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
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
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?
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
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
SOPHIA JARAMILLO WRITES — In a tweet that sent shockwaves through the internet, conservative commentator and author Candace Owens jabbed at British singer/songwriter/actor Harry Styles, who donned a dress on the cover of American Vogue- the first male to appear on its cover. Specifically, the tweet reads: “There is no…Full Article EAST ASIA: EAST DOES NOT MEET WEST WHEN IT COMES TO CANDACE OWENS’ LATEST TWEET