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“Anime” and “Manga” Take Root in ChinaKobayashi Sayuri

Japanese subculture is surprisingly popular in China these days, particularly anime and manga. This article sheds some light on what’s driving this popularity.

The Contradictions of “Protest Diplomacy” in East AsiaOgoura Kazuo

The Takeshima dispute and the question of Japanese apologies for colonial rule have led to renewed political and diplomatic friction between Japan and South Korea recently. There are also serious problems in the relationship between Japan and China, where domestic interests in both countries have turned the dispute over ownership of the Senkaku Islands into a knotty political mess. Territorial …

Tokyo Station Becomes a Screen of Dreams

Some 10,000 people came to revel in the dream world of “Tokyo Station Vision”—a sound and light show projected onto the newly restored brick building of Tokyo Station.

Tokyo Station: Modern Convenience in a Historical Setting

The iconic red-brick façade of Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi Building is one of the capital’s most beloved landmarks. A major renovation project has recently restored the building to its original glory for the first time since the war. At the luxurious Tokyo Station Hotel inside the station building, special displays allow visitors to experience a taste of the station’s history as they enjoy the hotel’s unparalleled modern conveniences.

Educating the Next Generation of Japanese Filmmakers

Founded by two-time Cannes Palme d’Or winner Imamura Shōhei (The Ballad of Narayama; The Eel), the Japan Institute of the Moving Image is Japan’s only full-time university dedicated to film studies. We talked to the institute’s director, the film critic Satō Tadao, about the school’s approach to film education and the future of the Japanese film industry.

Japan’s Festivals: A Matsuri Map

No one knows for sure how many festivals take place in Japan over the course of the year, but estimates vary from 100,000 to 300,000—all of them unique reflections of the history and culture of the local area. Here, we introduce a selection of 20 of the most notable festivals from around the country. For related content, see “Japanese Festivals and the Annual Cycle of Life.”

Random Killings Are Not Acts of Evil DemonsKato Yuko

On June 10, in a bustling commercial area called Shinsaibashi in the middle of downtown Osaka, a terrible knife attack occurred, with two passers-by being killed. When I was a newspaper reporter on the police beat, I used to wander around this area, also known as the Minami district, every day. The street of the crime scene is familiar to me, and I still retain a sense of the comforting quiet t…

Japan’s History Textbook System: Creation, Screening, and SelectionMitani Hiroshi

The history textbooks used in Japanese schools have come under considerable criticism both within Japan and abroad. How are these texts actually created, screened, and selected for classroom use? Mitani Hiroshi, a professor at the University of Tokyo and author of history textbooks currently in use at junior high schools and high schools, explains how this process operates in practice.

“Chinese” Writing in East Asia (Part Two)Wang Min

(Continued from part one.) In the middle of the nineteenth century, with the Western powers encroaching further into East Asia, Japan decided to open itself to the outside world. A process of Westernization and modernization rapidly ensued. When Japan entered the ranks of the world powers following victories in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5, people in China…

“Chinese” Writing in East Asia (Part One)Wang Min

Of the approximately 200 countries in the world today, China and Japan are the only two that still use the Chinese writing system, known as kanji in Japanese. According to the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, court-sanctioned collections of early history and myth that are Japan’s earliest books, it was during the reign of the emperor Ōjin (r. 270–310) that word of the Chinese writing system arrived in Japa…

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