Tokyo's rich and famous seek comfort, security and anonymity


While Tokyo has what could be called affluent neighborhoods, it cannot really make the claim to have anything resembling Beverly Hills. This then raises the question, where do show business people live? Presumably there must be some factors incorporating prestige, comfort and exclusivity that would differentiate their residences from those… Read


Why some middle aged men who actively pursue marriage can't seem to score


The time when nearly everyone married is over, and a future time when no one does is beginning to seem, if not probable, at least not impossible. Here is how things stand now, Spa! (Aug 8) reminds us: As of 2015, 23.37% of men considered themselves lifetime singles, up 3… Read


Middle-aged smartphone users particularly vulnerable to accidents

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“Smartphone zombies” -- referring to people unable to refrain from constantly operating their mobile devices while walking or engaged in other activities -- are easily distinguishable by their distinctive hesitant gait. Nikkan Gendai (Aug 10) reports that phones are increasingly a factor in growing numbers of accidents involving middle-aged users.… Read


Something fishy about Abe's new cabinet appointee


It didn't take long for one of Prime Minister Abe's appointees to his new cabinet to become the target of accusations of inappropriate past behavior. Just a day after the cabinet was restructured, Nikkan Gendai (Aug 4) came out with a banner front-page headline that proclaimed to the nation that… Read


Irritability intensifying, not subsiding, with age: survey


You’d think, says Spa! (Aug 1), that maturity would mellow us, but a survey it conducts of 200 salarymen in their 30s and 40s reveals, on the contrary, irritability intensifying, not subsiding, with age. Perhaps it’s not surprising. So many people living and working together under so much pressure with… Read


Don't let a 'minpaku' bad apple ruin your travel experience


Crimes committed against guests at minpaku -- private homes used to accommodate travelers -- are on the rise. Nikkan Gendai (July 22) reported that on July 13, an unemployed 73-year old man in Niigata Prefecture was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl in his home. The girl… Read


A collapse of Mt Fuji need not be caused by major eruption, expert warns


As if Japan wasn't plagued enough by natural calamities this summer, Yukan Fuji (July 23) frets that its namesake, majestic Mt Fuji, might possibly be in danger of a catastrophic collapse. In addition to losing its status as a World Heritage site, the tabloid reports, depending on which side of… Read


Elderly couples want to do things but can't get their 'parasite' children off their hands


Kyoko Taguchi (a pseudonym) loved her children but was happy to see them go. What parent feels otherwise? They’re grown, educated, equipped to live in the world. You congratulate yourself on a job well done and make plans for the looming senior years – years of freedom and ease, if… Read


If you think Japan is hot...


When the mercury starts edging over 31 or 30 degrees Celsius in Japan, NHK TV starts issuing periodic warnings to avoid sun exposure. And when the reading reaches 35 or over, a frame appears in the upper left and center of TV screens and stays on for most of the… Read


'Three idiocies' that are ruining Japan: Obsession with numbers, rules and meetings


Any number of explanations have surfaced over the past 20 years concerning why Japan’s economic stagnation has been so stubbornly protracted. Shukan Asahi (July 14) lists “three idiocies” it says are “crushing Japan” – to wit: meetings, numbers and rules, all valuable as means to an end, but idiotic indeed… Read

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