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After the Tsunami: Rescuing Relics of Rikuzentakata’s History and CultureKumagai Masaru

The city of Rikuzentakata lost almost a tenth of its population to the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. The city’s lone surviving museum curator tells of the struggle to rescue the cultural properties that are a key part of the city’s identity.

Obusedō: A Tradition of Chestnut Sweets and Local Culture

Located in Nagano Prefecture, the town of Obuse is known for its confections and chestnuts. It also boasts a unique culture, with influences dating back to Edo-period icons like the artist Katsushika Hokusai and many family-run businesses located there to this day. In recent years, these businesses have come together to restore the historical atmosphere of Obuse, ensuring that its rich past stays relevant into the future.

“Politics as Theatre” and Public Distrust of PoliticsOgoura Kazuo

In the double election for governor of Osaka Prefecture and mayor of Osaka (city) held on 27 November, candidates campaigning for a merger of the prefectural and city governments won both posts. Ostensibly, what was at issue was the idea of eliminating the duplication in Japan’s system of local government that results from the coexistence of prefectures and “ordinance-designated cities” (major ci…

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