Comprehensive series of articles on themes too broad or complex to be addressed in a single post.

Feature series

Latest articles

“Bentō”Japan Glances

Bentō lunches are Japanese meals that can be enjoyed anywhere. Different regions have their own specialties, aimed particularly at rail travelers.

Tokyo Game Show 2016: The Dawn of the VR Era?Happening in Japan

A roundup of some of the games drawing most interest at one of the world’s biggest game shows.

Filial Piety Obligatory in a Dramatically Aging Chinese SocietyAging in Japan and Across AsiaWan Yi

The duty of grown children to “support and assist their parents” is written into the Chinese Constitution. The idea has deep roots in Chinese culture; in fact, an ancient saying holds that filial piety is preeminent among virtues. However, as demographic trends in China mirror those seen in Japan, the aging of the Chinese population is driving major changes in the context in which filial piety is performed and even in views on what constitutes a happy household and other value systems.

Forum Highlights Novel Approaches to Meeting Society’s ChallengesSymposium Reports

Nippon Foundation Social Innovation Forum 2016 brought together stakeholders from diverse sectors for three days in September to consider new ways of addressing the key issues confronting Japan, such as depopulation, loss of community, and growing economic disparities.

Loveless and Single—and Happy That WayJapan Data

A recent survey in Japan, found around 70% of unmarried men and 60% of unmarried women aged 18 to 34 were not currently in a relationship. Economic and social factors appear to be behind the declining importance of romance in the lives of young Japanese.

“Taiko” DrumsJapan Glances

The powerful rhythms of Japan’s traditional taiko drums have won devotees nationwide and around the globe.

Honoring Enemy POWs: A Grassroots InitiativeThe War and Its Aftermath

For the past two decades, a memorial service has been held each year for Allied prisoners of war who died in Japan. The organizers of this event, held at a war cemetery in Yokohama, are private Japanese citizens. What motivates them to remember and honor their erstwhile enemies?

“The Red Turtle” (2016)At the Movies

Studio Ghibli’s latest film is an international coproduction a decade in the making. The dialogue-free movie showcases the minimalist talents of Dutch director Michael Dudok de Wit.

Timeline for September 2016Japan Timeline

Prime Minister Abe becomes the first Japanese leader to visit Cuba, Renhō is elected president of the Democratic Party, and soil contamination issues hamper relocation of Tokyo’s main fish market. These are the key news stories of September 2016.

Japanese Businesses Apply Lessons from Aging Home Market to Expand AbroadAging in Japan and Across AsiaTakeuchi Yukifumi

Recognizing the rapid aging of Thai society and the needs of its wealthy, businesses from Japan have begun expanding into the country, applying lessons learned at the forefront of the trend of aging Asian societies. Positive results are expected as the “Japanese model” for elder care homes and other care services spreads.

Share of Working Moms Hits Record-High 68%Japan Data

The Survey of Living Conditions compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare show that 68.1% of Japanese mothers with children under 18 years old were gainfully employed in 2015. The rate, the highest since the survey began monitoring working mothers in 2004, reflects an increase in the number of single mothers and overall growth in women’s workforce participation.

Connecting with IndiaSymposium Reports

In May 2016, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation welcomed India’s C. Raja Mohan to Japan as part of its invitation program for Asian opinion leaders to encourage international exchange on a personal level.

Free Apps for Studying JapaneseJapan Data

There are many free smartphone apps available for learning Japanese. This article introduces some of the better options.

The Volunteer Care Network Supporting Rural Thai AreasAging in Japan and Across AsiaTakeuchi Yukifumi

The aging of society continues across Asia. Japan leads the trend, but other Asian countries are close behind, just like geese flying in formation. In Southeast Asia, Thailand is aging at a rate exceeded only by Singapore. Takeuchi Yukifumi looks at current care practices in rural Thailand.

Japanese Firms Accelerate Outbound Mergers and AcquisitionsJapan Data

Outbound mergers and acquisitions by Japanese companies are trending at high levels, marking all-time highs in both number and value in 2015. This was followed in 2016 by SoftBank’s acquisition of ARM Holdings, a UK-based chip designer. Faced with stagnant demand in the home market, many Japanese companies are looking to benefit from the growth of foreign economies by accelerating their outbound deals.

A Venerable Family Business Built on Tea and PaperBusinesses Made in NipponKikuchi Masanori

The Ejima family has been selling Japanese paper and green tea in the castle town of Odawara, outside Tokyo, for over three centuries. During that time the retailers have bounced back from adversity on several occasions, emerging each time stronger than before.

Video highlights

New series

  • From the editor in chief
  • From our columnists
  • In the news