Man for hire

22 July 2023 9:00 am

Shoji Morimoto offers himself to strangers in Tokyo to queue on their behalf, make a fuss of their dogs or simply provide a human presence

Too close to home

24 June 2023 9:00 am

Life in a comfortable modern flat with her husband and two young sons leaves Natsumi so depressed she thinks she’s losing her mind

Farewell, Yoshihide Suga, Japan's unloved leader

4 September 2021 11:05 am

Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga has fallen on his sword. Suga announced today that he will not be seeking reelection as leader…

Was the Tokyo Olympics a success?

9 August 2021 8:12 am

Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s Prime Minister, is a hard man to read. He has a sum total of one facial expression…

Why a return to a free and open world is vital

31 July 2021 9:00 am

There is something bizarre about a sporting event designed to bring people and nations together but from which spectators have…

What’s changed since the last Tokyo Olympics?

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Waiting Games What did Japan, and the world, look like the last time Tokyo held the Olympics in 1964? —…

The ancient Greeks had no time for losers

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Every red-blooded Englishman has believed that exercise in the open air is the finest prophylactic against popery, adultery and the…

Blood on the tracks: the unsolved murder of the Japanese railway chief

26 June 2021 9:00 am

‘There is no end to influence,’ says Harold Bloom in his seminal 1973 work, The Anxiety of Influence — and…

Even a robot assistant can’t help you make sense of Japan

26 June 2021 9:00 am

Understanding Japan is a life’s work

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…

An unquiet life: There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job, by Kikuko Tsumura, reviewed

28 November 2020 9:00 am

Kikuko Tsumura is a multi-prizewinning Japanese author whose mischievously deceptive new novel takes us into what purports to be the…

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…

A Tokyo police procedural with a brilliant twist

23 April 2016 9:00 am

The plot of Hideo Yokoyama’s Six Four begins in 1989, with the murder of Shoko, a seven-year-old girl. Fourteen years…

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…

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…