Japan

What is it about Bill Viola’s films that reduce grown-ups to tears?

17 October 2015 8:00 am

Even the most down-to-earth people get emotional about Bill Viola’s videos. Clare Lilley of Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) seems close…

The good economic news that we forgot in the China panic

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Home from the hot Aegean, huddled by the fire as rain ruins the bank holiday weekend, I’m thinking: what gloom…

A.N. Wilson’s diary: VJ Day and the Virginia Woolf Burger Bar

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Should we have celebrated VJ Day? Hearing the hieratic tones of the Emperor Hirohito on Radio 4 the other day,…

The triumph of nuclear weapons – and the defeat of nuclear power

15 August 2015 9:00 am

‘I visited the black marble obelisk which marks the epicentre of the explosion, and I saw the plain domestic wall-clock…

I remember Nikkei’s journalistic values – and I’m not sure they’re much like the FT’s

1 August 2015 9:00 am

It’s nearly 30 years since I worked in Japan, but I still have a few words of the language and…

Hirohito, MacArthur and other villains

4 July 2015 9:00 am

The history of ‘great events’, Voltaire wrote, is ‘hardly more than the history of crimes’. Physically, the war in Asia…

Welcome to Japan’s best kept cultural secret: an art island with an underground museum

23 May 2015 9:00 am

In his introductory remarks to the Afro–Eurasian Eclipse, one of his later suites for jazz orchestra, Duke Ellington remarked —…

What Samsung’s new TVs owe to Jeremy Bentham

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Watching brief Samsung warned users of its voice-activated televisions that what they said in front of the TV could be…

Don't believe the gloom-mongers: deflation will be good for Britain

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Campaigning in Putney in 1978, Mrs Thatcher famously took out a pair of scissors and cut a pound note down…

Let’s all become Japanese for a while

17 January 2015 9:00 am

This is a good time to write about a nation’s resilience in the face of calamity. I am referring to…

Onsen: dive into another side of Japan

3 January 2015 9:00 am

I’m hovering starkers beside a hot spring, or onsen, in a faded resort in southern Japan, while the Japanese grandmother…

How to fight Europe’s demons of deflation

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Deflation terrifies economists because once it starts, they have no idea what to do about it. When demand in an…

Peter Phillips is mugged by a gang of Praetorius-loving six-year-old girls in China

1 November 2014 9:00 am

We have read about the remarkable opening up of China in recent years: how many people live there and how…

Proof that the Japanese know how to make great Bordeaux

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Château Lagrange, a St Julien third growth, has the largest acreage of any Bordeaux classed growth. For much of the…

Shinkansen: one of the most powerful symbols of modern Japan

My addiction to the bullet train

16 August 2014 9:00 am

In 1963, Dr Richard Beeching, an ICI director with a PhD in physics, a qualification that clearly boondoggled his credulous…

When a Chinese and a Japanese visit Tokyo's Yasukuni war shrine

22 February 2014 9:00 am

What does freedom mean to you? That’s the question the BBC World Service has been asking of us through its…

Is there a way to live without economic growth? 

18 January 2014 9:00 am

During Japan’s lost decade in the 1990s I found myself handing out rice balls to Tokyo’s homeless on the banks…

Italo Calvino's essays, Collection of Sand, is a brainy delight

26 October 2013 9:00 am

The Japanese are sometimes said to suffer from ‘outsider person shock’ (gaijin shokku) when travelling abroad. Recently in London we…