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Bitcoin Frenzy Stirs Credibility Concerns over Cryptocurrency (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 29 (Jiji Press)—Bitcoin's recent wild fluctuations amid speculative money flows to its online exchanges have fueled concerns about the major cryptocurrency's credibility, threatening to hamper the spread of the technology as a method for payment. Japanese virtual currency exchanges are encouraging retailers and other businesses to use bitcoin at their real-world shops. In April, maj…

Ramen Takes Off as Global Soul FoodIshiyama Hayato

Ever since falling in love with ramen in his high-school days, Ishiyama Hayato has been submerged in the soupy, slurpy world of this popular noodle dish. Here he considers how ramen evolved to become a Japanese favorite that is winning overseas fans too.

Rereading “Shūyō” by Nitobe InazōWang Zhongchen

After discovering that Central Compilation and Translation Press in Beijing had published a Chinese translation of Shūyō (Cultivating the Mind) by Nitobe Inazō (1862–1933), I decided to reread that book. I was keen to see how the translators, Wang Cheng and Chen Yu, had rendered it into modern Chinese. On the sleeve of the book, which was published in May 2009, there is a promotional blurb that…

China’s Safety Net Shackled to Family RegistersAko Tomoko

China has become the world’s number two economy, but it is still a country with huge economic disparities. Some of the gaps are connected to the household registration system, which divides the population between urban and rural residents. Today this system is generating discontent and complicating the construction of a safety net.

“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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