About Beth Hillman

Beth Hillman taught English in Japan for four years. She's the co-founder and co-organizer of Joshikai San Francisco, a networking group for women with a connection to Japan.

Sumo tournament canceled in wake of match-fixing scandal

The Japan Sumo Association announced the first canceled tournament since 1946 in the wake of a series of text messages that brought to light a seemingly widespread system of match-fixing among sumo wrestlers. According to the New York Times, police found text messages that link as many as 13 wrestlers to rigged bouts. Wrestlers must […]

Difficult job prospects for Japanese college grads

A fascinating (and depressing) article from yesterday’s New York Times: In Japan, Young Face Generational Roadblocks Unemployment is obviously a huge problem in the U.S. right now. But the Japanese job market is also extremely tough, particularly for young graduates, many of whom have difficulty finding jobs right out of college (the typical recruiting style […]

Man charged with English teacher’s murder releases a book about his years on the run

The man charged with killing a young English conversation teacher in Japan in 2007 has released a book about the 31 months he spent avoiding capture. In March 2007, Lindsay Ann Hawker, a 22-year-old British teacher, met Tatsuya Ichihashi at a cafe for an English lesson. She’d expressed some misgivings about him to her friends, […]

Record numbers of tourists visit Japan in 2010

Japanese tourism reached a record high in 2010, up 24.6% from the previous year, according to the Japanese National Tourism Organization. After tourism took a nosedive along with the economy in 2008 and 2009, it rebounded last year, with more than 9.4 million foreign nationals visiting the country, attributable to the beginning of economic recovery […]

New Year’s food blunder becomes nationwide scandal

Holidays and food go hand in hand — turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, barbeque on the Fourth of July.  In Japan, no holiday meal is as meaningful as the New Year’s osechi feast — layers of boxes packed with a variety of goodies, enabling households to avoid cooking responsibilties for several days into the […]