Nationwide protests for religious freedom held at Japanese consulates

A small nationwide protest for religious freedom took place at various locations through the Consulates General of Japan by Stop Japan Abductions, a group formed by Dan Fefferman, president of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom (ICRF) and a prominent member of the Unification Church. Twenty or so protesters appeared Nov. 16 at the various […]


One hardly expects wit from an economist, so it is really fun to read Nobel Prize-winning writer Paul Krugman’s articles and essays. He has so much to say about the current economy and current events, and his writing is so engaging that even dire news comes across as lively. The nonprofit Truthout published a recent […]

Ten centuries of art on display at ‘Flowers of the Four Seasons’

BERKELEY, Calif. — “Flowers of the Four Seasons: Ten Centuries of Art from the Clark Center of Japanese Art and Culture” opened last month at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. It features 112 art works from late 8th century to 21st century through the eyes of Willard G. Clark, […]

Japan fishermen begin annual dolphin, whale hunt in Taiji

SHINGU, Japan (Kyodo) — Japanese fishermen kicked off their annual hunt of dolphins, whales and other cetaceans on Sept. 2 in waters off the traditional whaling town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. A fleet of six whaling boats, which left the port at around 5:30 a.m., spotted a group of some 20 bottlenose dolphins and drove […]

From San Jose to Asuka Village: Obon in Japan

“Do you do Bon Odori?” I asked Michino, one of my fifth-grade students in Japan. She replied in the negative. “Why not?” I asked. “It’s kind of embarrassing.” “Really? Then who dances?” “Mostly old people.” “Or little kids,” chimed in Mizuki, one of Michino’s classmates. Huh. I can’t really picture not dancing at an Obon. […]

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: Japan’s 2009 at a Glance

A new political party in power, another World Baseball Classic title, a Japanese movie winning an Oscar, the yen soaring to the highest yen-to-dollar rate in decades, North Korea continuing its nuclear tests, and Obama making his first trip to Japan as president. These are some of the biggest events of the past year in […]

Uncovering Tokyo’s Yakuza and Nightlife

For 12 years, Jake Adelstein was embroiled in the seedy underbelly of Tokyo crime and nightlife, spending late nights schmoozing with police, conducting investigations at brothels and fielding death threats from the Japanese mafia. Adelstein himself, however, was not in law enforcement or a criminal. Rather, from 1993 to 2005, Adelstein worked as a crime […]

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