday experiences of Japanese natives, tourists, and even in the lives of those outside of Japan. In the 1970s and 80s, the Kawaii aesthetic started as a…Full Article JAPAN: DOES KAWAII CULTURE INFANTILIZE WOMEN?
ANDREA PLATE WRITES — Forget about Naomi Osaka, for a moment. For all the whining-and-dining out by the press on the tennis superstar’s mental health struggles, and her difficulty facing their not-so-friendly post-game fire, she is, after all, just one international superstar. One. Forget, too, about Britney Spears, if you…Full Article JAPAN, KOREA, AMERICA: CAN YOUNG SUPERSTARS THE WORLD OVER EVER BE HAPPY?
AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — Japan’s Defense and Deputy Prime Ministers have both recently affirmed their government’s willingness to defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion from the Chinese mainland. Those statements also coincided with a recent report from the Financial Times detailing joint US-Japanese military exercises in the hotly…Full Article DIRE STRAITS: JAPAN, THE U.S. AND THE FUTURE OF TAIWAN
ELLA KELLEHER WRITES (latest in her review series of new Japanese books) – How does a global war affect regular people caught in its wake of devastation? How long do those effects linger on and how should a society react to them? Shaw Kuzki’s heart-wrenching tale, Soul Lanterns (2021), aims…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: SOUL LANTERNS (2021) BY SHAW KUZKI
ELLA KELLEHER WRITES (latest in her review series of new Japanese books) – This imaginative and captivatingly ambiguous recent release by Murakami reads like a game of two truths and a lie (in this case, seven truths and a lie). First Person Singular (2021) presents its audience with eight entrancing…Full Article BOOK REVIEW: FIRST PERSON SINGULAR (2021) by HARUKI MURAKAMI
JONAR COWAN WRITES — In Japan, with the pandemic at hand, many businesses are slowing down and closing down. And as more family-owned businesses and restaurants are closing down, one form of entertainment is doubly impacted: Arcade centers like Sega, which has to sell around 85 percent of their arcade business…Full Article JAPAN: GAME MAY BE OVER FOR ARCADE GAMES
JAMES HANSON WRITES — How important is your surname to you? Mari Inoue and Kotaro Usui, a Tokyo couple, were denied a marriage certificate during the pandemic because Mari Inoue wanted to keep her legal surname. Article 750 of Japan’s Civil Code requires that married couples adopt the same surname. In…Full Article JAPAN: WHAT’S IN A (SUR)NAME, SHAKESPEARE ASKED?
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?
MILES WHITTINGHAM WRITES — Baseball, widely regarded as America’s favorite pastime, has seen a definite upswing in several Asian countries over the years. First brought to Japan by Horace Wilson- an English teacher at the Kaisei Academy in Tokyo in 1873- a couple of other Asian countries have shown great…Full Article ASIAN SPORTS: BASEBALL’S TURN AT BAT ON THE CONTINENT
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