Japan

These rediscovered drawings by Hokusai are extraordinary

13 February 2021 9:00 am

These rediscovered drawings by Hokusai point to him as the father of photography and modern animation, says Laura Gascoigne

Japan Olympic chief resigns over sexism. But did he have to go?

13 February 2021 2:02 am

Yoshiro Mori the 83-year-old former Japanese prime minister has resigned from his position as president of the Tokyo Olympic Organising…

Is it all over for the Tokyo Olympics?

22 January 2021 6:58 pm

Any long-term resident of Japan will know that ‘reading the air’, as the locals put it, is an essential skill…

The world’s greatest podcast: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History reviewed

12 December 2020 9:00 am

It’s well known that you should never meet your heroes because they will only disappoint you. Less commonly said, but…

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Why academics hold Thatcher and Trump in such contempt

19 November 2020 1:15 am

‘Has that orange baboon gone yet?’ asked a senior professor in the teacher’s room at my university yesterday. The remark…

Why New Yorkers are fleeing the city in droves

7 November 2020 9:00 am

New York Back when people used to read newspapers, they called it a ‘human interest’ story. Now it appears as…

The Japan trade deal shows how desperate we are for investment

19 September 2020 9:00 am

A small cheer for Liz Truss’s treaty with Japan. It is, says the official press release, ‘the UK’s first major…

Letters: Why do we need beavers?

29 August 2020 9:00 am

It’s not about money Sir: Professor Tombs criticises Alex Massie (Letters, 22 August) for ignoring evidence when the latter claims…

Who could replace Shinzo Abe as Japanese PM?

29 August 2020 1:27 am

Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzō Abe, has announced that he will step down, as soon as his replacement is selected.…

The joy of eating birdseed

8 August 2020 9:00 am

Rather like unpacking after a holiday, when you take unworn clothes from the case still neatly folded because the occasion…

Will Western economies be ‘turning Japanese’ after Covid-19?

8 July 2020 9:22 pm

Japan has announced a colossal stimulus package (£1.75 trillion) as it attempts to breathe life into its Covid-19 damaged economy.…

Fascinatingly weird – but not satisfyingly weird: Herzog’s Family Romance LLC reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

In the past Werner Herzog has given us a man pushing a ship up a mountain, a 16th-century conquistador going…

What is Dominic Raab not telling us about Hong Kong?

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The government’s promised ‘pathway to citizenship’ to Hong Kong people is wonderful, but has the Foreign Office arranged a get-out…

Japan's Covid success is a mystery

28 May 2020 12:03 am

Japan’s Covid ‘State of Emergency’ is now officially over. Tokyo, the last of Japan’s 47 prefectures to be officially released…

Riveting documentary about a remarkable man: Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War reviewed

28 March 2020 9:00 am

First shown on BBC Scotland, Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War (BBC4, Wednesday) was the documentary equivalent of…

Will Japan ban its 'offensive' Rising Sun flag at the Tokyo Olympics?

4 March 2020 8:54 pm

Ant and Dec have done most things in their long careers in light entertainment. But the versatile duo broke new…

Could coronavirus really trigger the next crash?

1 March 2020 1:30 am

It’s a bloodbath in the markets, but by how much could the real, global economy be affected by the coronavirus…

The BBC has much to learn from Japan’s national broadcaster

10 February 2020 10:59 pm

NHK is Japan’s version of the BBC – it was actually modelled after the Beeb way back in the 1920s.…

Shinzo Abe’s luck is finally running out

22 January 2020 4:17 am

The Japanese are fond of poeticising the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossom season, which no sooner reaches its full…

Yalta was a carve-up — and the Poles are understandably still bitter about it

16 November 2019 9:00 am

‘The strong do what they can. The weak suffer what they must.’ Thucydides’ principle expresses an uncomfortable truth. The eight-day…

Should we be playing the surveillance state for laughs? Celebrity Hunted reviewed

19 October 2019 9:00 am

One of the many great things about The Capture was that we could never be sure whether the British authorities’…

Looking for a new idea? Try borrowing an old one

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Recently I suggested a new approach to commuter-train overcrowding. It simply involved reformulating the problem by accepting that not all…

Yukio Mishima posing in Tokyo in 1970. Credit: Getty Images

Capers in crime: Life for Sale, by Yukio Mishima, reviewed

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Few biographies are quite as impressive as Yukio Mishima’s. One of Japan’s most famous authors, he wrote 80 plays and…

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Trump: American Shogun

31 May 2019 4:06 am

Japan has a new emperor, and so do we. Donald Trump isn’t merely president. He wants to be America’s shogun.…

Barefoot in the park: Tokyo Ueno Station, by Yu Miri, reviewed

6 April 2019 9:00 am

In 1923, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 struck Tokyo and Yokohama. A huge area of Tokyo burned. But,…