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Category Archives: Society

Artist Chiharu Shiota Explores an Inner Net-Scape

Artist Chiharu Shiota is Japanese, and deeply so, but at the same time she lives a very international life. Her installations and performances address hot issues that question exile, displacement, identity, sickness, and all their respective boundaries of fear and anxiety.

Coronavirus Response Likely a Massive Overreaction

With the keen media attention and the escalating response from governments around Asia and beyond, it would not be unreasonable for a large section of the public to feel quite afraid of the Wuhan Coronavirus, but what researchers are discovering is a level of threat to human health which may not be much greater than the seasonal flu.

Japan’s Drug War: The Case of Ingrid Martinussen

On November 20, 2019, Tokyo police arrested a drug suspect. This time it was a 32-year-old Norwegian university student named Ingrid Martinussen, who is autistic. This case is a crystal clear example of Japan’s irrational approach to its war on drugs and of a legal system which has spun out of control.

Japan Loses Control Over Its Soft Power

“Japan was postmodern before postmodernism was cool” wrote Douglas McGray in Foreign Policy magazine. While that may be true, Japan has lost control of its own major cultural exports.

Fans Rally to Support Kyoto Animation

The tragedy at Kyoto-based studio Kyoto Animation, known to its fans as KyoAni, in which arson claimed the lives of 34 workers and injured 35 others, is compounded by the fact that the studio had a reputation for providing excellent working conditions, a living wage, and permanent staffing in an industry known for relying on exploitive contract-based work.