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No.17
No.17 ,Culture ,Discussions  Dec 01, 2013

Hosoda Mamoru + Azuma Hiroki — Animation for Parents

Azuma (left) and Hosoda. PHOTO: COURTESY OF GENRON CO., LTD.

In 2012, director Hosoda Mamoru scored a big hit with a movie called Wolf Children. Unlike conventional animated movies, it was full of messages aimed at families raising young children. On September 25, while the movie was in theaters, Hosoda’s first child (a son) was born, thrusting the director right into the heart of child raising himself. He met up twice with the Japan Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, who himself has a daughter in elementary school, for an in-depth discussion regarding the hidden messages in Wolf Children and the isolating effects of becoming a father.... [Read more]

No.17
No.17 ,Culture  Dec 01, 2013

Symposium Commemorating the Opening of the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive
Motivation and Effort to Preserve the Records of the Great East Japan Earthquake

A scene from the symposium PHOTO: COURTESY OF The Digital Information Distribution Division, Digital Information Department of the National Diet Library

The National Diet Library officially published the National Diet Library Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (a.k.a. HINAGIKU) on March 7 for the purpose of passing records and lessons learnt from major earthquake disasters to the next generation to be used for projects to restore/recover disaster-hit areas and for future disaster prevention and reduction measures. HINAGIKU is a portal site that cooperates with various institutions and groups within Japan and overseas to collate, store and allow the unitary search and use of audio, video, photographs, web information and other digital data related to the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as academic research findings from research institutions and related document information.... [Read more]

No.16
No.16 ,Culture  Oct 11, 2013

Special Interview : Suzuki Toshio, Producer and Chairman, Studio Ghibli – Miyazaki Hayao and Takahata Isao Serving as the driver for two geniuses

Producer and Chairman of Studio Ghibli

Miyazaki Hayao’s The Wind Rises is now playing, and Takahata Isao’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no Monogatari) is due out this fall. Wanting to know how Suzuki Toshio, the Representative Director of Studio Ghibli and the producer of these two works, handled these two geniuses named Miyazaki and Takahata, Suzuki’s longtime acquaintance, Shibuya Yoichi, the President of Rockin’ On, interviewed him for over ten hours. While you should read his latest book, Kaze ni Fukarete if you want the entire interview, we share part of it here. ... [Read more]

No.11
No.11 ,Culture  May 19, 2012

TURNING SMART COMMUNITY PRODUCTS INTO NEW EXPORT ITEMS

Photo : Kashiwagi Takao

The Key is Local Production of Energy for Local Consumption Japan has been a manufacturing nation, with a dominant manufacturing industry. As such, it has relied on fossil fuels such as oil and coal to maintain a steady supply of electric power. With the global push to reduce total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, however, Japan has faced calls to scale back its use of fossil fuels, particularly given accelerating economic growth in emerging economies such as China and India and the resultant surge in the driving population. Japan had planned to respond to these calls by raising the proportion of electric power generated by nuclear power. However, the accidents at the nuclear power plants in Fukushima have upturned these plans. To ensure that we have a reliable... [Read more]

No.10
No.10 ,Culture  Feb 09, 2012

[SERIES: INTERVIEW] “DIET AND LIFE” — FOR HUMANS TO BECOME PEOPLE

Photo : Dr. Hosoya Ryota

Hosoya Ryota: You always have concern about the dietary habits of today’s young people. And you wonder whether the reason they have difficulty in delivering babies is that their eating patterns contain things such as cola, potato chips and apple pie. Tatsumi Yoshiko: I am very concerned that the number of premature babies with very low birth weights is actually said to be increasing. Hosoya: When I heard that, I went and spoke with an experienced birth attendant since the maternity center of Saint Luke’s International Hospital is located nearby. This person told me there are indeed many pregnant women who have peculiar eating habits.... [Read more]

No.10
No.10 ,Culture  Feb 06, 2012

IS HIGHER EDUCATION POSSIBLE ON A “SMALL GOVERNMENT” PLATFORM? PROBLEMS OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIES SEEN FROM A UK PERSPECTIVE

Photo : Kariya Takehiko

The changing role of the state In March 2011, a conference was held at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies of Oxford University, to which I belong, on the subject of higher education. I took part as one of the conference’s planners. The event was built around the theme of the state’s role in higher education. University education in Europe, which achieved development mainly around national universities, is now at a turning point. In exchange for expanded educational opportunities, heavy fiscal burdens have been placed on the state. The state also faces a... [Read more]

No.10
No.10 ,Culture  Feb 04, 2012

FROM A PLACE FOR PRACTICAL SCHOOLING TO A PLACE THAT FULFILLS YOUNG PEOPLE’S NEED FOR APPROVAL

Photo : Takeda Toru

“Let me say a few words about what I want for universities. – To start with, I hope that universities will be places where both instructors and students are as free as possible to research, educate, and learn. Secondly, it is my earnest hope that we will become decent human beings through research and education at universities. We need to scrutinize what it means to be a “decent human being,” but here, in any case, I would like to emphasize that human beings must not be an instrument, or a means for something else. Thirdly, universities are not only for the people at the universities, but they also want to serve society outside universities, to enrich the lives of people, and to contribute to decent lives for all human beings.”... [Read more]

No.10
No.10 ,Culture  Feb 02, 2012

JAPAN’S LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE SYSTEM IS A SAVIOR IN THE SUPER-AGING SOCIETY

Photo : Ueno Chizuko

From benefits to rights Japan has entered the period of a “super-aging society” the likes of which no country has ever experienced. As of 2010, Japan’s percentage of elderly (those aged 65 or above as a percentage of the total population) reached the world’s highest level of 23.1%, and is expected to exceed 27% in 2020. The progress of population aging simultaneously gives rise to the challenge of nursing care. In fact, the number of people with conditions requiring long-term care (defined as “a condition assumed to require care on a continual and regular basis for... [Read more]

No.10
No.10 ,Culture  Feb 01, 2012

[SERIES: INTERVIEW] “DIET AND LIFE” — FOR HUMANS TO BECOME PEOPLE

Photo : Takeuchi Osamu

Tatsumi Yoshiko: We have asked Professor Fukuoka Shinichi, Professor Kawashima Midori and Doctor Hosoya Ryota to give us their personal perspectives on the relationship between food and life. This time we are asking Doctor Takeuchi Osamu, who teaches ethics at Sophia University and is also a Catholic priest (Society of Jesus), to sum up their talks. Doctor Takeuchi, I’m hoping you can take this discussion a level deeper to explain how life in its final stages relates with food, and I hope in doing so that we can offer the readers some new insights. Why don’t we start with your story?... [Read more]

No.9
No.9 ,Culture  Jan 29, 2012

[SERIES: INTERVIEW] “DIET AND LIFE” — FOR HUMANS TO BECOME PEOPLE (FOREWORD)

Somehow, my mother and I have shared a life of working on food. My mother was innately a cook; and even more, she was an expert at raising children. I lived with my mother for almost 52 years without ever questioning the taste of her food. She had prepared food for me until the evening before she died, telling me, “Don’t tell me I should rest. Have some rice with katsuo (bonito) sashimi.” People will always eat food that shapes their life. This warms the hands and feet. It colors the cheeks. It motivates. It is such physical responses that accumulate like layers of thin paper on which people seek dependence. This accumulated dependence eventually redirects to a will to believe in something or someone. From the garden of faith grows hope, and the process has naturally developed the soil for love.... [Read more]

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