Media minds manners in royal reportage

| Jun 7, 2014

Media minds manners in royal reportage

by Philip Brasor

As much as we all love them, the Imperial family doesn’t make for exciting reading. Last week, the European press was beside itself with news of the abdication of Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who has been hit by several public support-sapping scandals in recent ...

Getting past the stigma of dementia

| May 24, 2014

Getting past the stigma of dementia

by Philip Brasor

Last April, the Nagoya High Court ordered a 91-year-old woman in Obu, Aichi Prefecture, to pay ¥3 million in compensation to JR Tokai for disruption of service after her husband was struck and killed by one of the company’s trains. The man, who was ...

Fix population problem by helping families

| May 17, 2014

Fix population problem by helping families

by Philip Brasor

For the past 18 months, media outlets in Japan and abroad have looked approvingly upon Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to improve the country’s economic future through proactive measures dubbed “Abenomics.” The goal is to spur inflation so that companies can make more money ...

| May 10, 2014

Brush up on pop idol feuds before the exam

by Philip Brasor

Last month, Meiji University’s law department announced it would offer a social-psychology course on the boy band Arashi. The syllabus includes lectures about the group’s individual members; its work in TV dramas and advertising; and the “culture of Johnny’s Jimusho,” Arashi’s powerful production company. ...

Pop star gaffes no sweat to Cool Japan

| May 3, 2014

Pop star gaffes no sweat to Cool Japan

by Philip Brasor

Whatever you want to say about Justin Bieber’s lack of common sense, as either a pop star or a mortal, you have to admit he has incredible timing. He managed to capture the attention of the world with his impromptu visit to Yasukuni Shrine ...

'Patriot wives' put country before gender

| Apr 26, 2014

'Patriot wives' put country before gender

by Philip Brasor

In a 1989 essay, “Coming Down Again: After the Age of Excess,” from a newly edited collection of her writings, the late American critic Ellen Willis discussed a dilemma the women’s movement faced in the ’70s. With the advent of the ’60s counterculture came ...

Can a solo career help a mascot stand out?

| Apr 19, 2014

Can a solo career help a mascot stand out?

by Philip Brasor

Several weeks ago Fuji TV’s morning news show sent a reporter to the Gunma Prefecture “antenna shop” located across the street from the Kabukiza theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district. The store, which sells products made in Gunma, pays ¥64 million a year in rent ...

Fashion takes a baby step in right direction

| Mar 29, 2014

Fashion takes a baby step in right direction

by Philip Brasor

The fashion industry has been criticized for promoting impossible body images by pressuring models, directly or indirectly, to remain as skinny as possible. Nevertheless, so-called plus-size models have become well-represented in the industry over the past 30 years. In the beginning, it was a ...